After my interview yesterday, I patrolled the mountain again with my french friend. This is, at the minimum, an engagement that I pursue twice a week.
We usually do some intervention patrolling, which involves scouting popular areas and interacting with people who have a behaviour deemed dangerous for the mountain's ecosystem. This time, however, we did a different kind of patrolling. We went to a more remote area of the mountain, which is pretty much only used by the homeless and the "skweejees", those young people who live in the street and try to clean cars to make a few bucks, be it for food, shelter, dope or I-don't-know-what.
In that area, the degradation is very visible. People there make fires on the soile and camp. Trees are cut by the dozen with presumably a hatchet, willows are scorched of their bark for fire kindling, and littering is just awful. There, we picked up some beer bottles (many were broken), some moist and moldy covers, cigarette packs, food left-overs, and even some underwear !
So we were picking up this crap and I was sortof sulking to myself about how these guys are pigs, when somebody strolled along. My initial reaction was "here goes one of those bums". But this was a teenager dressed very cleanly, who definitely did not belong to the category of people we cleaned up after. He offered to help, and actually registered as a volunteer as well. I was very impressed and happy that some people still want to get involved. There's hope for ya !