Monday, May 2, 2011

Cleaning Up with Pride

How did you spend your weekend? Maybe some mulching, maybe some planting of flowers, maybe some raking? Did you do this at your house, or in downtown Dover? If both you are dedicated.

I spent Saturday morning leading a great group of volunteers outside of City Hall pruning, mulching and raking. There were probably 15 of so people at the height of involvement and the volunteers did a great job. Drive by the Central Ave side and check out their work. All involved should be proud.

Clean up day, or its proper title "Dover Pride Clean Up Day" is probably my favorite community day here in Dover. It is great to see so many people from all sections, sectors, and walks coming together for the common goal of sprucing up our downtown. As in years past this was a family affair, not just my family - my sweet wife lead a group of volunteers on the brick walk way from Washington Street to Orchard Street - but it seemed that almost everywhere you looked there was a family working side by side.

We (all volunteers) did a lot of work. The City looks great. Check out Henry Law Park, where plantings/trees were trimmed, flowers planted, and mulch freshened. Continue onto River Street, where the view was opened up tremendously and you can see the beautiful river that much clearer. Walk the Community Trail or Joe Parks Riverwalk and see the wonder of nature in the heart of downtown, and swing through the Transportation Center or Library, where visitors will now be met with spruced up plants and trees. All of it looks tremendous (If I missed your area, I apologize - truly).

I challenge us all to appreciate what has been completed here, and dig in and help next year. Better yet don't wait until next year. Take pride in your neighborhood and get together with your friends and families and pick a Saturday, clean up your neighborhood park or other amenity and then have a barbecue and get to know everyone you might pass by daily that much better. It doesn't have to be a 4 hour commitment, just get in and get it done.

You can take pride in your community every day and grow and become more connected to it, by just reaching out, even a little. Take a walk, and don't ignore that piece of trash or debris, pick it up. Let your kids - or dog - play at the park, and look for litter. Smile and be part of the community.

Taking ownership in the place you live is an important lesson that everyone can learn. We try to teach our children to be aware and educated about life, do we do the same about community? Hopefully. The more people are involved and the more people are aware of the community around them, the better that community will and can be.

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