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Trailblazers forge path to cleanliness
On his daily bicycle commute to work via the BPA trail, Doug Nelson, Federal Way Community Center supervisor, came up with an idea: Why not create a fun fitness activity for community center members — and clean up the litter along the BPA trail at the same time?
Nelson discussed the idea with other community center staff, and the Federal Way Community Center Trailblazers were born.
“It’s one of Federal Way’s neatest resources, that trail, so we thought anything to clean it up would be beneficial,” Nelson said.
The group, which currently includes about 11 people, meets on the first Saturday of every month to walk, jog and ride bikes along the 3.5-mile BPA trail while picking up litter along the way. The group seeks additional members.
“Obviously, it’s a great volunteer opportunity and it just feels good to be out there cleaning up the trail,” Nelson said.
The Trailblazers includes members of all ages who meet rain or shine. Nelson said he anticipates the members will soon become friends.
“I’m sure friendships and coffee chats will follow the longer we do it,” he said.
Volunteers are given gloves and garbage bags. Most of the litter along the trail includes water bottles, fast food garbage and cans, Nelson said. There are also discarded cigarette butts.
“That’s kind of unfortunate to pick up cigarette butts on a fitness trail,” he said.
Sometimes, along dirt paths that intersect with the trail, volunteers find beer bottles and other evidence that the areas are used for partying.
Graffiti is also present from time to time. Nelson said he hopes that people will notice the clean-up effort and be less likely to litter or vandalize the trail in the future.
“I think people, if they notice it’s tidy, will be less likely to contribute to the problem,” he said. “I think filth promotes filth if you don’t take care of it.”
Contact Margo Hoffman:firstname.lastname@example.org or (253) 925-5565.
The Federal Way Community Center Trailblazers will next meet 9 a.m. Dec. 6 at the community center, 876 S. 333rd St. For more information, call (253) 835-6923.