Throughout the year, a lot of trash accumulates on the sides of the trails, some getting blown in and trapped due to the fencing and concrete and some due to poor trail user habits. In spring of 2010, Minneapolis Bike Love (MBL) idea superstars “Lowrah” and “poorimpulsecontrol” decided they wanted to do something about the state of the trails they traveled everyday. After putting out a call for help on MBL, a number of people voiced interest in tidying things up. They combed and picked through the grass, disposing of all sorts of items, trimmed brush, raked, and pulled weeds.
This has grown into a recurring event; the most recent iteration of volunteer trail clean-up occurred this past Monday with a group starting from the 11th street entrance of the LRT which then made it to the Franklin Ave Station, all in under 2 hours of time due to the number of volunteers that came out to help, and also from folks that had come out to walk the trail and decided to start picking up trash.
Trail cleanups occur sporadically throughout the year, usually when someone notices that a trail section is looking a little worse for the wear, leading to a post on MBL about organizing a clean-up. This is just one of many examples of ‘silent volunteerism’ that occurs under the radar of most but helps improve the overall environment for everyone and which I feel showcases the heart of the cycling community.