April 19, 2013

Editorial: Show pride by cleaning up


---- — Walk along some of the back roads of the North Country, and you will easily spot evidence of the disregard some people have for the environment.

Press-Republican Night Editor Kyler Klix recently spotted an entire entertainment center that had been discarded alongside Kent Falls Road in Morrisonville. It’s sitting there, surrounded by broken glass, in a spot where people have taken to dropping off garbage.

Klix, an outdoor enthusiast who appreciates the natural beauty of this region, has been appalled to see people drive down to the loop near Adirondack Lane in Plattsburgh and drop bags of trash in the area around Imperial Dam. Old tires dot the landscape there, as well.

These are just a couple of examples of the negligence with which some people treat the Earth. One can only surmise that the people who trash our surroundings are desperately trying to escape paying a landfill cost. No one would possibly think it is justifiable to toss trash out a car window, right?

When the snow melts in the spring, litter is exposed for all to see — marring the attractiveness of this area at a time when tourist visits start to increase for the summer.

Think of towns and cities you have seen in your travels. The places that lure you back are those that left an impression of cleanliness, order and charm. That is one advantage the North Country has over more urban areas.

Fortunately, many communities in the region know how important aesthetics are to securing return visits by tourists. The Press-Republican already has notices arriving about cleanup efforts in local towns and villages. Some are sponsored by service groups, some by municipalities.

Here is just a sampling of upcoming cleanups: Village of Champlain, street sweeping April 22 to 26 and cleanup days May 6, 7, 13 and 14; Village of Dannemora, April 29, May 6, May 13 and May 20; Town of Jay, May 18; Lake Placid, April 20, with a rain date of April 27; and Village of Rouses Point, May 10.

The City of Plattsburgh sends its street sweeper around every spring and Public Works crews are out sprucing up parks and public places. But we miss the city-organized cleanup days, where residents used to volunteer to pick up trash in neighborhoods.

Next Monday is Earth Day, and events are being held starting this weekend to commemorate human concern for the environment.

You don’t need a formal event to participate, though. Make up your own Earth Day initiative. It can be as small as raking your lawn and clearing away any litter that has blown in over the winter. Or as big as organizing friends to pick up junk at a local park.

We are blessed to live in an area of great beauty. Let’s show our pride by caring for it properly.