Horse Gulch Blog

Watchdogging for the greater Durango area

29 Mar 2013

Hoards of trash left behind by homeless people contaminate City land in Horse Gulch

Posted by Adam Howell


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Yes, this is on City-owned open space land in Horse Gulch.

Yes, this is on City-owned open space land in Horse Gulch.

Bringing this trash left behind by homeless people to where the public can see it–with photography or literally carrying it out of the woods– is the best way to raise awareness to the hoards of it that exists on City-owned open space property in Horse Gulch.

Most of the trash on City-owned open space land in Horse Gulch is at the base of Raiders Ridge, in the woods away from any trail frequented by mountain bikers, hikers or runners.

Also in the Gulch at the bottom of Raiders Ridge, is Oakridge Energy property alongside Horse Gulch road (C.R. 237), which has massive piles of trash on it left behind by homeless people.

In all, this blogger estimates that there’s probably at least a ton of trash on these combined lands closest to Durango.

A City-owned trash can at Horse Gulch trail head is maxed out to the limit last summer.

A City-owned trash can at Horse Gulch trail head is maxed out to the limit last summer.

I’d put more of it in the trash can at Horse Gulch trail head if there was enough room for it there. If there’s one amenity that Horse Gulch needs, it’s a twice-a week trash pick up service for their lone residential-sized trash can.

Over the last week I’ve been pulling trash out of the woods in an attempt to dispose of it properly. Unfortunately, the trash can at Horse Gulch is small, and some of it occasionally piles up at the trail head because I have nowhere else to put it, short of paying to take it to the transfer station.

Cathy Metz, the Director of Parks and Recreation for Durango, said that the City would assist with volunteer trash pickup efforts in the future. Specifically, the City will provide trash bags and a dumpster for an organized trash pickup at Horse Gulch trail head, she said.

The City's trash can is overflowing at Horse Gulch trail head.

The City’s trash can is overflowing at Horse Gulch trail head.

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Plenty of alcoholics have been living in Horse Gulch over the years.

Plenty of alcoholics have been living in Horse Gulch over the years.

A decrepit tent, mattress and trash pile on top of it--on City-owned open space in Horse Gulch.

A decrepit tent, mattress and trash pile on top of it–on City-owned open space in Horse Gulch.

Here's someone's camp off of Raiders Ridge. It's totally trashed with everything from food packaging to human fecal matter and used toilet paper.

Here’s someone’s camp off of Raiders Ridge. It’s totally trashed with everything from food packaging to human fecal matter and used toilet paper.

 

These campers in Horse Gulch never learned to appreciate the value of burying their own shit.

These campers in Horse Gulch never learned to appreciate the value of burying their own shit.

 

A cassette tape player.

A cassette tape player.

Old broken cassette tapes by proposed freeride trail.

Old broken cassette tapes by proposed freeride trail.

Something unusual that was chained to a tree off of Raider Ridge.

Something unusual that was chained to a tree off of Raider Ridge.

More trash on City-owned land.

More trash on City-owned land.

Trash

Trash

trash

Somebody’s bed on City-owned open space land.

Plenty of trash in this camp on City-owned open space land.

Plenty of trash in this camp on City-owned open space land.

trash

trash

More trash on City-owned open space land.

More trash on City-owned open space land.

Homeless bike parts.

Homeless bike parts.

Litter under a tree.

Litter under a tree.

trash

trash

Trash on City-owned open space land in Horse Gulch.

Trash on City-owned open space land in Horse Gulch.

Trash on City-owned open space land.

Trash on City-owned open space land.

litter

litter

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To be fair, this trash is on private property directly adjacent to Horse Gulch Road and City-owned open space. Either way, it still needs to be removed.

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To be fair, this trash is on private property directly adjacent to Horse Gulch Road and City-owned open space. Either way, it still needs to be removed.

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To be fair, this trash is on private property directly adjacent to Horse Gulch Road and City-owned open space. Either way, it still needs to be removed.

IMG_0233

To be fair, this trash is on private property directly adjacent to Horse Gulch Road and City-owned open space. Either way, it still needs to be removed.

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To be fair, this trash is on private property directly adjacent to Horse Gulch Road and City-owned open space. Either way, it still needs to be dealt with.

To be fair, this trash is on private property directly adjacent to Horse Gulch Road and City-owned open space. Either way, it still needs to be dealt with.

 

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