SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) - It's no secret littering and illegal dumping is a problem in a number of spots across the area.
A local group is dedicating their own time to cleaning up the trash along our beautiful waterways.
You don't have to walk very far around Loon Pond in Springfield before you see that the area...
"It is trashed," Ware resident Brett Richards tells us.
Plastic bottles, empty food bags, lost shoes, and even tires line the water and wooded areas.
"This is a spot we need to get done, just like many others, and, basically, we’re doing it. We need to step up," says Richards.
Brett Richards lives in Ware.
He's never been to Loon Pond before this past weekend when someone posted in his group, Make Massachusetts Fishing Spots Great Again, showing how dirty and trash-filled the area was.
"A lot of members post it daily and, when that happens, 90% of the time, we’ve jumped on it in twenty-four hours. We get out of work, call our buddies, and just go there," stated Richards.
There’s two signs off the beginning of the driveway off Pasco Road leading to Loon Pond.
They say no dumping and no trespassing.
Police do take notice and city councilors say people have been arrested in the past.
"We’ve also had some recent problems with people setting up tents. Fortunately, we did catch it in time. The police department came down and dealt with the situation," Springfield City Councilor Orlando Ramos tells us.
Councilor Ramos says there have been problems here for years.
"Loon Pond is a hidden jewel here in Indian Orchard. There’s some work to do to make it accessible and safe for swimming. There are people that still use it for fishing and that is still accessible from one location on Loon Pond," says Ramos.
After Western Mass News pointed out to Ramos that there are no trash barrels in the fishing area, he says he contacted the city's Parks Department, requesting one be placed there.
Until then, Brett and other volunteers will be out along the water with trash bags in tow.
"If we can do a little bag, bigfoot bag, anything, you’re making a difference," added Richards.