Litterbug Lucy!

There has been a lot of discussion lately on social media in our area about other people littering our roads and highways. It’s difficult for me to understand why anyone would not pick up after themselves when generally, there are always trash cans of some sort near by.

When my kids were young, I began a long history of volunteerism in my community. One of my very first responsibilities was to an organization named, “Clean City”. I traveled to all the elementary schools in my district playing the role of Litterbug Lucy. I visited all 3 graders in the district and would introduce myself as Lucy and ask the kids if they wanted me to read a story. I had a children’s book marked with sticky notes, paper clips, etc and usually wore a rubber band on my arm.

As I read the story to the children, I would drop the bookmarks, sticky notes and paper clips on the floor. When I was done, I would say goodby to the children and leave my trash on the floor and leave the room.

At that point, the other actress in the skit, Sheriff Worth, would enter the classroom wanting to know if Litterbug Lucy had been in their room and left trash all over the floors.

Of course the kids were more than willing to rat on Lucy, and the sheriff would find his villain and arrest her for littering. The kids would go nuts now that Litterbug Lucy was apprehended! Sheriff Worth would then talk to the class about learning what to do with your litter instead of leaving it spread around in our parks and schools.

Colorado cares about our public lands and community open spaces. It supports an idea/organization called, “Leave No Trace”. Ideas from this concept include the following:

“The Seven Principles of Leave No Trace provide an easily understood framework of minimum impact practices for anyone visiting the outdoors. Although Leave No Trace has its roots in backcountry settings, the Principles have been adapted so that they can be applied anywhere — from remote wilderness areas, to local parks and even in your own backyard. They also apply to almost every recreational activity. Each Principle covers a specific topic and provides detailed information for minimizing impacts.

The Seven Principles are well established and widely known, but they are not static. The Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics continually examines, evaluates and reshapes the Principles. The Center’s Education Department conducts research — including publishing scholarly articles in independent journals — to ensure that the Principles are up to date with the latest insights from biologists, land managers and other leaders in outdoor education.” Copyright, Leave No Trace

The 7 Principles

Please do your part next time you are driving our byways, hiking our trails, and enjoying our parks. Leave no trace that you’ve been where you are going, and it will be just as welcoming for the next visitor and the next.

Properly disposing of our trash is the responsible thing to do so that America, and Colorado in particular can thrive for generations to come!

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