Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Guerrilla Activity in the Park

So my friends, what am I doing with myself these days, you may ask. If you're reading the other blog (the one about the woods, not the Italian Grandma cooking blog), you'll have learned that I have been volunteering in nearby Forest Park picking up trash in the woods. Some may remark that that feels a lot like what I did at Big Gray a lot of the time.Old habits die hard. Anyway, I've been writing about it on the blog and doing what I could to drum up readership among the forest park community. As the "volunteer of the year" last year, I get a lot of access to the staff of the park, and as a blog writer, I hope to get a lot of support for my goal to have a litter-free park. As you may guess, readership is the key to getting publicity for one's cause, so I've been meeting people in and out of the park and have been handing out my "blog business card"and samples from the blog, AND, (unbeknown to the Parks Department,which couldn't condone this), I've been leaving my cards at some of my significant clean-up locations in the woods. In this way, I've been hoping to impact directly on the members of the littering community. Now, I happen to know that a large group of teenagers gather at the site of a fallen tree in the woods-one that they have decorated with graffiti in spite of attempts to prevent them by painting over the tree with a reddish brown paint which looks equally bizzare. This is the site for a lot of activity including smoking pot. The ground around this tree is covered with plastic "dime bags", and the foil wrappers from sweet flavored cigars which the kids combine with the pot. (Old readers will remember Steven's "English joints".) So, I wrote a note to these kids. I addressed it to the Brothers and Sisters of the Painted Tree, and basically told them that I will look the other way, as long as they pick up their own "evidence" and accompanying trash or (here's the stick), I will stir up trouble for them on my blog. I identified myself in the note only as Che, and left a calling card with a peace sign (ban the bomb) shaped like a yin/yang symbol and the word, Che in Rambo Killer font. It looks very cool!


William said...

Joe, I think you're going in the right direction in engaging the miscreants. But cryptically promising a teenager you're going to cause trouble for them is like waving a red cape at a bull! And let's face it, you, of all people, promising to not turn in pot smokers is just a wee bit hypocritical, no?

Maybe you should visit with them one night, bring a peace offering and have a circle. I'd be happy to join you as "back-up" if we can schedule it properly.

Joe Ambrosino said...

The hypocrisy hasn't escaped me. I let them know I had no problem with them smoking--only with their littering. Also, I would like to think the note and accompanying card provided some intrigue and wouldn't be interpreted as an outright challenge. We'll see. The idea of directly contacting them has also occurred to me.Thanks for your advice and offer. Stay tuned.

Joe Ambrosino said...

I am getting positive responses from smokers at the log (or perhaps I've chased them away!?)The beer drinkers remain defiant. I'm thinking about getting the police involved with decreasing the amount by having them remind the owners of two 24 hour delies that border the park that selling alcohol to minors is a crime.They create much more havoc with littering, smashed beer bottles and I'm guessing, most of the vandalism.