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Poop patrol: It takes a village to clean up after Fido at Greenbank Farm

Lyn Kiernan volunteers to clean up dog poop along the walking trails at Greenbank Farm. She said she herself brings her dog to walk and doesn’t want her pet touching old droppings. - Jessie Stensland photo
Lyn Kiernan volunteers to clean up dog poop along the walking trails at Greenbank Farm. She said she herself brings her dog to walk and doesn’t want her pet touching old droppings.
— image credit: Jessie Stensland photo

If the folks who take their dogs for walks to Greenbank Farm weren’t responsible pet owners and poop picker-uppers, the place would literally be knee-deep in doggy doo-doo.

Judy Feldman, the farm director, held a poop scooping event at the farm’s trails for off-leash dogs last Thursday, but only three helpers showed up, armed with gloves pulled to the elbows and something that looked like the Jaws of Life.

Still, she was pleasantly surprised at how few smelly little gems they were able to hunt down in the tall grass.

“It’s not a problem at this point and we want to prevent it from becoming a problem,” she said.

“With 70 to 80 dogs here a day every day, the poo can start adding up. We need people to help us care for the farm.”

Lyn Kiernan walked with her, picking up dried droppings off the trails.

“As a dog owner, I don’t want my dogs tramping through old poo,” she said.

Feldman presented the straight scoop on poop in a blog post earlier this month. She reported that the farm goes through 20,000 poop bags every year and sends about 4,450 pounds of the dog feces to the dump.

That’s more than two tons of doggy dookie.

A cubic foot of manure weighs 25 pounds, according to King County Public Works.

So if a sculptor used a year’s worth of the dog excrement gathered from the farm to create a statue in the shape of a gently curved dog dropping — with a diameter of a 32-gallon garbage can — it would rise 50 feet.

That’s about the height of a brachiosaurus. It’s exactly the height of the 50-Foot Woman.

The point is, it’s a lot.

“It’s a farm and we deal with a lot of poo,” Feldman said. “There’s plenty of poo to go around.”

Greenbank Farm also has two dozen geese that reside at a pond next to the main barn. A sign nearby warns that each goose produces 1.5 pounds of manure a day.

In addition, swallows have built nests over doorways and splatter the area with white.

It all means a lot of cleaning and upkeep to keep the popular farm in order.

And while it’s funny to talk about poop, she said the topic does touch on a more serious, if sticky, subject. The farm has been owned by the community since 1997, but its future is still unwritten. The community needs to remain invested in the farm, Feldman said, whether it’s visiting the shops, being involved in the board of directors or picking up poop.

“This could all go away,” Feldman said, motioning to the scenic fields and woods beyond.

 

 

 

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