Pack-In-Pack-Out

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August 2022 - In the coming months, the Conservation District will be removing trash cans from most sites. Cans will only remain in the highest concentrated use areas. Visitors to Conservation District sites and trails will need to carry their own trash back out with them, and establish minimum impact practices whenever enjoying the outdoors.

What Is Pack In Pack Out?
“Pack In Pack Out” is a movement being implemented by parks across the country in an effort to keep our natural spaces just that, natural. Additionally, these actions help increase sustainability and viability of recyclables, protect wildlife and the environment, help save on maintenance costs allowing us to use resources to more directly benefit site users, and eliminate human-made trashcans to provide more scenic views.

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Increasing Sustainability: Recycling is important for our environment, but a large percentage of public recycling receptacles face contamination when people dispose of trash in these containers. The most effective way for consumers to ensure the viability of their recyclables is by using home recycling where they can properly sort items and avoid contamination.


pipo_wildlifeProtecting Wildlife and the Environment:
Trash cans attract many animals including raccoons, opossums, and squirrels. The garbage and food in these cans can pose a danger to these animals. Additionally, animals often dump cans, leaving garbage to blow across the landscape.


pipo_resourcesReallocating Resources:  By removing many of our trash cans, the District is saving additional staff time and resources, which can then be applied to services that more directly benefit site users. 



pipo_viewsPreserving Scenic Views: Nobody likes the sight of a trash can. Removing these cans helps us preserve the scenic natural views of McHenry County.


How It Works
Plan Ahead.  Bring your own trash bag, and pack out anything you bring and dispose of it properly. 
Switch to Reusable.  Before leaving home, repack your fishing gear, day pack or picnic items to switch as many items as possible to reusable containers that will return home with you.
Double Check.  Inspect your picnic area, fishing spot, campsite or rest area for trash or spilled foods. Clean up before you leave to ensure exceptional experiences for the next visitor, and to protect and sustain the land, water and wildlife. 
Leave No Trace.  Whatever you bring with you, bring out with you; such that, the next visitor on the trail or in the campsite or picnic area after you won’t even know you were there!

Be sure to “Pack In Pack Out” all year long when enjoying the great outdoors, and help us keep McHenry County Conservation Areas beautiful.