Trash at Devil’s Lake State Park can be a real problem. Even if only a small percentage of the park’s 3 million + visitors leave litter around, that’s a lot of trash! When this photo was posted on the Fans of Devil’s Lake State Park Facebook page over the weekend it started quite a discussion! Too bad it’s not a “one off”….
Ultimate responsibility goes to the folks who don’t clean up after themselves and certainly they deserved the “trashing” they’re taking online for not disposing of their garbage properly. On the other hand, saying, “They should learn some manners”, shaming tourists that we depend on or other knee-jerk commentaries won’t solve the problem either. There will always be people who simply don’t care.
So, while we all agree that it’s the people who leave their trash’s fault, we also have to admit that an overwhelmed maintenance staff & lack of trash receptacles in favor of carry in/carry out policies also contribute to the problem. You simply can’t expect volunteers to make up the slack either. We’re doing a lot already! There’s not enough people with enough free time to make up for staff deficiencies.
It also may be too much to expect “Carry In/Carry Out” policies alone to work in the busiest areas of the busiest park. Can you imagine “Carry In/Carry Out” working in a sports stadium? Probably not. It’s simply all about numbers. Even if a very small number of the parks multi-million visitors leave their trash on the ground or by the grills it will add up.
Maybe it’s time to re-think how we deal with garbage at Devil’s Lake State Park. Summer’s coming! What do you think would solve the problem?
** Thanks Farrah Lynn for calling attention to the issue and giving permission for the use of the photo.
***Obligatory Disclaimer: This website is NOT associated with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. The views expressed in this blog are mine and do not represent the views of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (Which is sometimes too bad if you ask me!).