Park cleanup aims to deter crime
Mike Hondel doesn't cut corners cleaning up his section of Valley of the Moon Park. There's no shortage of trees that need to be cleared from this wooded area.
"I felt like after 20 minutes, or 30 minutes, I felt we'd be a little further, but we're doing what we can," said Hondel.
The plant life proves quite an adversary, especially one species, says the organizer of the clean-up effort.
"Bird Cherry is an invasive species that needs to be addressed in Anchorage. It's been around for a long time, but in the last decade or so, it's really taken off," said Hans Thompson.
It needs to be cleared, but it's not all just unwanted trees.
"We've had a lot of issues in this area with homeless camps," says Hondel, as he notes there's also been an increase of theft in the area, and some of the stolen things have found their way into this section of the park.
None of them are Hondel's. He says he's managed to avoid thieves but says he still feels like a victim.
"I've sort of reached this point, whenever I go in my backyard, I'm doing a quick survey, 'hey, is everything still where it was before,'" says Hondel.
So, volunteers decided to clean up crime in their neighborhood, by clearing out the area, making Valley of the Moon Park look better for everyone.
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