City urging residents to keep Abilene parks clean

POSTED: 7:14 PM Feb 27 2013
ABILENE, Texas -

Parks around Abilene have been covered in litter, and it's especially bad when those West Texas winds strike. The City of Abilene and residents who enjoy going to the park are hoping people will remember to pick up after themselves.

"Even when our crews come in and do a great job cleaning up, all it takes is one person following them, throwing something out and then you have litter again," said James Childers of the City of Abilene Parks and Recreation Division.

Charles Zara worries about his kids playing around the trash.

"It would be nice to have a clean place where we don't have to worry about them getting stabbed or hurt or cut," said Zara.

He hopes people will think about their safety before they drop their garbage.

"For our kids, stop. Just stop please, so they have somewhere safe to play," said Zara.

For some, the park is not just a place to visit. It's home. Dozens of ducks and geese reside in the small lakes around Grover Nelson park, and much of the trash is blown into the water by the winds.

Ora Morrison goes to the park every week to eat lunch and feed the ducks. She said people need to take responsibity for their own trash.

"It doesn't take a whole lot of work to pick up after yourself," she said. And i think if everyone could kind of do that it would make this environment look a lot better."

Parks and Recreation sends crews to the park to help with the effort. Starting March 1, crews will be out daily picking up litter. Childers said help from the community would be nice, especially with the wind.

"Throw all your trash away in the receptacles and make sure you don't put it where the wind will carry it," said Childers.

If protecting the environment isn't incentive enough, remember that littering carries a fine of about $515 with court fees included.

"It's your park. You have to take care of your park like you do your home," said Childers. "We have a lot of great parks in Abilene and seeing litter strewn about brings the enjoyment level down."