Does Hood County need to clean up its act?

April 5, 2014

The other night as the Granbury City Council meeting was under way, a man came up behind my seat and whispered, “Are you with the newspaper?”

He handed me some papers on which was information about communities that have conducted clean-up campaigns.

One of those communities is Burleson. Its Keep Burleson Beautiful campaign earned the President’s Circle Award during the Keep America Beautiful national conference.

On the first of the three stapled pages was the handwritten message, “If Burleson and Edgecliff Village can – we (Granbury) can!!”

The HCN has received several Soundoffs lately about the trashy state of affairs in Hood County.

One longtime resident, who asked that I not use her name, posted this message the other day on Facebook:

“It is almost impossible to keep trash picked up on my street…

“Thousands and thousands of cigarette butts, plastic bags, balloons from parties, Styrofoam containers, beer bottles, beer cans, whiskey bottles, candy wrappers, Lottery stuff – and I could go on forever. Will stop my rant now. Please forgive me.”

Well, mam, maybe some of us need to be forgiven for not having paid enough attention to this growing blight.

I suppose some of us have been oblivious to our community’s unkempt appearance, just as some people seem to be oblivious to the fact that sloppy, stained pajama bottoms worn in public is not an attractive look.

I don’t know the identity of the man at the City Council meeting, but the written materials he handed me were on “Keep Austin Beautiful (KAB)” letterhead.

The KAB folks give out Cleanup Request forms that allow groups to request clean-up supplies and trash pick-up.

KAB also offers activity kits for groups that want to paint over graffiti or even work on a neighborhood garden.

The KAB organization offers suggestions for making a group clean-up effort fun, such as awarding a prize for the strangest piece of trash.

Businesses can even get involved by donating gift certificates or small prizes.

Now that spring is here, maybe some church youth groups or Scout troops might find this a worthwhile project.

New Economic Development Director Warren Ketteman said that community-wide clean-up efforts were done when he lived in Southern Illinois.

The city inspection department divided the city into a grid, he said, and volunteer groups were responsible for particular sections of the grid. They would pick up trash in the right-of-ways and report any privately owned properties where they spotted trash issues.

“Sponsors would provide Latex gloves and first aid kits,” Ketteman said.

Sponsors would also provide food so that Scout troops could have a hot dog lunch at the local park, he said.

Sounds like a good idea to me.

You might say it’s good, “clean” fun.

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Category: Forum