Pick up after your picnic

Recently KOMB member Judy Linda Horn cleaned up a section of Road 274 near Bass Lake. It appeared to be mostly trash leftover from a picnic. She couldn’t help but wonder how the mess ended up on the side of the road.

The following possibilities flashed through her mind: maybe they (the picnickers) tossed it into the back of the pickup truck and then it blew out (a common source of roadside litter); perhaps they took off and forgot that the trash was sitting on the trunk lid; could it be that they were startled by a bear and threw the trash at the bear to scare it off; or maybe the dad had a heart attack and they threw the trash out of the car to make room for dad so they could do CPR on him.

So many possibilities to explain the unwanted, unsightly, and disgusting trash in an area known for its beauty.

A couple of weeks ago in another beautiful area - Shasta Lake - 25 workers worked five hours cleaning up a half-mile-wide swath of garbage and litter after 1,000 campers from Oregon fraternities and sororities left it trashed.

One would think after the tons of trash that’s cleaned up during Yosemite’s Facelift event in autumn there would be no more trash, but sadly, the Facelift remains an annual event, which only means there’s more to pick up once again. (Call 209-379-1850 for information on the next Annual Yosemite Facelift scheduled for September).

What do you look for when you head out for a picnic or campsite? Perhaps a place that has a nice view like a lake, forest, stream, granite boulders, or perhaps a picnic table, a place free of wasps and ants. But is it possible to have a picnic with no ants? How about an area filled with litter? Is a littered campsite desirable or attractive to you? Who out there likes a trashy area for their picnic?

We know you’re out there somewhere since you leave your trash behind for the next picnickers. Will you return to that spot or venture to some new pristine area where you can leave your mark? Whereas someone may take it upon themselves to clean up after you, no one is getting paid to do so.

KOMB and other volunteers would love to be out of a “job.” We invite you to write to us at and share with us your reasoning for trashing our public spaces.

Hope everyone has fun in the great outdoors this summer, whether you’re hiking, boating, camping, or picnicking, but please, please, please clean up after yourselves. We would really like to enjoy our picnic without having to spend an hour cleaning up the site beforehand.

The next KOMB meeting is 6:30 p.m., June 23, at Round Table Pizza in Oakhurst.