Harry S. Moss Park is a Lake Highlands treasure. It features soccer fields, picnic areas, wildlife and a 6-mile mountain bike trail along the banks of White Rock Creek. The creek floods when it rains, though, bringing as much as 9 feet of water from far upstream. Mixed within the torrents is trash from places like Richardson, Plano and Frisco, and that debris gets deposited along the creek and blown into Moss Park.
“It’s one of the most littered parks in the city,” said Jim Lord, founder of the Environmental League of Dallas. And it’s been a problem for years.
Eagan Cook knows he can’t solve Moss Park’s trash problem alone, but he’s willing to do his part. The Richardson West Magnet School 8th grader has been spending time in the area, sprucing it up where he can.
“I wanted to clean up the park to help the community and to engage in local service. It made the park look cleaner,” said Cook, who recruited help from his father, Robert. “We started off by looking around the area before we picked up to identify where all the trash was. Afterward, we set up a little area where we would put the full bags. Eventually, bags were filling up fast.”
Cook says the duo found all sorts of discards, from plastic trays to diapers to sports balls to clothing. Most often found on the muddy surface of the park floor were plastic bottles, aluminum cans, glass bottles, plastic straws and paper – a shame since most of those items are recyclable.
“Once we finished, we filled up a total of 4 bags,” Cook says. “It took us about 2 hours, but it was definitely worth it.”
If you’d like to help, follow the Environmental League. They regularly sponsor trash pick up days at Moss Park and other parks around the city.