Guest Columnist Susie Tomlinson invites everyone to “Keep Our Mountains Beautiful –
Our country is a very special place. We have many natural resources, freedom, and opportunities. Despite these great attributes, many of us take them for granted.
Recently I traveled to British Columbia, Canada on vacation. While traveling in B.C. I noticed that the people of this country value their natural resources very much because they make it a priority to protect and care for them.There is NO litter to speak of, recycling is extensive and their parks are meticulous and well cared for. No rest stop is dirty, without toilet paper or neglected in any way.
Can we say this about our country? What is our responsibility and part in attaining the same? I think that the American attitude needs to change, so that we have pride in our country that reflects in the same way.
Some of the attitudes Americans have that detract from the beauty and abundance we have are: 1) it’s not my job, someone else will do it; 2) who cares; 3) I don’t have time. All these contribute to degradation, fewer resources and unsightly communities.
On Oct. 13, Keep Our Mountains Beautiful (KOMB) had a roadside litter clean up event, the second one of the year. We have been coordinating these events for many years now, and each year the people who participate make our mountain communities just a bit more beautiful by removing unsightly litter.
The efforts these people made prove what Margaret Mead once said, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world. Indeed it’s the only thing that ever has.”
It was a surprise to see 30 Yosemite High School football players and their coaches show up and bring in quite a haul of litter. Participation totals for the mountain communities were: 41 people in Oakhurst, 21 in North Fork, 11 in Coarsegold, 4 in Bass Lake and 6 in O’Neals. N.F. and Oakhurst had dumpsters full of litter and other miscellaneous items such as grocery carts, tires, mattress box springs, large plastic bucket, truck bench seat (with rat and nest), inflatable raft, axe, and a large table just to name a few.
In today’s world with all the activities and diversions such as smart phones, television, video games, movies, carnivals, festivals etc., it is hard to think of giving an hour or two to pick up litter. It doesn’t take any unique skills, one doesn’t have to spend any money, and all it requires is your time and effort.
What do you get back for your efforts? Pride, in that you have contributed to bettering your community and made it more attractive. You have made a difference; you have made our little piece of the world more beautiful. You have sent a message to others that you care about where you live.
What about those that didn’t volunteer their efforts? If they don’t choose to participate at these events, what can they do? They can make a concentrated effort NOT TO LITTER, being role models to others. Teach your children, friends and family not to litter. Pick up litter around your yard or on your favorite walk, at a parking lot where you shop instead of stepping over or around it, wherever you picnic or camp, at civic functions. Remember, “Be the change you want to see in the world.” (Mahatma Gandhi)
KOMB would like to thank the football players, their coaches Kent Lincoln and Eric Peterson for encouraging them to help, and all the those volunteers for their efforts to clean up the mountains. A special thanks to Miller’s Resort for donating a patio boat for our volunteers drawing, won by Juanita Williams of North Fork.
Hope to see more of you next May when we have our first roadside litter clean up of 2013.
Submitted by Keep Our Mountains Beautiful (KOMB). For information on joining KOMB please call 877-3424. This column is intended to increase awareness and provide education regarding littering, recycling and community beautification.