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The Great Western Trail clean-up brigade is back

Bloomingdale and Glendale Heights Lions participated in the Great Western Trail clean-up.
Bloomingdale and Glendale Heights Lions participated in the Great Western Trail clean-up.
Sue Crosson-Knutson

Once again, Don Kirchenberg of the Friends of the Great Western Trail organized the annual Earth Day project clearing debris along the former railroad tracks.

Church groups, Scouts, schools, and local organizations adopt one mile of the trail. For the Bloomingdale and Glendale Heights Lions Clubs, this joint clean-up project begins at Prince Crossing Road and heads east one mile to County Farm Road in West Chicago.

“No one lives behind the Cascade Drive-in on North Avenue so no one adopts that mile,” said Bloomingdale Lion Rob Pauling. “So that’s the mile we clean every year.”

Starting at 9 a.m., Pauling his daughter, Stef, nephew, Ben, and fellow Lions Sam D’Amico, Susan and Jess Galvez, Stan Poplonski, Bill Wolff, and Tom Zaccardi walk the trail with black garbage bags in hand. They walk up and down the trail picking up empty water bottles, soda cans, and candy wrappers.

“It’s an easy project and one that’s necessary,” said Jess Galvez of the Glendale Heights Lions Club. “It takes about an hour and we’re done. We just leave the bags of debris on the curb.”

In advance, Kirchenberg arranges for pick up of the bags on Monday morning. The clean-up project is an all-round win-win - especially for the bicyclists, joggers, roller bladers, and nature lovers who use the trail.

To volunteer for the 2015 Friends of the Great Western Trail clean-up, contact Kirchenberg at: frndsgrtwstntrl@aol.com