Cleaner city parks are now in the bag

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Wyatt Wampler of Keizer (front) stands with one of the doggie bag stations he installed in Keizer parks last weekend. With Wampler are (front row, L to R) Noah Etchemedy, Joseph Collins, Will Krause and Garrett Wampler. In the back row are Jonathan Collins, Alex DeMurers, Tyler Stull, Grant Ige, Schaefer Jones and Matt Barz. (KEIZERTIMES/Lyndon A. Zaitz)

Wyatt Wampler of Keizer (front) stands with one of the doggie bag stations he installed in Keizer parks last weekend. With Wampler are (front row, L to R) Noah Etchemedy, Joseph Collins, Will Krause and Garrett Wampler. In the back row are Jonathan Collins, Alex DeMurers, Tyler Stull, Grant Ige, Schaefer Jones and Matt Barz. (KEIZERTIMES/Lyndon A. Zaitz)

By LYNDON A. ZAITZ
Of the Keizertimes

Some Keizer parks should be a bit cleaner now that Wyatt Wampler has completed his Eagle Scout project.

The 15-year old McNary High School student built and installed doggie bag stations at six parks on Saturday, Dec. 8.

With the help of fellow scouts from Troop #121 and members of the Claggett Creek Watershed Council, Wampler oversaw the digging of holes to hold posts on which the wooden boxes are bolted. Each hinged-top box is painted white and has a large dog paw print on the front.

The new stations  are designed to be restocked with plastic shopping bags or produce bags by the individuals that use the stations.  Elizabeth Sagmiller, the city’s Environmental Program Coordinator, said the city could save up to $7,000 a year by not having to purchase bags for the doggie bag stations. A plaque mounted on each box will remind users to take a bag from the station, but bring a few extra to share the next time they visit the park. Eventually there could be a central baggie collection station in the city.

The first six stations were installed at Claggett Creek Park, Bob Newton Family Park, Country Glen Park, the Keizer Rapids dog park and the Keizer Rapids boating facility.

With the help of his father, Tyler, Wyatt designed the boxes which have a sloped, hinged top. It was his idea to paint the large dog paw print on the front for easy identification.

On the day of installation Wyatt recruited members of his troop to prepare the sites, digging post holes more than two feet deep. Everyone got their chance to exercise their digging skills.

The doggie bag station project was developed by the Mid-Willamette Outreach Group (MWOG) whose members include the City of Keizer, Marion County, the City of Salem and the Marion Soil and Water Conservation District.  MWOG is an inter-agency partnership that provides educational outreach messages and activities that benefit the environmental integrity of the Mid-Willamette Valley.  Animal waste that reaches waterways through the stormwater system, or overland flow, contributes to unhealthy bacteria levels in local streams and rivers.  This project is part of the ‘Capital Canine Club for Clean Streams’ regional program.

Sagmiller hopes this effort will lead to distribution of the new stations throughout the community.

Wyatt is the son of Tyler and Katie Wampler of Keizer.

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