Campers urged to 'leave no trace' at Lake Murray park - - No One Gets You Closer

Campers urged to 'leave no trace' at Lake Murray park

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LAKE MURRAY, Okla. -- Park rangers say they are fed up with the litter at Lake Murray State Park, and conscientious campers are tired of cleaning up after others.

Park Ranger Clayton Johnson told us that while the weekend is just starting, by Monday morning they'll have a lot of picking up to do.

"We have a lot of people that come to our park, and our trash problem has seemed to escalate this summer," Johnson said.

Lake Murray workers say the best way for visitors to preserve the natural beauty of the 80-year-old state park is simply to keep track of your trash. 

Trash spoils the landscape at Lake Murray
Trash spoils the landscape at Lake Murray. (KTEN)

"We want to provide a place for our future generations to come, and if it looks like what the public is leaving it -- with all of the litter -- it is really hard to enjoy," Johnson said, adding that litter not only runs the landscape, but it adds to the workload of employees.

"We have maintenance that pick it up, but they have numerous job duties, and it's a full-time job picking up trash," the park ranger said. "They are constantly picking up trash. After a normal weekend, they'll spend two days just trying to catch up from what it was before."

Campers say other people's trash can be a nuisance when trying to relax, and that they've noticed the problem is getting worse every year.

Campers keep trash in check at Lake Murray
Campers show how to keep trash in check at Lake Murray State Park. (KTEN)

Bottom line: Johnson urges park visitors to have a "leave no trace" mindset.

"What you pack in, take it out with you," he said. "You don't want anybody to know you've been there."

As part of Lake Murray's 80th anniversary, the Nature Center has a trash pickup challenge: Guests can get a free patch if they fill a Walmart sack with trash from the park.