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BRANDI ON THE BAYOU: Cleaning up Buffalo Bayou

The beauty of natural waterfalls on the bayou is often marred by the trash piling up next to them.

When you’re on the natural part of Buffalo Bayou, it’s easy to forget where you are at times.

“It’s this wilderness escape in the middle of our city,” says canoe guide Tom Helm. “You get out there and you feel like, ‘Wow, I can’t believe we have this in the middle of town.’”

The curves of the bayou that Helm knows so well are carved by Mother Nature. Along the way, though, are reminders of man’s influence.

“It ends up being a big dump,” he says.

The beauty of natural waterfalls on the bayou is often marred by the trash piling up next to them.

“Every time someone throws a piece of plastic bag or bottle or cigarette pack into the ditch behind the apartment complex. eventually, it tumbles down to Buffalo Bayou,” says Helm. “That’s where it all ends up.”

One spot in particular is a startling example of that. It’s loaded with abandoned shopping carts that line a trash-filled pond.

“It upsets me to see it,” Helm says.

The solution is simple: be careful with your trash.

“There needs to be citywide awareness of ‘Don’t Litter.’ That’s what it boils down to,” says Helm.

To learn more about canoeing on Buffalo Bayou, click here.