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Having pride in this place

Beaufort County has experienced a teasing whiff of spring in the air over the past couple of weeks. The unseasonably cold weather seems to be hanging on longer than usual.

With every spring come showers, a beneficial occurrence as the rain tends to tamp down the annual explosion of pollen that coats any and every available surface. With every spring, also come outdoor events that rely on good weather to get people outside and active.

Cold temperatures and rainy weather combined to cancel at least one outdoor event of late. The Clean Sweep organized by the Pamlico-Albemarle Wildlife Conservationists, in conjunction with NCDOT, was called off last Saturday, due to the miserable weather, but they have one more crack at cleaning up Beaufort County roadsides before thousands of cyclists descend on Washington and county roads for Cycle NC.

As of April 20, nearly 2,000 cyclists will be experiencing Beaufort County from two wheels as they ride routes tracing through farmland and forest, through countryside dotted with azaleas and wisteria.

And then there’s the trash. With the help of this spring’s blustery winds, trash on the roadsides is readily apparent in Beaufort County. PAWC put a plea to the public to help clean up the mess. Washington Tourism Development Authority seconded that request, as has anyone who has a vested interested in giving those coming to Washington for the first a good, and lasting, impression to take home with them.

The county relies on tourism. These cyclists are coming to the county for a specific purpose, but, once introduced, they might just come back again with family and friends in tow. These people will rent rooms at local hotels or bed and breakfasts, or even rent a house on the river. They will eat out at local restaurants and shop in local stores. Visitors inject money into the local economy. A dollar spent here with homegrown businesses stays here, as well.

Rolling out the red carpet for the coming visitors, cleaning up and presenting the county in the best light possible is equivalent to supporting the county’s economy — supporting local business owners.

This Saturday, it’s supposed to be 78 degrees and at least partially sunny. Consider getting outside, taking a walk and picking up some trash on roadside. Consider joining PAWC members and other volunteers at 9 a.m. at Washington High School. Routes will be assigned, orange safety vests, gloves and bags will be provided.

It’s a great way to instill appreciation and responsibility for the environment in young ones. It’s a good way to get some exercise, for the whole family. It’s a fantastic way to show pride in this place — a place these Cycle NC guests will hopefully want to visit again.

For more information about the PAWC clean sweep, email PAWCNC@gmail.com.