Keep us beautiful

Sunday, February 5, 2006

Cape Girardeau, Jackson, Scott City and Cape Girardeau County are taking another important step in efforts to reduce litter and improve beautification. Starting this month, the area will be completing two surveys for the Keep America Beautiful organization. Once the surveys are finished, this area will be an officially recognized KAB participant.

With the addition of the Cape Girardeau area, there will be five KAB participants in Missouri. The others are Kansas City, Hannibal, Branson and St. Joseph. Nationwide, the organization founded in 1953 has more than 500 participants.

There are plenty of good reasons to establish a KAB partnership. With more than half a century of beautification and anti-litter experience, KAB has developed effective programs and strategies not only to deal with existing problems, but to prevent future eyesores.

Litter is just one aspect of the KAB approach, and the dozens of community volunteers who met last year made it clear their objectives were far broader than just picking up trash.

The fact that this area has, so far, experienced a mild winter has made the timing of the KAB initiative all the better. Even though spring is weeks away, warm days and plenty of rain have resulted in feel-like spring weather. And that's when most people start thinking about litter and beautification.

As we've said repeatedly -- and will, undoubtedly, say many times again -- the efforts to beautify our communities and make litter an exception rather than the rule will be an ongoing project that never ends. Just as residents mow their yards, trim their shrubs, plant flowers and do landscaping projects year after year, so will our communities contribute to overall pleasant and appealing surroundings by continuing projects that make this area the jewel of Missouri.

That's a good goal.

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