A group of four women has taken on a heavy load in maintaining the natural appeal of the South Hill Bluff.
They call themselves the Doo-Crew, and here’s the latest poop on their efforts.
High Drive neighborhood resident Shelley Richards didn’t need to be asked to get involved. “I’m a bluff trails user and I saw and smelled the problem,” she said.
Although the bluff trails have become a wildly popular place for people to walk their dogs, the pack-it in, pack-it-out ethic has not yet become widely practiced.
The natural openness of the bluffs gives people the illusion their dogs can be free to blend in with the wildlife and relieve themselves at will.
“But most dogs do their business soon after they get out of the car or started on their walk,” Richards said.
That means copious amounts of dog droppings are concentrated at the top of the bluffs, rather than spreading out in the bowels of the Hangman Valley.
“If everyone would pick up after their own dog, there wouldn’t be a problem,” said Robin Redman, who joined Richards’ effort. “But for now, I consider the crew my civic Doo-Tee.”
Since last fall, each of the women has taken a day of the month to restock plastic bags and empty the Doo-Crew receptacles at several collection sites just below High Drive.
“We hope that making dog cleanup easier and more convenient might have positive results, and it seems to be working,” Richards said. “The receptacles are being used and there’s a big difference in the cleanliness.
“We’ve heard the criticism that some people prefer to see the trails look natural. They don’t want buckets, plastic bag dispensers or signs.
“But if we can make more people aware of the problem and the solution, maybe we’ll be able to phase it out as people look after their own dogs.”
The city put out two trash bins on High Drive near Bernard Street, making it convenient for the Doo-Crew and other people to deposit their bags, she said.
“We would love more volunteers,” she said. “The more help the lighter the load.
“We are using our own money for the dog waste bags we put up. If someone would like to donate the bags that dispense on rollers, that would be greatly appreciated as well.
“Our mission is to keep the bluff clean for the benefit of all users.”