As Wheelers, Off Roaders, Jeepers, or whatever you decide to call yourself, there is one thing that we all have in common and that is the love for outdoors. There is a sense of belonging, when we are out there. The wilderness gives us peace, rejuvenation and freedom. We spend all winter long fixing up our rigs, turning wrenches, smashing knuckles just so that we can spend our weekends riding the trails, rock crawling or overlanding and we cringe at the site of trash along the side of the road.
That is why Stop Oregon Litter and Vandalism (SOLV) Holds cleanup parties around the beginning of the spring. SOLV teams up with the Oregon Department of Forestry and local off-road groups to help facilitate clean ups on the trails. People spend this day cleaning up trash that has been left on the wayside throughout the year. Areas such as Brown’s camp, Ladee flats and the Yocolt burn Just to name a few are some of the areas that get cleaned up. On April 21st I had the pleasure to participate in the SOLV cleanup At Brown’s camp in the Tillamook State Forest. 4 local clubs and around 50 volunteers all got together, received their assignments and took the day to clean up the mess. It was a very good day. The sun was out, 65° and many hands making light work.
Our first stop was the “Rock pit”, a common area for people to go out and shoot shotguns, rifles, pistols and A.R. 15‘s. Unfortunately not everybody has the same respect, as we do. We spent two Hours cleaning up the shotgun shells, rifle casings and random garbage, and the team filled an entire pick up full of trash. A lot was cleaned up but it barely made a dent. We had to move onto other area and so we broke up into teams and hit the trails, dispersed camp sites and the main roads. With garbage bags in hand we set out to clean our playground. Between the 4-local off road groups we filled three 40 ton garbage dumpsters full of tires, large pieces of garbage such as couches and general trash. Overall it was a wonderful day. Parents even brought their kids out to help volunteer. They were excited to hang out and It showed them that it is OK to give back. It was a joy to watch them.
I encourage you that if you have a favorite spot to go off roading contact your local Forestry department, team up and spend one day cleaning up. It can make a world of difference.