Help Keep Our Forest Clean

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Covenant 31 performed at the recent summer block party sponsored by the Church at Randall Place in Pine.

A couple of weeks ago the Roundup ran a story about the cleanup efforts of the East Verde River and the incredible amount of trash that was removed. As much as we all welcome our visitors from the Valley there is no doubt that when spring hits, our roadsides and forests begin to be cluttered with litter. It is not uncommon to stumble upon someone’s garbage bags left at a campsite. I guess when you’re used to regular weekly trash pickup, it may come as a surprise that there just isn’t any way to achieve regular trash pickup in our vast national forests. That is not to say that Forest Service personnel or an average person who has the misfortune to stumble upon the scene won’t do the right thing and remove your trash for you, however, the chances are pretty good that a raccoon, coyote, bear or other critter may have already made the point obsolete by shredding the bag and strewing the trash around.

Another common site I see over and over is folks tying their trash bags to the top of their vehicle. This one always amazes me, because even if they do manage to make it off the forest road with the bag intact (which they usually don’t), what do you suppose will happen when they hit 60 mph on the highway? Of course that explains the many splattered trash heaps along the roadsides. As inconvenient as it may be to have to load your trash in your vehicle until you can find a proper receptacle, double bagging it should make the ride more tolerable.

There are several reasons I am mentioning this, one of course being that if folks are informed, they might make better decisions. Another is that most of us thoroughly enjoy visiting our forests and it is discouraging to see something beautiful become unsightly.

The ride from Pine to Payson is generally a pleasant experience, unless there are camp chairs and coolers, large ripped trash bags, etc., all along the way. Also, as budget cuts continue, we may eventually lose access to many of our treasured recreational areas. We saw Cinch Hook fall victim to closure last year (many reports attributed the closure to the trash that was continuously being left) and I figure it’s only a matter of time before some of our favorite areas, like Fossil Creek and Water Wheel experience the same end.

So I’m appealing to visitors and locals alike to think about how we can be a part of the solution rather than a part of the problem.

The summer block party hosted by the Church at Randall Place had a great turnout. Many local residents came to enjoy a wonderful feast and listen to the band Covenant 31.

The July theme for children’s events at the Isabelle Hunt Memorial Library is cultural and language diversity. In order to better explore the theme of cultural and language diversity, the library will offer various introductory language classes this month. On Friday, July 3 you can learn some Korean. On July 10, Spanish will be taught. On July 17 come learn sign language. All classes take place from 1 until 1:45 p.m. at the library and students between the ages of 7 and 17 are welcome to register.

The pre-school story time will now take place on Wednesdays from 10:15 until 11:15 a.m. Please note the day change if you plan to participate. The dates for story time are July 1, 8, 15, 22 and 29. All children between 2 1/2 and 5 years old are welcome to attend.

Summer art classes

Summer art classes also begin in July. There will be three classes — July 1, July 8 and July 15 from 1 until 2 p.m. Children between the ages of 5 and 17 are encouraged to attend. Enrollment for all three classes is required at the time of registration. Space is limited to 20 students, so be sure to sign up soon by calling or stopping by the library.

The youth quilting classes are almost full, but you may be able to still register if you hurry. The class dates are Tuesday, July 7; Friday, July 10; Tuesday, July 14; and Friday, July 17. The classes begin at 9 and run until 11 a.m. in the activity room and all of the materials are furnished. The goal is to have each youth complete a small quilt so this should be a lot of fun for the kids.

Free movies

Summer movie madness continues throughout the month of July with the “Pink Panther” showing on Friday, July 3 from 12:30 until 2 p.m. There will also be movies on July 10 and July 17 and they are entirely free.

Book sale

Don’t forget the Friends of the Library Book Sale over the 4th of July weekend.

The sale takes place in the library activity room from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m., Friday, July 3; 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday, July 4; and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday, July 5. There will be activities and refreshments offered during the event and the drawing for the Adirondack chairs and swings.

Hope you’re all enjoying the summer weather in the Rim Country.

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