Clean-up day volunteers find unusual items, have fun

A good, mud-splattered time was had by the 50 volunteers who turned out for the Cuyahoga County Board of Health-backed Forest Hill Park-Dugway Brook Clean-Up Day on May 14, coordinated by the cities of East Cleveland and Cleveland Heights.

Much of the focus of the cleanup was in the valley where the two branches of Dugway Brook join together and the park borders of Cleveland Heights and East Cleveland abut.

A Toro minitractor and two ATVs helped haul out about 50 bags of trash. Participants also collected an oxygen canister, a plastic chair, several plastic storage cubes, plastic tubing, a camp stove, about 20 tires and a transmission.

Volunteers also discovered a structure resembling a rounded teepee. It was intricately built of tree branches, covered with a layer of leaves and plastic. The structure was well hidden behind a hillock a few hundred feet from the Dugway culvert and did not appear to have been lived in recently. After the cleanup, only a pile of sticks remained.

In the lower valley, parking lot volunteers clambered up and down the surrounding slopes and collected 20 bags of trash, including a vehicle bumper and a plastic cooler.

In the parking lot off Forest Hills Boulevard, volunteers found hundreds of beer bottles behind the mound of leaf humus. One volunteer reported that in years past she has seen after-the-game baseball players with their car trunks open having social hour.

While working on a clean-up event, one wonders about the human propensity to trash our environment.

The park is always in need of volunteer labor, and there will be other clean-up opportunities. If you have a group interested in doing community service work in the park, contact Dick Secor at 216-407-1887e-mail Elsa Johnson at

Elsa Johnson

Elsa Johnson is a community volunteer.

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Volume 4, Issue 6, Posted 1:05 PM, 06.01.2011