County Parks and Water Areas Trashed by 4th of July Revelers


The July 4th three-day weekend is over and two days after thousands enjoyed firing bottle rockets and mortars into the air to celebrate, county parks and some county roads are still littered with spent fireworks paper, plastic, and wrappers.

Longtime resident Glenn Carr said he’s never seen it this bad in his life. “I was at Twin Buttes off the Mertzon Highway today and its worse than ever been from fireworks trash. I am not kidding! It looks very dirty and nasty. I am 80-years-old I’ve and never seen it like this now,” Carr said.

At Twin Buttes, someone in charge thought ahead and deployed roll-off dumpsters at several convenient locations. It didn’t appear anyone used them. Although, one of the dumpsters was the scene of a trash fire Friday night. A reader posted the video to our Facebook page.

For the most part, the dumpsters were empty. But spent fireworks were everywhere around the park. Some black trash bags were full or overflowing. Some of the bags were broken open, with debris falling out. For the most part, it appears that when people left Friday night, they took their belongings and expensive stuff, but left the spent fireworks tubes, wrappers, and boxes for someone else to pick up. The closer to the water, the more fireworks trash was strewn around.

Spring Creek Park off FM 2335 near the West Texas Boy’s Ranch was not spared the trash, either. County Commissioner Bill Ford said that he visited Pugh Park in Christoval and handed out trash bags. He wasn’t sure many of them were used after Friday night’s fireworks were shot. Ford said that the commissioners are looking at adding more staff to maintain the county’s parks. The parks have been an issue that Ford has brought to the forefront during his tenure. As the Precinct 4 Commissioner, Ford has much of the surface water, and adjacent recreational areas in the county under his watch. He’s not ruling out asking for help from the jail to re-take the parks from the July 4th litterbugs.

Driving over the equalization channel on Knickerbocker Road towards Dove Creek, more trash and debris from fireworks is seen. Friday night, cars and trucks were lined up on both sides of Knickerbocker for about a half-mile south of the EQ levy. They left their mark.

Inside the city limits, this problem didn't exist. Self-fired fireworks are prohibited inside the city to 5,000 feet (that's almost a mile) from the city limit boundary.

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I think that there should be a charge to get into the parks to shoot off the fireworks. At least that money can be used to clean it up afterward. It is totally unacceptable for people to assume that someone else is responsible for cleaning up after them.
I guess the independence of this country was celebrated by trashing it. Well at least they aren't alone. Plenty of trashing of this country going on right now.
Since the type of people that are buying and using fireworks do not pick up after themselves, maybe we should levy a 100% tax on fireworks sales. Give the money to the city and county to offset the cost of cleanup.
It seems more and more every day, people are just doing whatever the heck they want without fear of ever paying the consiquence! I love to pop fireworks but we can do ours at home and we clean it up right after! And we teach our kids to always clean up after themselves at parks and the lakes! Don't leave water bottles and soda cans behind, throw them away! We will carry trash bags with on outings like that and even pick up other peoples left behind trash that is around us! I see people just leave stuff on the ground all the time! Especially on the soccer and baseball fields! Trash everwhere and there will be a trash can 2 feet away!
I was out at twin buttes but my future father in law and I made sure that we picked up all of our trash. I'm a mother to a 4 year old and I do not want him to think its okay to just leave his mess after having fun. after we got done cleaning up our mess we left. It was ridiculous the amount of trash other people had left on the roads and in the grassy areas as well. I am ashamed at all the people that were out there that left a mess. cause there were a lot of fireworks going off out there that night.
While it may be worse this year, it is bad every year. No one thinks it is their problem even when they are the ones who made the mess. I agree with Steven Thompson, there should be some kind of a charge for clean up. Because the majority of the party goers are to lazy to pick up after themselves. Thank you to the people who care about their surroundings.
It has been like that for years. Everyone will leave there trash.. I have not been to Twin Buttes to set off fire works in about 10 years but we always picked our trash up. Why would anyone think it would get any better. They need to put someone at the gate and charge 10.00 per car. Use that money to pay a individual who needs the money to clean it up. Don't pay county or city employees as they cannot budget there money now.
Sounds like the county is going to have to find a way for the park users to pay for trash pickup.
It's a fact, most people who litter are not exactly on the upper end of the socioeconomic ladder. Want to prevent things like this? Charge a fee which would more than likely force Mr./Ms. box of "empties" (pictured above) to choose between getting hammered or attending a social function. I'm certain we all know what choice they'd make. It's the same with any city or neighborhood in which it's citizens take pride in. You seldom see anything prosperous or attractive in areas proverbially stamped "FREE". Fees are great filters (e.g. "black tie" events).
jdgt, Wed, 07/09/2014 - 12:56
The city had no issues with asking volunteers to come out and clean up the lake to prepare for 4th of July festivities... why not ask again for people to come help clean up the parks? This isn't HIS world or THEIR world... It's OURS. Why not step up and take care of it?
I suppose you are talking about trash in the county because I go to Lake Nasworthy every day of the week and I visit other city parks and I never find them lacking. I am there every Monday morning when the city team are out picking up trash from weekend campers. They do an excellent job and the park stays clean until the weekend and the campers come back. Please give these hard working guys credit.

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