Post-Easter Trash: Cleanup at Brackenridge Park

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It was still dark outside when Antonio began picking up trash at Brackenridge Park Monday morning. He wore gloves as he bagged pieces of piñatas, paper plates, and broken foldable chairs that were strewn throughout the park’s picnic areas.

“They call this ‘The Dump’ the day after Easter,” he said.

Families stake their claims for picnic and camping areas at Brackenridge Park as early as Thursday for the Easter weekend. It’s one of 12 parks that lifts its evening curfew for weekend festivities.

Antonio said he’s been coming to the park since he was a kid and he’s frustrated with the way it’s treated during Easter weekend. He comes out every year to help clean up the park after campers have gone home.

“What they’re doing is teaching their children that it’s okay (to litter). Generation after generation continues, the same thing all over again,” he said.

City Parks and Recreation Department employees were also on the scene Monday morning. Phillip John Martinez said it will take about a week to pick up all the trash on park grounds and in the nearby stretch of the San Antonio River.

“Maybe they should start charging if you want to come out and camp,” he said. “Garner State Park (in Uvalde County) was like this in the ’70s and they changed all of that. Now you have to have reservations for a table.”

Phillip John Martinez of the City of San Antonio cleans up litter left at Brackenridge Park.  Photo by Scott Ball.

Phillip John Martinez of the City of San Antonio cleans up litter left at Brackenridge Park. Photo by Scott Ball.

The Parks and Recreation Department held four informal meetings from March 27-April 3 to provide recycling tips and trash bags for community members who frequent the parks during Easter weekend.

The meetings seemed to make an impact. Recycling bags, which were full to the brim, sat beside overflowing trash cans.

“All of these black bags and recycling bags belong to the City and then some people are pretty nice and they will help us out,” said Parks and Recreation Department employee Jesse Sabedra. “This year they did pretty good. I was surprised while driving up. I usually see way more trash than this.”

Jesse Sabedra of the City of San Antonio gathers garbage in a truck at Breckenridge Park.  Photo by Scott Ball.

Jesse Sabedra of the City of San Antonio gathers garbage in a truck at Breckenridge Park. Photo by Scott Ball.

Related Stories:

Gallery: Easter in Brackenridge Park by Corey Leamon

Brackenridge Park: San Antonio’s Neglected Crown Jewel

Something Monday: Brackenridge Park, Home to a City’s Oft-Forgotten History

The Heart of a Park Volunteer: The Rewards of Service

22 thoughts on “Post-Easter Trash: Cleanup at Brackenridge Park

  1. Would it make a difference for SAPR to implement a space rental fee, fully refundable if the space is cleaned after use?

  2. Living in the Brackenridge Area – I HATE this San Antonio tradition. Non- residents take up the road and act angry that you want to get through. And the trash? Disgusting. I witnessed several people driving on Mulberry that purposely threw their trash out of the window while stopped at the light. Embarrassed for the city on this deal.

  3. And it’s the same people year after year. .but how many mayor’s have catered to this so called tradition? Lifting ordinances, chaining tires, chairs, ice chests to trees. .this city let’s them.

  4. We were there Monday afternoon. City crews had done a commendable job of picking up the Easter detritus but the ground was still pink, white, blue with confetti, egg shells and candy wrappers.

  5. Somebody please explain to me: why people who don’t camp out in our city parks must volunteer to clean those parks after those who do pack up and go home? And, if this is such an important cultural, seasonal event for certain people, why don’t they take more responsibility for maintaining those spaces that host them each Easter? Perhaps the city needs to begin charging and issuing permits for anyone using the parks just like they do for organizations holding events there. We were always charged $500. Deposit and $800. Usage fee and had to clean up after ourselves or forfeit our deposit. It works!

  6. Lack of respect for our parks and city. Kudos to those who cleaned up after these irresponsible people.

  7. The people that occupy the space should be charge a clean up fee returned once they pass the clean area the claimed.

  8. Unfortunately, this is the uncivilized, and uncluttered part of San Antonio, there is no PC in this commentary. There is no excuse for this behavior.

  9. You know, I drove by there at 8 a.m. this morning. While there was some trash, it wasn’t nearly as bad as this article characterizes it to be. Especially since I hardly saw any dumpsters or trashcans.

  10. I’m already dreading the look of Broadway during and after the Battle of Flowers parade. Just disgusting. I think one person in each campsite should be made a park deputy and made responsible for cleaning up or paying a huge fine and being banned for the following year. If these people want the same campsite year after year, just record the sites and close them next year. GPS will give you an exact location. Enough is enough.

  11. If they don’t want to charge … have a “refundable” deposit, if everything is cleaned up after they leave.

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