The Times Tribune – SCRANTON — Lauren Holleran has regularly taken her dogs to the Lackawanna River Heritage Trail in Scranton over the past three years.
But in the past few weeks, the 55-year-old Green Ridge resident has noticed more than blossoming flowers and budding trees. She says others on the trail haven’t been conscientious about cleaning up after their canines.
“People are not picking up the poop, and that’s a bad thing,” she said. “It’s terrible because my dogs go right to it.”
A combination of warm weather and cabin fever because of stay-at-home orders from the governor has brought more people to area walking trails, but the influx of people means an increase in dog waste and other unsightly litter. The issue isn’t unique to the heritage trail, which stretches through Luzerne, Lackawanna, Susquehanna and Wayne counties.
Pennsylvania American Water announced plans to close part of the walking path around Lake Scranton starting Monday. A recent uptick in trail use has led to more litter along the trail and unsafe conditions for trail users and utility employees, according to a statement the utility company issued Friday.
Terry Brady, press secretary for the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, believes the increase in visitors and a decrease in staffing has led to some of the littering problems at parks across the state. He added that the littering issue seems to have gotten better in recent weeks.