October 24, 2015

10+Tons of Trash - Massive Cleanup in Pogonip Park

SCPD Parks Unit teamed up with Santa Cruz Park Rangers for another massive clean-up in response to Public Safety concerns about illegal camping and dumping in Pogonip Park. Roaring Camp pitched in, too. Thanks for the train to haul the trash away.
On Thursday 10/22, they pulled out 80 cubic yards of trash. That is an estimated 12 to 14 tons of garbage piled on to flatbed train cars. The process illustrates the scope of variables SC Park Rangers and SCPD Officers deal with on a daily basis. Public safety concerns in Pogonip Park revolve around illegal trespassing, drugs, theft and vandalism.

Many of the dumpsites are deep in the wooded areas making it difficult for cleanup crews to reach them. 
Encampments were also found precariously close to railroad tracks. The team found and cleared 20 illegal campsites throughout Pogonip. All were deemed public safety threats and causing environmental damage.
SCPD Park Unit Officers and SC Park Rangers agreed the cleanup is necessary because of the potential threat of biohazards in the area and other types of hazardous waste. Pogonip Park has been an ongoing public safety concern. This area is hideout for crimes that include illegal camping, drug use, theft and dumping.
Before the clean-up effort, trespassers in the area were notified in advance that officials would be back in a few days to collect and remove garbage. There was a County Social Worker on hand and information available for resources. 

Just 6 months prior, there was a similar massive cleanup done in the same area. This week, officials found well established drug dens, encampments and dump sites in hidden wooded areas and along the train tracks.

Santa Cruz Park Rangers and the SCPD will continue to identify and safely restore areas used for illegal camping and filled with environmental hazards. The health hazards expand into our wildlife habitats and water supply. Human waste and garbage is a significant source of pollution to the environment.

This undertaking was possible due to the to the Labor Ready Crew that worked all day on the project with SCPD Park Unit Officers and SC Park Rangers. Thank you to Roaring Camp Railroad for providing the train to haul away all of the trash.