NYS Department of Conservation reminds state park visitors to pick up after themselves

State News

(WIVB) — The NYS Department of Environmental Conservation is reminding visitors to state parks and other natural areas to pick up after themselves.

The reminder comes in response to community concerns about increasing amounts of litter left behind by visitors to state parks.

“During the State’s ongoing response to COVID-19, New Yorkers are desperate for a chance to get outside, change up the scenery, and get a breath of fresh air. It’s great that so many people are enjoying the outdoors this summer, but it’s disheartening to see litter and garbage left behind,” State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos said in Saturday press release. “It’s a simple fix. Whatever you bring in with you should leave with you as well. Play Smart * Play Safe * Play Local this summer and follow the principles of Leave No Trace.”

Litter isn’t just an eyesore- it poses a danger to wildlife and the state’s delicate ecosystems.

Here are some tips to Leave No Trace:

  • Carry out what you carry in.
  • Don’t leave trash, food, gear, or any other personal belongings behind.
  • Trash your trash- use designated receptacles when available or carry your trash in a small bag so you can throw it out at home.
  • Never put trash in outhouses or porta-potties.
  • Use designated bathroom facilities when available.
  • If traveling, use the rest areas closest to your destination before you arrive.
  •  Learn how to dig a cat hole (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y-Ej5m6gr1U) and properly dispose of your human waste for the times when nature calls and a bathroom is not available.
  • During the COVID-19 public health crisis, take extra precautions when picking up trash you find on the trail.
  • Wear gloves and make sure to hand sanitize when you are done.

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