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Garbage can really spoil the summer scenery

This weeks Hammertime: Enjoying the landscape views without garbage.

It is always great for all of us to see everyone, young and old, out and about enjoying the long and lazy hazy days of fun in the sun during the countless family activities of our hot summers. All areas of our province, from the mountains to the prairies and through the rolling hills and valleys are blessed with many natural amenities and treasures where we can indulge in all sorts of recreation, leisure, and entertainment events. About the only thing that can really spoil our perfect summer holiday setting, long weekend, or daily picnic or outing is to see horrific piles of garbage and litter left behind, as well as those revellers who do not respect the comfort, privacy and safety of others.

Most of our pristine playgrounds, parks and campgrounds are complimented with lots of garbage cans and excellent washroom and change facilities, but there will always be those few who just toss it or trash it, and will never respect what has been made available for the convenience of everyone. After our stay we should always snuff out the fire, then pack up our camp or picnic spot and try to leave it exactly as we found it, and if a garbage can is not available, why not pick it up, bag it and take it with you. In and around our communities there are a lot of dedicated people who work very hard each week to keep our parks and playing fields neat, green and clean, others who faithfully pick up after their pets, as well as those ‘green thumbs’ who take a great deal of pride sprucing up their yards and neighbourhoods for everyone to admire and enjoy. Our town and county have provided everyone with the year-round facilities where we can take most of our garbage, while the local 24-7 recycle depots take just about everything else that doesn’t have to go into the cans.

Each year at this time, we should also salute our dedicated district 4-H Clubs who head out onto our highways and by-ways to clean out the ditches that are full of the junk that a few ignorant drivers have just tossed out of their vehicles. There are also many groups, schools and clubs who proudly volunteer their time to get out and clean up our parks, river valleys, walking trails, playgrounds and other areas that some think they can use as a quick and lazy way to dump their garbage and butts. I am sure that many of you have also seen folks, many of them seniors, out for a leisurely stroll in the morning with their pick-up stick and garbage bags, picking up trash, and contributing to the care of our precious environment. We should all take a little time to join in on this great family and team effort clean-up, as well as personally thanking all those who are always willing to pitch-in.

While out on one of our regular ‘retirement walks’ along the river, we were appalled to spy quite a few pop cans, liquor bottles and food containers laying or floating along in the fresh and clean water, which I am sure could do a great deal of harm to what is left of our fish and wildlife population? I read an article last week expressing the fact that many residents in the rural districts are very upset and disgusted that all sorts of garbage from furniture to frigs to shingles and whatever else is being dumped on their property or in the ditches. Littering is a serious offense, and culprits can be charged, so anyone witnessing this in rural or urban areas are urged to take a license number and contact the town or county offices. Also check the unwanted trash to see if there are any labels or names that can be identified.

Some silly Saskatchewan facts..

*Wynyard, Saskatchewan is the ‘chicken capital of Canada’, exporting the highest amount of chickens per capita, and celebrating the honour by hosting a ‘chicken chariot race’ each summer, where the ‘cluckers’ are actually hooked up to homemade chariots and let loose. I think I’ll stick to cheering for the chuck wagons..

*Famous citizens of Saskatchewan include: Brett Hull, who once lived in a little log house near Whitewood; Gordie Howe, who was born near Saskatoon; famous author W.O. Mitchell, who wrote “Who has seen the wind” and “Jake and the Kid” grew up in Weyburn; and Dr. Ballard of dog food fame was once was a veterinarian in Wolsely.

*Regina is in the Guinness Book of Records for having the longest bridge (Albert Street) over the shortest body of water (Wascana Lake). The railway track from Regina to Stoughton used to be the longest stretch of perfectly straight track in the world, and the Province apparently built their roads the same way?

*In 1920s, Moose Jaw used to be called ‘Little Chicago’, with River Street being the home of gambling and a bootleg centre for booze running into the United States. Tunnels under the streets were connected to the illegal businesses and were used by the various gangsters, one believed to be the notorious Al Capone.

Enjoy the summer of your choice, dress down for the occasion, celebrate Canada Day today, and have a great week, all of you.