AUBURN — Marty Lang shook his black plastic bag about halfway along Witham Spring Road on Saturday morning. It was pretty light.
Then he looked at his teammates walking north along the same trail, coming to meet him, and saw that their bags were stretched nearly full.
“Well, we’ve seen only four turds,” he said. “It was pretty clean on this side.”
Don’t worry, said daughter Cassandra Lang, organizer of the “April Stools Day” trail cleanup.
“There’ll be plenty of poo for everyone,” she said.
And there was. Volunteers left the Lake Auburn area for the Great Falls School, filling several bags with doggie detritus.
Meanwhile, another team patrolled Kennedy and Simard/Payne Memorial parks in Lewiston. The two teams met along the Androscoggin Riverwalk to call it a day and compare piles.
They covered a lot of ground, but it was a for a good cause.
About 15 volunteers spread across Twin Cities walking trails Saturday morning to clean up what area dog walkers had left behind. They targeted popular trails with bad reputations.
“Some of the areas that are dog-friendly now might not be dog-friendly if people are unable — or unwilling — to clean up,” Cassandra Lang said. “So that’s why we’re out here picking it up. And we’re hoping not only to clean up these areas but to send a message that it is important to pick up your dog waste, every time.”
Lang said the volunteers raised nearly $450 toward establishing a spay and neuter fund for local pets. It was the first fundraiser for Pack Life, the group Lang and Chris Manson formed last May.
Most of the group’s equipment — trash bags, plastic scoops and disposable gloves — were donated by CW Hayden, industrial and marine suppliers in Auburn.
Volunteers collected pledges and received Pack Life T-shirts before heading out.
As an incentive, and to insure volunteers searched carefully, Lang hid two “golden turds” — marshmallows painted gold and glued together — along the trails. One was hidden under a bush on the Great Falls School lawn in Auburn; the second was hidden along Lincoln Street in Lewiston.
The finders, Kerri Craig of Turner who found the one in Auburn and Lisa Bryant of Jay, won gift baskets filled with dog toys, collars, books and other pet goodies. Bryant also won a $25 gift certificate donated by Portland pet store Fetch for collecting the most pledges, $90 worth.