Local Sidewalks are Vendors for Tetanus


Ace Smith

The sidewalks in Chester are in desperate need of some repair.

Julia Nicole Venus, Sting Reporter

Would you feel comfortable letting your kids walk home on sidewalks covered in broken glass? What about letting them play in a park that is littered with one-shot tequila bottles and cigarette butts? Your answer is most definitely a no but if you have free-roaming children in the good ole’ town of Chester, then this is the exact problem that they are facing. I noticed the trash problems when I was just a little kid but over the years things have just gotten worse. It is nearly impossible to walk fifteen or more feet in this town without seeing discarded garbage. The waste is not always harmless either and can sometimes be made up of sharp/rusty metals, broken glass, used batteries, and too many liquor bottles. This issue of public filthiness has gone on for long enough and with a little support towards my solution, the city of Chester can finally start to get its act cleaned up.
My answer to this problem is quite a simple one but it relies heavily on volunteer work to be carried out. First, I would like to go to the city council and ask them to make local clean ups a city-wide event. I would also need a small amount of funds from the city in order to supply those helping clean with garbage bags and gloves. Then the plan is to hang fliers and posters around town with the times and places of clean ups in hopes of gaining a few volunteers. Volunteers will then be instructed to move in groups of at least three people so that there will be one person with a bag for various recycling, one with a bag for the dangerous litter, and one with a bag for regular garbage. It would work best if the clean ups occurred once a month and rotated between a select few locations. The main areas that require the clean ups are the main local sidewalks, the drive down by the river, and Cole park. The city-wide Earth day cleaning conducted by Chester high school last year would be a great example of what these clean ups would include.
To promote the cleaning further, I feel it would be beneficial to take before and after pictures of all the places being cleaned up. The pictures could be hung up around town or even placed in a newspaper to show that the city of Chester cares about the Earth and really respects the work of its volunteers. A gift card prize would make for a reward to anyone who gathered the most trash or recycling and would add more enthusiasm towards helping the cause. Local groups that I would definitely encourage getting involved in the community clean ups would be N.H.S., Girl Scouts of America, Boy Scouts of America, and Beta Club, to name a few. The school-connected organizations like Beta club and N.H.S. could use the clean ups as an opportunity to earn hours. Also, just one round of clean up would be enough for a Girl Scout to earn her bronze and maybe even silver award and I’m sure some badges could also accompany her efforts. Kids are encouraged to participate in the clean ups but must be accompanied by a trusted adult. A legal parental guardian would have to stay with their child for the excursion or could sign a legal document allowing the child to be supervised by another adult of choice. These forms would have to be turned in a week before the date of a clean up.
If this plan is to ever actually take place then the problem of transporting the wastes is a relevant one. Volunteers with trucks will be especially sought after to haul all trash bags to their appropriate resting places. With this idea being one that my dad and I have had for a long time and with him owning a truck, he would make sure that the clean up events always have at least his truck there to help. Another issue would be scheduling so it would be very beneficial to have at least one high school member and one grade school member to avoid setting a date that would conflict with a school event. Sundays would also be avoided for clean up days so as to not interfere with attending church services. Weather plays its hand in problems to the plan and postponement would most likely at some point occur. Harsh weather of any kind would guarantee moving around event dates but extreme hot or cold weather would too. If the outdoor temperature rose above ninety-nine degrees or fell below thirty-two degrees then rescheduling would be used as a precaution to possible dangers. In the winter months, the fliers indicating when and where the clean ups will take place will remind and promote volunteers to wear weather appropriate attire. Coats, hats, and winter gloves would be encouraged to be worn by all and parents would be expected to provide these to their children.
I’m going to need a number of signatures and volunteers to officially put this plan into place but the results would be so very worth it. A clean environment for your children to grow up in and all citizens to enjoy would be the ultimate outcome of this plan. City-wide clean ups would promote a stronger sense of community, environmental care, and clean living and could really set a better example for this town. The demonstrations of environmental friendliness could even spread to neighboring cities to form a bigger union than I ever would have dreamed of. When it comes to the problem of pollution, Chester really needs to step it up, and the ripple of change can start from anywhere, so why not here?