The Park Record editorial, May 4-6, 2011 |

The Park Record editorial, May 4-6, 2011

Add a little open space to your spring cleaning to-do list

Summit County’s landscape is looking a little forlorn after a tough winter, but local residents will soon be out with rakes, shovels, pruning shears and flats of annuals to spruce up their properties. But we are hoping that they will look a little further than their own backyards when they start their spring-cleaning projects.

Most of us recreate on public trails and in community parks, and they could use a little attention as well. Grab a garbage bag, a sturdy pair of work gloves and head out to your favorite hiking or biking trail where the receding snow has likely uncovered a layer of wrappers, cans and empty water bottles. Or, organize a casual neighborhood trash patrol to clean up those common areas that seem to get neglected buffer strips, medians, bike paths and pocket parks.

Since city and county coffers are operating on slim margins, it is unlikely they have the resources to play housekeeper for all of the curbs and gutters, roundabouts and bits of greenery that we as residents prize. This year they will need a little help.

Several towns around the county have been busy planting trees and enhancing public playgrounds and picnic areas, projects that are well worth their time and money. But routine maintenance like sweeping up gravel and picking up litter is everyone’s responsibility.

Summit County residents have shown they are willing to pay for open space, but maintaining it is also part of the bargain. That includes removing debris from stream beds and clearing storm drains to ensure that the spring runoff doesn’t turn into a destructive flood.

So, while we wait for the snow to clear at higher elevations, we can engage in a little spring training that involves bending and lifting. That way, this summer, we’ll be in perfect shape to enjoy our pristine mountains.

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