We grew up in the '60s and '70s with Keep America Beautiful campaigns, the "crying Indian" commercial, the first Earth Day, reading Silent Spring in school, and going to Trees for Tomorrow, an environmental education retreat.
Over this hill, about a half mile further up the road, is a park on top of a limestone ledge. The ledge is part of the Niagara Escarpment, a geological formation that extends all the way from New York State through southern Ontario, the upper peninsula of Michigan and eastern edge of Wisconsin.
It's a beautiful place, this park. I've mentioned it way back in the early days of this blog, here.
The park is open in spring-summer-fall for camping, hiking, group outings, and general partying. From the looks of things along the road Dad lives on, what is left from the revelry sometimes gets tossed out the car window on the trip back to town—beer cans, liquor bottles, food wrappers, and other detritus.
It's easy to slip into bemoaning "kids these days," and let it go at that. But that's not entirely fair and certainly not helpful.
So I suggested Sis and I informally "adopt a highway" and clean up a stretch of this road before the stuff got covered over in another year's worth of tall grass and weeds.
Sure, there are a lot of other things to do a sunny spring morning, so why this?
Short answer: Because I can.
And I care. And I don't want to see garbage when I walk. And if not me (and Nita), then who? Okay, maybe not such a short answer.
|Nita nabs a can.|
So a-pickin' we went. A hundred yards up the road, having already filled one large trash bag, we remarked that we weren't seeing any green tea or soy milk cartons (but plenty of Bud Light and Miller).
A few minutes later, though, booyah! Lest we get too sanctimonious (green tea with ginseng!):
On the way back to Dad's, lugging overstuffed garbage bags, we met a neighbor pulling out of her drive. She stopped to ask if we wanted to drop our load into her trash bin, which was at the side of the road for pickup. We took her up on her generous offer, and she thanked us for our efforts—a sweet way to end the morning!