Photos by Nick Adams, on assignment for WSB
Report by Fairmount Ravine resident John Lang, special to WSB
Blue skies and warm weather greeted a record-number 39 volunteers for the 21st annual Fairmount Ravine cleanup.
Thank you to all the ambitious hard-working neighbors who participated Saturday morning.
It was great to see so many new faces this year, especially those who live adjacent to the ravine.
There have been homeless people periodically camping in this area and that was the case Saturday.
Seattle Police quickly responded and politely moved 5 individuals and their property away so the ambitious community of workers could clean up trash.
Needless to say, there was so much trash that it filled two full-size pickups (thanks, Randy and Tim!)
We discovered four encampments, three in the woods and one under the bridge. Two were within 50’ of a residence.
Three were cleaned up and the fourth will need to be addressed in the near future, as the work crew ran out of energy. The bridge provides an attractive dry cover and all campsites provide relatively obscurity.
Unsupervised homeless camps are an absolute mess of garbage, discarded clothing and other water-soaked articles, and without any latrine provisions. These are very difficult to clean up considering the steepness of the hillsides.
We encountered widespread evidence of drug use, which is also a concern.
That aside, it is gratifying to see the result of everyone’s hard work and their willingness to make West Seattle a great place to live.
EDITOR’S POSTSCRIPT: Even before we published this, an area resident e-mailed to say she was so grateful to the neighborhood volunteers she saw out working yesterday, but, she added, she is seeing transients back under the bridge today and “throwing trash in the ravine”; she asked, “Is there anything we can do?” Contacting the SPD Community Police Team is one suggestion; a CPT officer had mentioned at a recent community-group meeting that there had been some encampment abatement elsewhere.