The Auburn Conservation Commission would like to send a huge shout-out of thanks to the more than 40 people who showed up April 24 to help clean up parks and neighborhoods in Auburn.
They gave several hours on a beautiful morning to help this community shine. They rolled up their sleeves, wrangled their pickers, thrashed through the pucker bushes and pulled out tons of items both small and large. The honking horns and words of encouragement from passersby reminded us how much people love Auburn and hope to see the community put its best foot forward.

The downside to work like this is seeing how thoughtless actions make hillsides and river banks unsightly and dangerous.  Saturday’s trash haul included plastic cups and nip bottles, straws and takeout containers, and a seemingly infinite number of cigarette butts.

What happens with all this? Plastic cups can last up to 500 years. Glass can be easily recycled, but on a roadside it becomes hazardous for humans and animals, and may never degrade. Cigarette butts leach arsenic and lead into soil, and then into waterways — where they can poison fish.

So our heartfelt thanks to all of those who helped out. After a long year of isolation, it’s a wonderful reminder that communities can come together, and small efforts have real impact. Our hope is that days like this encourage others to step forward and contribute to the community — and to put trash in a receptacle, not toss it out the window.

Sam Boss (chair), Jane Costlow, Tizz Crowley, Amy Dieterich, Rhyanna LaRose, Michelle Melaragno, Auburn Conservation Commission

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