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NWP Global Registry of Apprentice Ecologists - J.R. Alford Greenway, Tallahassee, Florida, USA

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J.R. Alford Greenway, Tallahassee, Florida, USA
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Registered: January 2010
City/Town/Province: Tallahassee
Posts: 1
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J.R. Alford Greenway is a 874 acre park located in east Tallahassee. It is part of Leon County's Greenways Master Plan to link neighborhoods, parks, downtown, schools and businesses with trails for outdoor recreation. In this park there are 60 miles of trails through an open pasture, the woods and around Lake Lafayette. Hikers, equestrians, and bicyclists use this park. There are bike ramps along the trails, a playground for families, a boat ramp, and fishing docks. Visitors can bring their canoes or kayaks to explore the lake.
Alford Greenway was a privately owned cattle ranch seven years ago. The Leon County Parks and Recreation Department purchased this scenic land that will now be preserved for many people to enjoy now and in the future. The park will also preserve plants and animals native to this area. Some of the endangered animals living here are the bald eagle, wood storks and alligators. Many plants, like ferns, and trees, such as the redbud, dogwood, cypress maple, live oak and pine trees can all be found inside the park boundaries. Leon County recently received national recognition from the National Association of Counties, winning the award for Outstanding Accomplishment in the Field of Parks and Recreation for Environmental/Conservation Facilities.
This park is just beginning to become popular among Tallahassee residents. Unfortunately, more people visiting the park can lead to more waste being left behind. Not all people practice the, "Leave no trace behind" method of conservation for parks. If people understood this method, the park could remain litter free and it would continue to look the same way for future visitors.
As part of a community service project, I wanted to help preserve the park by cleaning up waste left behind by visitors. The trash was found on banks of the water, as well as right next to the playground. National parks are only truly beautiful without the remains of our destructive and disrespectful behavior of littering. It's the thought that many teenagers have, their efforts don't make a difference, this thought is not true. Everyday if just one out of every five teenagers spent a few hours cleaning their community the world would be a much better place. The way trash was left around the playground at this area that I cleaned could be dangerous in more ways then intended. If little kids see someone not caring and littering they could get the awful belief that littering is okay. The trash I picked up on the banks of the lake was disgusting. I know that every animal in the water is subject to the harmful substances of trash that was found.
Trash that was found also could be around for hundreds of years. From beer bottles, taking over five hundred years to decompose, to cigarette butts that take ten to twelve years to go away animals all over the habitat could be in danger. I eliminated Styrofoam cups from the greenway, such cups can take up to three hundred years to decompose. My experience with ridding my community of some of the extremely destructive trash I found was truly life changing.
Date: February 8, 2010 Views: 3605 File size: 38.5kb, 59.5kb : 450 x 253
Hours Volunteered: 8
Volunteers: 1
Authors Age & Age Range of Volunteers: 18
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