This week for my land ethics blog I went to the Greenbelt. I specifically, slowly walked from the entrance ramp off Capital of Texas Highway twelve twenty-fifths of a mile to an area know as Twin Peaks. This is one of the most popular pools of the Greenbelt, although it typically dose not get nearly as much foot traffic as Zilker park. Since it has rained so consistently, this month there was a steady flow of water through the springs thanks to constant rainfall. However, there were definitely areas where you could tell the water levels were lower, as the erosion and remnants left by previous water flow were exposed.
Each day that I went, the seventh, the fifteenth, the twenty second, and the twenty fourth, the temperature was constantly in the upper eighties to mid nineties. In one of the main pools, the water was barely flowing through in some areas waterfall stagnant. It was in these pools that I observed tiny marine organisms jolting and almost jumping around before many of the organisms centralized a clump plants partially submerged.
Video of marine organisms in water
When I went on September seventh, I counted forty eight people in the pools Twin Peaks pools over an hour and approximately another nineteen people potentially leaving or going to the pools. On the fifteenth, over the same time period I counted only thirty four people at the pools and nine potentially coming or going. On a side note, majority of the people that were at Twin Falls on the fifteenth brought multiple dogs with them, so there were almost as many dogs as there were people. When I went on the twenty second, there was never more than twenty five people in the water at a time. On the twenty fourth, there were primarily hikers traveling the trails, with only twenty eight people who visited Twin Peaks over the hour time period.
I found deep sadness because the trails and primarily the riverbank, were littered with beer cans, water bottles, drink labels and an assortment of other foreign garbage. There were so many bags little black bags of dog poop scattered around that it almost seem to become a sick game of who could put theirs in the most creative spot. I the picture below, if you look closely, you can see one bag in the tree and another in the bushes in the background.
“In short, a land ethic changes the role of Homo sapiens from conqueror of the land-community to plain member and citizen of it. It implies respect for his fellow-members, and also respect for the community as such. . . . ” (Leopold, February)
I feel like this was the most relevant quote because I feel that we need to become citizens of the land by reducing our impact. The easiest way to start doing this is to pick up our trash, instead of leaving it lying around to potentially harm local plants and animals in the parks. Also, I think it would be more environmentally responsible for people not to bag their dogs feces, so it can be used as fertilizer, instead of bagging it up and leaving all these little black bags lying around.