North County Outlook - Community newspaper serving Marysville, Arlington, Tulalip, Smokey Point, Lakewood

Quil Ceda Village - Favorite Neighborhood Stores

Summer outings with less impact

'Pack It In, Pack It Out' initiative encourages stewardship of local parks.


As the sun comes out and the ground dries out, Snohomish County residents flock to local parks and trails, anxious to make the most of our sometimes abbreviated summer. The additional traffic can cause unintended consequences, as trash and other “leave-behinds” challenges dwindling parks maintenance resources.

This year, the county parks department is encouraging visitors to “pack it in, pack it out” when visiting our local parks.

A recent press release from the county laid out the plan:

“The phrase ‘Pack It In, Pack It Out’ is not new to visitors of state and national parks,” said County Executive John Lovick, “It means that visitors are expected to ‘leave no trace’ by taking the items they bring into the parks, out of the parks, and then disposing or recycling those items responsibly at home. With the help of county residents and visitors, the county parks department can continue to maintain our beautiful parks and provide an even better experience for park visitors.”

The effort to cut down on garbage at the parks came after an analysis of the significant costs to collect, manage, and transport waste generated by more than 4.7 million annual county park users.

“The county had been managing over 500 garbage cans at county parks, taking time and resources away from programs, other maintenance tasks, and other community amenities,” Snohomish County Parks Director Tom Teigen said. “We’ve piloted ‘Pack It In, Pack It Out’ with great results, and estimate that with the public’s help, we’ll save park staff over 3,500 hours and be able to reallocate over $200,000 a year in time and other resources toward other park efforts.”

Parks officials rolled out the “Pack It In, Pack It Out, Recycle at Home” campaign in May, and it will continue throughout the busy summer season. By spring 2015 it’s expected that the parks department’s portfolio of staff-serviced garbage cans will shrink from 500 to about 75, and that the amount of waste diverted from landfills will increase by up to 33 percent.


Reader Comments


Powered by ROAR Online Publication Software from Lions Light Corporation
© Copyright 2017