May 5, 2015

Cleanup Effort Yields 3.5 Tons of Trash

In response to numerous complaints about illegal camping and dumping, SCPD teamed up with Parks & Recreation for a massive clean-up of the Sycamore Grove. The property runs between the northern portion of Pogonip Park and Highway 9.
This area has been an ongoing makeshift hideout for crime to include illegal camping, drug use and dumping. This activity results in public safety threats and environmental damage.

On April 15th and April 22nd, several railroad cars were heaped with 3.5 tons of trash, including needles and other biohazards that were cleaned out of our environment.

Joining our team, Big Trees Railroad hauled away mounds of garbage on flatbed cars for disposal.

It was a filthy job, but at the end of the project, the area was restored for community use.
The cleanup crew also discovered a myriad of discarded drug paraphernalia, camping gear and even a bike chop-shop hidden in Sycamore Grove.

The process took 2 full days and many hands on deck to clean up the various camps and dump sites.
Believe it or not, this was the second organized cleanup effort in this very same location. The previous cleanup occurred just 2 weeks prior.
Our cleanup team included Park Rangers, Police Officers, Mental Health worker, Big Trees Railroad and up to 10 Labor Ready workers.
This is an ongoing concern for Santa Cruz Park Rangers and SCPD to identify and safely restore areas used for illegal camping and filled with environmental hazards.
Public Safety concerns include trespassing, drugs, sexual assault, theft and vandalism.   Additionally, human waste and garbage is a significant source of pollution to the environment. The health hazards expand into our wildlife habitats and water supply.
Thanks to our team members for their hard work and dedication.