A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley

Thanks to whoever did the cleanup

Written January 28th, 2020 by Hasso Hering

On Jan. 9 this spot on the path under the viaduct near Swanson Park looked like this.

People often leave trash by the side of the walking and bike path under the Pacific Boulevard viaduct, from Albany Station to Swanson Park. But then somebody cleans it up. Whoever does that chore, again and again, thanks a lot.

The spot under the overpass is a hangout for vagrants, presumably because it’s out of the sun in the summer and more or less dry during winter rains, like now.  So now and then the trash accumulates, making this a particularly unpleasant place for people going by on the path.

But it always gets cleaned up eventually. When I asked at City Hall, spokeswoman Marilyn Smith told me the cleanup may be part of the regular custodial work of the park maintenance crew.

I ran this by Rick Barnett of the parks department. “We typically pick it up,” he responded this morning. “This time someone beat us to it. I don’t know who.”

Maybe next time whoever does this good deed could tape a little note to the post holding up the bridge. “Cleaned up by … .” Then we would know whom to thank for this otherwise thankless chore. (hh)

The next time I came by, on Jan.25, the site had been cleaned up.

5 responses to “Thanks to whoever did the cleanup”

  1. Kay Burt says:

    Not everyone needs affirmation for their good deeds–it’s intrinsic:)

  2. Monica says:

    It’s my husband, Baxter Weber. He cleans up 2 miles of track every day from Davidson Street to the train station. His motive is he wants train riders to have a good impression of Albany when they roll into town from the north on the Cascades or Coast Starlight. He has disposed of thousands of pounds of trash, often taking large items like furniture to the landfill at his own expense. He can do this because he recently retired at the senior research chemist at Georgia-Pacific Resins. He also returns shopping carts. He had talked to many homeless people during his rounds and found the vast majority are mentally ill or drug addicted.

  3. Nate Conroy says:

    Thank you Baxter! This inspires me to pick up trash on my runs and walks.

  4. Janna Krom says:

    Baxter Weber rocks it completely when it comes to helping his fellow man be it neighbor or stranger . With no exaggeration he is awesome ! On the street where he lives here in Albany he religiously mows other folks lawns to help them out , mows the boulevards between the sidewalks and the street in the Summer . And he has also been seen cleaning up sizable piles of other peoples junk, trash , yard debris ,etc. left at the curb. He just wants it all to look nice and pleasing to the eye be it his own or a stranger driving down the road .
    We should ALL be like Baxter !! He just does it , his trash patrol , quietly with little recognition .


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