Let’s help beautify Beaufort County

Published 5:22 pm Friday, April 17, 2020

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As the Earth’s human population faces extraordinary circumstances due to COVID-19, scientists are reporting a less noticeable impact from the worldwide virus outbreak — an overall decrease in pollution worldwide. At the same time, more people locally are turning to outdoor recreation for a chance to get out of the house and enjoy nature.

This coming week, two worldwide holidays, Earth Day and Arbor Day, mark days to reflect on the environmental health of the planet and take action to help beautify our community at the local level.

While social distancing and restrictions on mass gatherings may prevent large community cleanup efforts and big tree-planting ceremonies this year, it’s still possible for each of us to do our part to make Beaufort County a little cleaner and greener.

As more people take to the waters, Sound Rivers is continuing its efforts to protect the health of our local waterways. The clean water advocacy group is encouraging folks to get out on kayaks and use this time to help clean up rivers and streams. Through its #RiverQuaranCleanUp initiative, a number of local people have been pulling trash out of the Tar/Pamlico River and its tributaries, sharing photos of the garbage they’ve hauled out.

But you don’t need a kayak or a boat to help out. Even something as simple as picking up trash on your street or stretch of country road makes a difference, and it only takes a little effort and a trash bag to make it happen. It’s also a great time to plant something and help it grow.

Earth Day marks its 50th anniversary Tuesday, and Arbor Day follows on Friday. While these specific days have been set aside to help clean up and beautify our surroundings, those are things we can do every day of the year as well. It starts with a conscious effort to think about where we put our trash.

Next week, as you’re looking to get outside and do something, consider carrying a bag with you to pick up some trash. Maybe go ahead and scout out a place to put a new tree in the ground. Take this time of social distancing to make a difference in the places we all love and enjoy.