The Audubon Center at Debs Park’s Arroyo Green Team, our program for local teens, continues to address local environmental issues. At the December 1st general meeting for the Arroyo Green Team, members discussed future projects and activities for the coming Spring term. Among the ideas mentioned at the meeting were more community outreach opportunities, continued restoration work at Debs Park, and potential learning workshops for the group from experts in ecology/conservation/environmental fields. Also mentioned during the meeting was how many members had witnessed an increase in dog waste along the popular trails for hikers. They talked about ways to decrease the occurrence as the cleanliness of the park was important for the animals, plants, and visitors at Debs. Pet waste also causes the Arroyo Seco and Los Angeles River to high levels of bacteria that can impact people and wild animals.
The following week one of our Green Team members and 8th grader at Arroyo Seco Museum Science Magnet School, Roger, stopped by the Audubon Center with a plan to tackle this challenge. Roger brought by a doggy waste bag dispenser and bags that he had purchased himself from a local store. He wanted to place the dispenser in a location where hikers walking by with their dogs would remember to please pick up their pet’s waste even if they forgot their own bag. Working with our Teacher Naturalists, Viviana Vallin and Patty Sun, Roger came up with a sign to place next to the dispenser. Within a week of the Green Team’s discussion about the concern, one of our members came up with and implemented a possible solution. It was a great example of what the Green Team is all about and about how individuals can make a positive difference with small changes.