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Complaints about litter after the Church Hill Reunion

The Church Hill Reunion was yesterday and looks to have been a another successful gathering . Hundreds of folks turned out for what would be the 30th or 31st annual gathering, I’m not sure of the count (and one year got skipped…).

A reader wrote in this morning, though, with an issue shared by a few others:

I’m hesitant to be critical of an institution that easily predates my arrival in the neighborhood but there is this: like every year, I have a complaint about the litter left behind after the reunion.

Another reader says something similar:

As I went for a walk this morning with my dog (once at 7a and once at 10a) I couldn’t help but notice the abundance of trash all over the area. I contacted Richmond Police and asked if they were aware of the event and if she could tell me if the organizers were responsible for cleanup or if the residents would be responsible. While she stated they were not aware of the event, she did take down some notes to contact the correct city department to see about cleanup.

I’m glad the event went well and was well received. That said, the park is trashed and the trash is starting to blow around onto the adjacent streets.

A few folks wrote in the morning, but I held off posting as in previous years there have been clean-up crews out the next day.

It’s after dark on Sunday, though, and the field and school grounds are still covered in a layer of trash. There is an even spread of cups, bags, bottles, food containers, and paper across the baseball field, and into the playground.

I spoke earlier to a man walking the field, he said that “the city” was in charge of the clean-up and that they were supposed to have had people out this morning. I an unclear who to contact to verify this.


Photos by Philip


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addie 09/07/2014 at 9:23 PM

disgusting that people would leave their community looking like they left it. they shouldn’t be allowed to gather there again after that. absolutely disrespectful.

mallory 09/07/2014 at 9:27 PM

Yes, it is a shameful mess and irritates me very much to see thus crap left behind… Literally. We went to check out this “successful” event and let our daughter play on the playground with the other kids and got a lovely showing if some asshole taking a crap being a trash can near the edge of the school grounds.

If you’re going to have an event, supply portajohns! Double the trash cans available and have a damn cleanup crew!

Philip 09/07/2014 at 9:56 PM

Thanks for posting this. I put a ticket in on SeeClickFix and I’m hopeful to get a response from that system as well.

I’m sure the kids are back in school tomorrow and it’s terrible that they will see trash upon arrival in the AM.

jean mcdaniel 09/08/2014 at 6:30 AM

A permit is required to hold such events. There are existing regulations in place that these type of gatherings must adhere to. Take your photos to Department of Parks and Recreation (1209 Admiral Street ) along with eyewitness statements of human defication, noise etc. They can work to make sure future events are compliant with regulations and if not, refuse to issue a permit.

It looks like poor planning/lack of experience on the part of organizers. Although it is hard to believe that they did not know that a certain number of porta potties would be required.

As for the police not knowing about this event, maybe the organizers didn’t get a permit! This is certainly NOT a good visual message for children to receive!

Punisher 09/08/2014 at 6:47 AM

We’ve called it “The Chicken Bone Festival” for years because the bones don’t get picked up with the rest of the trash. People walk their dogs at this park and the dogs naturally try to eat them. Also, a few years ago as we opened our front door their were two youngsters standing in our doorway, afraid because there had been gunfire.

Philip 09/08/2014 at 7:54 AM

The city retrieved the trash cans this morning, however the trash on the ground still remains.

FormerLibbyHillResident 09/08/2014 at 8:03 AM

This happens every year. People come, they trash the neighborhood and then leave.

Last year trash was just piled up everywhere. When I made inquiries, I was told the City “forgot” to drop off trash cans.

Maybe it might be time to require a large deposit to ensure they place gets cleaned up. Pretty disgusting that an event characterized as a “reunion” would trash up the neighborhood.

Gordo 09/08/2014 at 8:13 AM

WHile permits may be technically required, there is only iffy enforcement of this. Plus there has been a leadership change at Parks and Rec, so these new people might not be as polished and prepared as the ones who served our parks for years and were accustomed to these events.

Philip 09/08/2014 at 8:14 AM

Just left a message with the events department. Contacted First Precinct and she stated they had no idea about the event.

Also trying to get some more information on the shooting that happened at 29th & M around 1130p. Still 2 shell casings on the sidewalk.

Not a great weekend for the neighborhood.

Guilty Mom 09/08/2014 at 8:37 AM

While the police may not have “officially” known with regards to permits and what not, I did see a police car parked on Cedar right by the playground, and several more than normal patrolling the area, so I’m calling BS on this…

Tim 09/08/2014 at 10:13 AM

I’m a reporter with 8News and I’m doing a story on this today. Would any of you be interested in doing a quick interview?

Tim 09/08/2014 at 10:13 AM

If so, you can respond here or email me Thanks!

Cristina 09/08/2014 at 10:43 AM

While I’m upset about the trash, the shooting was far more disturbing. I can’t believe I haven’t heard anything about it yet.

chpn 09/08/2014 at 10:51 AM

@Cristina @Philip – There was not a shooting.

According to Lt.Minton, there were shots fired but no one was shot.

Philip 09/08/2014 at 10:55 AM

Sorry – there were several shots fired at 29th and M on Saturday. No one was shot.

Jimmy 09/08/2014 at 11:00 AM

Yes, luckily, the person doing the shooting was too poorly trained with their weapon and missed in park full of people.

It’s said that its brushed off like its not a big deal because no one was shot….

In hanover, chesterfield, or henrico this would be totally different. There would be a thorough investigation to determine who fired shots.

But hey, its Church Hill, this is the norm. And it would be totally weird if we did not hear shots, especially on new years and 4th of July!

Philip 09/08/2014 at 12:21 PM

Went home for lunch and park is clean. Glad to see.

I will try and spend some time picking up the trash on the surrounding blocks that blew around yesterday.

morgan 09/08/2014 at 1:41 PM

if they are City trashcans, the City picks them up. they are not responsible for putting the trash in the trash cans, though. there should be some sort of back checking/fines (litter fines? that’s a thing, right?) for this.

Davon 09/08/2014 at 4:41 PM

This aint nothing, yall seen what creighton court looks like after a pretty weekend? They have guys picking up trash for hours. I think this here is a regular thing they do now da mondays!

RPDLtDan 09/09/2014 at 3:59 PM

#15) and #18)

The person responsible for the shots fired that night was quickly identified and has been arrested on numerous felonies.

Philip 09/09/2014 at 5:16 PM

That’s great news RPDLtDan. Thank you.

Philip 09/09/2015 at 9:40 AM

I trust there was planning before the event to handle trash this year.

Phil 09/09/2016 at 9:00 AM

Saw quite a few trash cans at the park this morning. Is the reunion this weekend?

chpn 09/09/2016 at 9:09 AM

Perhaps? I haven’t seen word, but it’s almost always been the 2nd Sat in Sept

Liz 09/09/2016 at 4:56 PM

I overheard on the bus this morning that yes, the reunion is this weekend.


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