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Reader Input: Cigarette butts carpet Auburn park

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Regarding the proposal to ban smoking in Auburn’s School Park Preserve (Journal, Jan. 15), please note that the Sierra Club Placer Group “adopted” the School Park Preserve for a monthly clean-up on the second Saturday of the month beginning last October.
We had our most recent clean-up this past Saturday — which is why a visitor surveying the park on Monday wouldn’t have seen any cigarette butts — we picked them up on Saturday. We have picked up hundreds and hundreds of cigarette butts in our four park clean-ups and did reach out to the Placer High School Environmental Club and the City of Auburn about how to address the issue.
The city Public Works Department loans us the trash sticks for the monthly pick-up and the Sierra Club Placer Group provides the volunteers and trash bags.
The cold weather and school breaks diminished the amount of butts this last time but in nice weather, there are parts of that park almost carpeted with cigarette butts.
We pick up other lunch debris and trash but the vast majority of our time is spent picking up individual cigarette butts by the hundreds.
If this issue could be addressed at this park, our volunteers could then turn to clean-ups of other city areas that need our attention.
It’s a beautiful gem of a park and we want to keep it that way.
Heidi Van Zant, Sierra Club Placer Group vice chair, Auburn