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Be responsible, pick up your trash

• Jul 12, 2017 at 12:00 AM

The attraction to public spaces — such as parks, hiking trails, playgrounds, gardens, beaches and more — depends on good behavior from those who use them.

Many of these spaces don't have a budget; there is no access to cleaning staff or equipment, and they often rely on support of community volunteers or resident groups that keep them maintained.

For the enjoyment of all, everyone must work together to keep these places clean. The best way to help: Be responsible and pick up your trash.

Following the Fourth of July, firework debris and food containers littered the ground in downtown Lansing and along the river trail. Not only is this unattractive, but there are environmental implications and a potential negative impact on future visitors.

Vandalism may seem funny to some, but on evenings like these there are families with children and disabled people using these public spaces. Broken hand rails and fences become a danger, and the cost of repairs or removal could be prohibitive.

Showing respect for the public spaces is important.

There is a growing number of outdoor events in the region ... along with various concert series, will draw thousands of visitors to public spaces throughout the region this summer, and they all require the space to be attractive.

Goals might include drawing tourists, featuring local artists and businesses or just creating something fun for residents. But each time these spaces are used, it's an opportunity for the region.

To those visiting public spaces: Respect the community, residents and volunteers working to keep the space clean, and do your part.

To organizations that host events in these spaces: Provide trash receptacles and a plan for emptying them. Make it clear to visitors where trash should go — and make recycling available where possible.

People don't like to go to public spaces that are littered with trash. Tourists will not continue to visit. And residents won't go to public spaces they feel are unclean.

During festivals and events that draw hundreds of people downtown, this becomes even more important.

Treat public spaces like you would your own property. Don't cause damage. Do your part to help keep them clean.

Help the region put its best foot forward at summer events and continue to be attractive.

Be responsible. Pick up your trash.

LANSING STATE JOURNAL (AP)

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