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Upside Down Under

By Marvin Baker, a new weekly column in The Kenmare News

 

Now let's keep Kenmare clean...

Posted 5/21/14 (Wed)

When spring rolls around we are all anxious to get outside and live a better life than what we’ve dealt with for the past seven months.

That includes beautifying the countryside; mowing our grass, planting flowers, gardening, painting the area on our garage in which the wind blew the paint off the wall, and yes, picking up trash.

Last Wedensday was Clean Up Day in Kenmare and this community, as a whole, should be proud of the work that went into taking away all sorts of trash that has accumulated over the winter.

School kids were out in force the afternoon of May 14 and they were picking up everything from 5 dollar bills to 5-gallon pails.

Teachers, administrators and high school students as well could be seen walking the ditches and tree lines holding black garbage bags and sticking pieces of trash into them.

Sometimes that wasn’t possible as the items were too large.

As an example, two elementary children came running out of a tree line along U.S. Highway 52, each carrying a white, 5-gallon pail.

One of the Kenmare High School teachers was seen picking up a piece of sheet metal. A student found what looked like remnants of a road sign.

Bottles, cans, newsprint, food wrappers, plastic bags and what not was picked up and disposed of that afternoon.

In some cases, large pieces of cardboard were found and set along side the road so a Payloader could come along and take it away.

You have to wonder where and how so much trash can be generated in less than seven months? It’s amazing how it accumulates.

The lesson in that is maybe we should all be better stewards of our own space and take care of it so we don’t have to enlist 200 school kids to go out wearing rubber gloves and picking up what someone else has thrown in the ditch.

But the kids enjoyed it. They were able to get out of school for an afternoon, hang out together and get some sunshine, something most of us haven’t seen in seven months.

But it’s obvious that the environment is important to the battalion of troops known as the Kenmare Public School student body.

They held nothing back in cleaning up Kenmare. That included walking into standing water in the ditches and getting bushwhacked  while they went into a grove of trees to retrieve something that didn’t belong there.

Something else that didn’t belong was money. It’s been reported that several students found 1 dollar bills and 5 dollar bills.

Now there’s an incentive to go out and pick up trash. No more middle man in selling aluminum cans. Just pick the bill up and stick it in your pocket.

To them, the students, from early elementary kids to high school seniors, they are to be commended for their afternoon of community service work.

To see them out there working as hard as they did, was a pleasant surprise.

When a reporter is dispatched to cover an event or photograph it, what happens at the event is most often expected.

This photographer did not expect the enthusiasm in the kids who were out there knocking out a big task during a small time hack.

Members of the city council, young mothers with toddlers, senior citizens, community members, husband and wife teams and others were all involved in this massive clean up that was done in an afternoon.

Now, the long-term effect is for this entire community to take it upon themselves to keep Kenmare clean.

City council member Terese Skjordal mentioned during a recent meeting that she wished more people would get involved.

There certainly were a lot involved, but it wasn’t 100 percent. If we can keep trash out of the ditches, tree lines and lawns, maybe we wouldn’t need 100 percent to make the community sparkle.

For those who participated in this voluntary mission, they are obviously proud of their community, and they should be.

Kenmare has always been a picturesque community in North Dakota and there are other communities this size that envy Kenmare for its beauty and history. Let’s keep it that way.

When travelers pass through town and they see nice, green lawns and fresh-painted houses, a picture is snapped in their minds and they will always remember what they saw.

The opposite is the same. And chances are, they will never come back if it’s an ugly picture. Thanks Kenmare for doing your part.

When spring rolls around we are all anxious to get outside and live a better life than what we’ve dealt with for the past seven months.

That includes beautifying the countryside; mowing our grass, planting flowers, gardening, painting the area on our garage in which the wind blew the paint off the wall, and yes, picking up trash.

Last Wedensday was Clean Up Day in Kenmare and this community, as a whole, should be proud of the work that went into taking away all sorts of trash that has accumulated over the winter.

School kids were out in force the afternoon of May 14 and they were picking up everything from 5 dollar bills to 5-gallon pails.

Teachers, administrators and high school students as well could be seen walking the ditches and tree lines holding black garbage bags and sticking pieces of trash into them.

Sometimes that wasn’t possible as the items were too large.

As an example, two elementary children came running out of a tree line along U.S. Highway 52, each carrying a white, 5-gallon pail.

One of the Kenmare High School teachers was seen picking up a piece of sheet metal. A student found what looked like remnants of a road sign.

Bottles, cans, newsprint, food wrappers, plastic bags and what not was picked up and disposed of that afternoon.

In some cases, large pieces of cardboard were found and set along side the road so a Payloader could come along and take it away.

You have to wonder where and how so much trash can be generated in less than seven months? It’s amazing how it accumulates.

The lesson in that is maybe we should all be better stewards of our own space and take care of it so we don’t have to enlist 200 school kids to go out wearing rubber gloves and picking up what someone else has thrown in the ditch.

But the kids enjoyed it. They were able to get out of school for an afternoon, hang out together and get some sunshine, something most of us haven’t seen in seven months.

But it’s obvious that the environment is important to the battalion of troops known as the Kenmare Public School student body.

They held nothing back in cleaning up Kenmare. That included walking into standing water in the ditches and getting bushwhacked  while they went into a grove of trees to retrieve something that didn’t belong there.

Something else that didn’t belong was money. It’s been reported that several students found 1 dollar bills and 5 dollar bills.

Now there’s an incentive to go out and pick up trash. No more middle man in selling aluminum cans. Just pick the bill up and stick it in your pocket.

To them, the students, from early elementary kids to high school seniors, they are to be commended for their afternoon of community service work.

To see them out there working as hard as they did, was a pleasant surprise.

When a reporter is dispatched to cover an event or photograph it, what happens at the event is most often expected.

This photographer did not expect the enthusiasm in the kids who were out there knocking out a big task during a small time hack.

Members of the city council, young mothers with toddlers, senior citizens, community members, husband and wife teams and others were all involved in this massive clean up that was done in an afternoon.

Now, the long-term effect is for this entire community to take it upon themselves to keep Kenmare clean.

City council member Terese Skjordal mentioned during a recent meeting that she wished more people would get involved.

There certainly were a lot involved, but it wasn’t 100 percent. If we can keep trash out of the ditches, tree lines and lawns, maybe we wouldn’t need 100 percent to make the community sparkle.

For those who participated in this voluntary mission, they are obviously proud of their community, and they should be.

Kenmare has always been a picturesque community in North Dakota and there are other communities this size that envy Kenmare for its beauty and history. Let’s keep it that way.

When travelers pass through town and they see nice, green lawns and fresh-painted houses, a picture is snapped in their minds and they will always remember what they saw.

The opposite is the same. And chances are, they will never come back if it’s an ugly picture. Thanks Kenmare for doing your part.