Milwaukee Lincoln Park July 4 trash cleanup

July 4 may come one day a year, but the trash left behind after it’s over lasts a lot longer. Neighbors of one Milwaukee park are asking others to step up by cleaning up.

It’s considered to be one of the messiest times of year for Milwaukee County Parks.

"Last year, there were no fireworks, and it wasn’t quite the same," said Sally Callan, Friends of Lincoln Park volunteer.

In Lincoln Park, near the Blatz Pavilion, all manners of Fourth of July trash was left behind, from fireworks and food wrappers to diapers and even shorts.

Milwaukee Lincoln Park July 4 trash cleanup

"This year, we decided we would do it as a group and hopefully, other groups would pick it up, so we called it a 'Commonwealth Cleanup,'" said Callan.

Neighbors joined county officials in cleaning up the disgusting mess.

"It cannot be stressed enough how we all need access to unpolluted green spaces, to clean air, to clean water, for everybody to enjoy," said Milwaukee County Executive David Crowley.

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Milwaukee Lincoln Park July 4 trash cleanup

"Pack it in, pack it out," said Guy Smith, Milwaukee County Parks director. "It really helps us out, and obviously, we want clean parks, but also we want clean parks to be good stewards of the environment."

Several of the volunteers who were out picking up the trash, much of which was found laying feet away from empty trash cans, said they didn’t create the mess, but they’d pick it up this time.

Milwaukee Lincoln Park July 4 trash cleanup

"I think the hard part about trash is we, as a culture, we still don’t realize that things have to be picked up and either taken back or put in a trash container," said Callan. "I think we tend to rely on park staff or volunteers, but really it is all of our responsibility."