Monday, April 13, 2009

Litter Lament

Here’s some hideousness that is making me sad because it practically is in my backyard. This is what the easements in our area look like after the snow melts. (Sorry! I try to post mostly pretty photos on this blog....!)

Even spots that are designated part of the “Adopt a Highway” program are neglected.

Another sad thing is that we have the second largest mall in New York smack dab in the middle of West Nyack.

This mall is huge destination for out-of-town visitors, and this is what they see when they get off the thruway. Welcome to the armpit of New York State!

What can we do? Keep Rockland Beautiful has an annual litter cleanup. We’ve participated for the last few years and I’ve decided that it’s one of the perfect volunteer activities to do with your kids. Why?

1) It’s only once a year, for a few hours on the weekend.

2) It shows kids that we all need to take personal responsibility for the health and beauty of our neighborhoods

3) They will see the immediate results of their work.

4) They might get free goodies like tattoos and bracelets.

5) They can quit when they get tired.

6) They can sometimes find cool stuff like bird skeltons, blackberry vines, coins and rusty scythes from “ancient Florida.”

7) They can bring their friends.

8) They will feel proud of themselves afterwards.

If you live in or near Nyack and want to join our cleanup team on April 25 (raindate April 26) please email me at


Blossom said...

Too bad I'm too far away. Yup, it would be a great family activity.

Joanne said...

Oh what a shame! In CT, there's some sort of prisoner program, where the prisoners of minor crimes have highway cleanup duty. Generally the roadways seem relatively cleaned; I occasionally see the bags of litter that they picked up on the roadside, waiting for the truck to collect.

tina said...

Same problem here. It is heartbreaking for sure!

our friend Ben said...

Litter is so horrible, Jen! It kills me to see it in the beautiful countryside, spoiling the view and reminding me over and over of how we humans desecrate our world rather than venerating it. I love your cleanup solution!!!

Squirrel said...

I'm glad you posted about this. I just want to add that people can carry a heavy six pack of beer all the way up Bear Mountain but are too lazy to carry the empty cans down the mountain!

(I'm sure Hook Mountain in Nyack has the same problem) I carry an extra bag up there to carry other people's trash down every week. It's depressing.

The park system just can't keep the place clean if people act this way. The Highway dept can't keep up either. And roadside trash is tough to remove --it has to be done early to avoid posion ivy for one thing.

Note: At Memorial Park and Nyack State Beach on summer weekends the trash cans are was overflowing with picnic trash--the seagulls pick at it and the wind scatters it too- they need a saturday afternoon trash removal or more trash bins there.

Count me in as part of your team--

People -don't forget your gloves.

Squirrel said...

points 4 and 5 are kind of funny... kids never seem to get tired on a summer night when they're racing around playing games, jumping--and it's way past their bedtime and you want them to come inside for their bath & bed.

Anonymous said...

Ewwww! Litter so sad. We have a ton even out in the most pristine country side. So disgusting. Prisoners occasionally (once per year maybe) clean the litter on our road. Very scary!

I remember when that mall was built. Totally freaky, especially the rumors about it sinking and the shaking of the entire thing.

Like squirrel said, be sure to bring lots of gloves and stay away from the nasty nasties.

Now I'm hungry for the Rockland Bakery again! Drat!

Pam J. said...

There's a special place in the cosmos for people who pick up litter. My house is next to a park with a nice, dark, quiet street separating us. Every morning, especially Sat, Sun, and Mon, I find a nice assortment of beer cans and other signs of people partying on that street. I gather up most of the crap (not the condoms---I guess I should be glad someone is practicing safe sex), and to pay myself back I pick the daffodils that grow along the road.

I agree with you: an excellent activity for kids.

JGH said...

Squirrel, thank you so much for offering to help. Yeah, picking up litter in the hot sun usually uses up their stamina pretty quick. I try not to push it when they start to whine. I thouhgt about doing a contest to see who could fill the most bags or offer a "prize" when a bag is filled to get them motivated.

Brian Miller said...

great practical ideas!

Lorilee said...

I see so many plastic bags in trees and fields. I think it is at its worst during the spring windy season! It looks awful. We also find lots of trash on our school playground on Monday mornings! I don't understand why people who can bring it with them can't take it when they leave!!