Monday, May 4, 2009

Cleaning Up the Town

Do you have an annual cleanup day in your town? This is the third year for Andover and about 200 people participated, including girl and boy scout troops, as well as a local track team. In New Jersey, grant funds are available for towns to purchase gloves, T-shirts, vests, road signs, etc. for the volunteers. A bagel breakfast and pizza lunch were served. I can tell you from experience, food always draws more volunteers.

While anyone can say they “love the environment,” actions speak louder than words. Lois not only pitched in and recruited her husband Dan for Cleaner, Greener Andover Day, she also signed up the Environmental Commission to work as a team. Pictured top, from left are Commissioners Linda Hubbard, Bob Green, Lois, Open Space Chair Dan Freed, and Commissioner Peter Spinney. Not pictured is Commissioner Diane Gillespie.

The Environmental Commission team patrolled its assigned neighborhood collecting tires, a discarded lawnmower, two bags of recyclables, and six bags of garbage. They couldn’t reach the tires that had been thrown into the pond.

It was interesting to hear comments such as, “Why don’t the people who live here clean up their own neighborhood?” An interesting question, indeed. Because, if we all did that on a regular basis, there would be no need for all of those volunteers to scour our roads. Too often, it’s not the residents themselves who toss the litter. Not infrequently, I garden to the clink of bottles and cans as they hit our lower ledge after being tossed out of windows of passing cars.

Being angry at strangers who litter and dump tires, furniture, and other household junk along our roads and waterways doesn’t help the environment. Picking it up does. If your town doesn’t already host an annual cleanup day, start one yourself.

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