Someone left a bag of dog waste in a tree on the Barton Creek Greenbelt near Sculpture Falls on Christmas Day. Pam LeBlanc photo

I took a Christmas Day hike on the Barton Creek Greenbelt, starting at the trailhead at Loop 360 and hiking past Twin Falls to Sculpture Falls.

What a resource we’ve got here in Austin – acres of green space, a creek that carves its way through limestone ledges, thickets of gnarled trees and miles of moss-covered boulders. But for some, one of our city’s biggest outdoor draws serves as just another place to stash a bag of dog poop.


I like to hike on the Barton Creek Greenbelt to see the falls and the creek – not to encounter dog poop. Chris LeBlanc photo

During a 5-mile hike on the trail, I spotted a sack of dog waste tucked in the hollow of an old cedar stump. I found another tied to a tree branch at head level. At least two or three more were tossed at the side of the trail. It’s even worse in the summer, when the water’s warm and crowds of people, dogs in tow, hike down to explore.

I’m trying to understand the mentality of the people who do this. Are they planning to pick up the bags on the return trip? (I don’t think so, based on how long the bags had apparently been there.) Do they think it’s someone else’s job to carry it out? (Perhaps, but come on, people.) Do they think it magically disappears? (Maybe so.) Do they just not care what they’re doing to the environment? (Probably.)


Dog waste bags are provided at the trailhead near Loop 360. Pam LeBlanc photo

The only think that’s worse than a pile of dog poop on the trail is a pile of dog poop in a bag strung up in a tree, or tucked in a stump, or laid carefully on the side of the path. I often wish I could unload a pickup truck full of used dog poop bags on the offender’s front porch.

Please pick up your dog’s poop – and dispose of it properly.

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