Eight-year-old girl’s message not rubbish

March 29, 2014

How many 8-year-olds do you know who ask to pick up trash for their birthday?

And how many 8-year-olds do you know got four miles of highway adopted in her name as a gift?

Bailee Burenheide of Granbury did both last year for her 8th birthday.

She has “ownership” to the two-mile section of Loop 567 from Highway 377 to Highway 4 at Garcia’s restaurant.

Bailey brought a letter to our office the other day and wanted to put it in the paper.

This is her letter.

“People need to read this and take it seriously.

“Save the Earth because if you don’t, the Earth will flood with trash and soon the people that live on the Earth will die because of those people that throw all their trash out on the road.

“But the more they throw their trash out on the road, the closer the Earth will flood with trash and we will die.

“So save the Earth or keep on throwing trash out on the road and die with the Earth.”

Talk about looking at consequences.

I haven’t done anything wrong, but I still feel as if I were just scolded by an 8-year-old.

Ouch.

Maybe it’s because even though I don’t litter, I’m not doing my part to encourage others not to litter.

So I thought I’d write about this and try to do my part.

According to a 2013 study done by the Texas Department of Transportation, there has been a 34 percent reduction in visible litter accumulated on the TxDOT-maintained roads since 2009.

But we still have a ways to go.

Just over 50 years ago Lyndon B. Johnson and his wife Lady Bird moved into the White House.

During their years in the White House, the rural East Texas first lady managed to persuade her husband to help pass The Highway Beautification Act.

Most of her efforts centered on planting wildflowers along highways and limiting roadside junk yards and garish billboards.

But a lasting benefit of her endeavors was Americans’ realization that casually littering roadside with garbage and refuse from cars was just not acceptable.

Litter is not only morally wrong; it’s illegal in all 50 states.

While every state may vary, punishment can include a fine as well as jail time for littering and illegal dumping.

According to a study by Keep America Beautiful, tobacco products, mostly cigarette butts, are the most littered item on U.S. roadways, 38 percent.

This is followed by paper, 22 percent, and plastic, 19 percent.

Here is the highlight of their research:

Most of the litter on roads and highways is caused by people.

Really?

Are you certain?

Eight-year old Bailee Burenheide already knows that.

[email protected] | 817-573-7066, ext. 257

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