Pride of place means action

Published 7:01 pm Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Last week’s gale-force winds unleashed the Pamlico River and its creeks, sending a massive amount of water into the Pamlico Sound. Ultimately, the Pamlico River flooded several Outer Banks towns, as the water built up east of the island and inlets weren’t able to keep up with the flow.

The wind uncovered pieces of history found at the bottom of the Pamlico, much to the delight of the many visitors to the waterfront and Havens Gardens last Friday.

The wind also unleashed something else: trash.

Trash that normally finds its way to the bottom of ditches was caught up in the gusts and rescattered across Beaufort County roadsides and roadways. It was an ugly affair. Cans, fast-food wrappers, cups, receipts, plastic bags — name a trashy item and it could’ve probably been found taking a ride on the many gusts of winds that buffeted the county last week.

It seems that some people just don’t care about their environment; not on a large scale; not on a small, closer-to-home scale. It doesn’t occur to some people that the plastic rings used to hold a six-pack of beer together can strangle wildlife. It might not be apparent to some that a Coke can tossed into the river could end up cutting some swimmer’s foot years later. It doesn’t bother some people to see ditches full of stagnant water, unable to drain because of the build-up of garbage. Perhaps they don’t care that trash makes a place unattractive and deters people from wanting to visit.

Some people are simply oblivious; others are not.

Every now and then, a Boy Scout or Girl Scout troop can be seen by the side of the road, diligently picking up trash as a part of a service project. Every now and then an organization or civic group takes it upon themselves to do the same and invites the entire community to come out and join them.

It’s surprising just how many people have something else to do on those days.

There are so many people who take pride in their towns, whether that’s Aurora, Bath, Belhaven, Chocowinity, Pantego, Washington or Washington Park. But if the oblivious ones are guilty of trashing up the place, no one’s going to teach them better, unless they are caught in the act and fined — a rare occurance. But those of us who do know better also know that no one else is going to keep us clean unless we do.

Take a walk. Take a garbage bag. Translate pride of place into action.