The Times West Virginian

April 10, 2013

It’s time to roll up our sleeves and clean up the community

Times West Virginian

— Something happens when the weather warms up for a few days and all the snow drifts and leftover remnants of winter melt away.

The bright yellow daffodils start to shoot out of the ground where bulbs have slumbered during the cold, frozen months.

But there’s more that lines the roads and riverbanks than the cheerful little flowers come spring. All the trash carelessly thrown out car windows or improperly disposed of and blown away or washed away by spring storms become obvious, too.

It’s quite unfortunate to see such “decorations” cluttering the natural beauty of our communities.

We have to give major kudos to the volunteers who participated in last weekend’s Make Marion County Shine and its coordinator, Jackie Fitch. For the second year in a row, volunteers committed to making the roadways and public areas free of trash rolled up their sleeves and got to work Saturday morning.

Last year, Fitch started the community project through the Rehabilitation Environmental Action Plan out of the state capitol and joined other communities that wanted to make a difference about the litter in their communities, too.

About 200 people throughout Fairmont, Mannington, Grant Town, Barrackville and Monongah formed teams and worked until early afternoon. There’s no telling exactly how much trash was collected Saturday, but Fitch said you could see the fruits of their labor — dozens and dozens of trash bags waiting to be disposed of in a proper way. She and a friend collected 32 bags themselves in Benton’s Ferry under the bridge and around the road.

We’re proud that people like Fitch and the many volunteers who participated in Saturday’s event care enough about our county that they want to “Make It Shine.”

The work isn’t done yet. This will be an annual springtime event and smaller cleanups will be organized throughout the year.

And the City of Fairmont is offering another opportunity for volunteers to help clean up the creek bed and roadway along Coal Run Hollow on Thursday. Last year, the cleanup resulted in the collection of 30,000 pounds of garbage and 60 discarded tires from half a mile of stream bank.

“It’s a really pretty stream right in the heart of the community,” said city utilities manager Dave Sago. “There’s a walking trail down around there that connects to a walking path. It’s one of the city’s best-kept secrets, so to speak, and we’d like to see the community take advantage of it once it gets cleaned up.”

Individuals interested in participating can contact Mike Bragg at 304-366-0540 or simply show up at the Mid City Parking Lot at 8 a.m. Thursday when gloves and trash bags will be distributed.

And we hope the community does show up. It’s time we become invested in how our cities and towns look, the water quality and aquatic life in our creeks and rivers, the health and safety of wildlife, and roll up our sleeves and get to work.