Help us clean up our community

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, June 30, 2010

By now you have probably already heard the call, “Ladies and gentlemen —young and old — we need your help. Our community is trashy, and we want to clean it up.”

We are fast approaching one of the biggest weekends of the year in terms of visitors to Natchez and Adams County. Lots of people will be coming to Natchez to enjoy our fireworks on the Fourth of July, and several reunions, including the Sadie V. Thompson Era Reunion, will be taking place here as well.

The Natchez-Adams County Chamber of Commerce’s Tourism Council works all year long to create an environment which is abundantly welcoming and presents that one-of-a-kind experience for our visitors. The council recognizes the importance of clean streets and sidewalks, as well as smiles on the faces of our citizens.

To get the ball rolling, the Tourism Council would like to encourage every citizen to go out on Thursday and pick up trash around the area where you live or work.

For this inaugural pickup, the council will even provide some trash bags for your use. They can be picked up at the Chamber of Commerce at 211 Main St.

If everyone will just pitch in a little, it will make an incredible difference in the appearance of our area.

I know all too well that picking up litter is a very frustrating experience. I know that we clean up one day, and by the time the sun comes up again, there is a whole new mess that needs our attention.

I know the weather is hot.

But come on folks! This is our home!

Please make an effort to get out Thursday and make your own contribution to polishing up our community.

In addition to picking up, we need to encourage our city officials to become much more aggressive in dealing with people who continue to treat us like a garbage dump.

We must talk about the link between dirty places and crime. We must recognize the fact that the success of our economic development efforts will depend, to a great extent, on our own attitudes about the quality of life where we live.

Undesirable acts only happen because we allow them. Children learn by example. We must teach our children about the eyesores created by litter and the threats to wildlife and the environment.

Several individuals have shown us the way. I know you have all seen these sweet people who already heed the call to walk and pick up litter — patiently, tirelessly and with no accolades for what they do.

Some plant and water and quietly tend their flowers. They do it because they care. They know they are responsible for this little space on the planet we call home.

Can’t we demonstrate that we can all do our part, because this is where we live?

The people who will be coming back for reunions should be proud to show their families where they came from, and those of us who live here should have enough pride to show that we can take care of one of the most beautiful spots on Earth.

So talk to your friends, your family, your church members and your co-workers. On Thursday, grab a trash bag and lets get clean.

Even better, make the commitment to engage in the process on the first day of every month. Our streets, our community and our spirits will benefit from the effort.

Stephanie Hutchins is the chair of Keep Natchez/Adams County Beautiful.