The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Columns

July 6, 2014

Consider adopting a sidewalk for summer cleanup

guest column

The 20-plus members of the Raleigh County Make It Shine Committee meet monthly to plan projects and activities that improve the appearance and quality of life in our communities.

They have distributed cigarette butt canisters, surveyed county parks, organized litter sweeps, conducted abandoned building assessments, removed cinders, improved City Parks, established a litter “hot-line,” raised funds for Thornhill Courts, Freedom Park and New River Park, presented awards to businesses that upgraded their facades and supported efforts to improve the appearance of community gateways.

Throughout these and other projects, it has been apparent that Raleigh County is blessed with volunteers who willingly donate time and talent to make our community shine.

At a recent meeting, it was suggested that we ask for help with another effort. It was noted that many of our sidewalks still have deposits of cinders from the winter months. There are weeds growing in the cracks and along the curbs. While an increasing number of area citizens are now being responsible for their own trash, there are still a few who toss litter as they walk or drive along sidewalks.

If a significant number of individuals and businesses would take responsibility for keeping walks and paths in front of their homes and work places clear of litter, cinders and weeds, it would improve the appearance of our communities. Family groups, churches, civic organizations and businesses could each identify a walkway in need of a summer cleaning.

This initiative would be a means of giving back to the community where we live, work, play and retire. It will develop “pride of place,” and set an example for others to emulate. Visitors will be impressed.

No doubt there will be some who feel that government should take on these tasks. Ultimately, we are the government. There are many important demands upon our tax dollars; this is something we can manage without extra administrative expense.

Whether you have a business near Exit 44 where out-of-town guests use sidewalks to walk from motel rooms to restaurants, or you live in one of our numerous housing subdivisions where our children play, there is a pathway or a sidewalk that needs an hour or two of your attention.

Please do your part and call the Chamber office at 304-252-7328 to report your work.

Thank you!

— Susan Landis is executive director of the Beckley Area Foundation and a member of Raleigh County Make It Shine.

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