I have lived in the same general area of Laclede County my whole life. I have said before, I am the 5th generation of my family to live here. I love my community and I love living in the rural area where my ancestors settled more than 125 years ago. So, whenever I see the land being mistreated, it breaks my heart.
The most obvious sign of mistreatment is litter. There is one particular county road that I travel nearly every day. Over the past couple of years, I have seen the garbage pile up on this road to the point of being absolutely overwhelming. We watched a couch slowly deteriorate over the course of at least a year.
My husband and I were saying for months that we would love to clean up the road, but there was no safe way to do it – there are no shoulders and the road is so hilly, no one would see us working as they drove down the road. One day, while driving the road, I decided I would email our Presiding Commissioner and ask if we could get the road department to set up warning signs for us so we could pick up the trash. The Commissioner, a cousin of mine who lives on this road, was more than happy to help. We set up a time, set up the signs, and in just an hour and a half, four of us had picked up all of the litter from the side of the worst 1/2 mile section of the road, including the couch. The County even let us use their dumpster to drop the trash.
Just four people picked up an entire trailer load of trash! It was me, my husband, my father, and my mother. We felt so accomplished after we finished, that my husband and I want to do it again.
A simple act can make a difference! If you see a problem, don’t assume it’s someone else’s job. Don’t ignore something because you think someone else will take care of it. You can make the world a little brighter. You have the power to change the world around you.