• Last modified 3070 days ago (Feb. 24, 2011)


Shame on us

This Friday I drove to Marion to deliver some news items, photos, and ads to the newspaper office. About a mile west of town, there was evidence that someone had recently burned the grass and weeds in the ditch along the south side of the blacktop. I was appalled at the amount of trash exposed on the charred ground, most of it potentially recyclable. Who tossed all that junk out into the ditch? We did.

Shame on us.

We have county commissioners grilling oil pipeline employees about safeguards that might be in place to prevent an oil spill and the environmental impact of such an event on Marion County land, as well they should. There is a great fuss about a coal plant in western Kansas that will provide power for Colorado, but allegedly pollute Kansas skies. Do we care about that? Hillsboro, Marion, and Peabody officials are concerned about the cause of blue-green algae in Marion Reservoir, the source of our drinking water. Almost every state or local publication we read covers some environmental issue that threatens our planet. But drive a mile or two west of Marion and take a look at what we have done to ourselves. Who will clean that up? No one.

Shame on us.

I am not fingering the Marion community as a pollution giant in the county. Burn the foliage in any ditch from Lincolnville to Burns, Peabody to Lehigh, and the story will be the same. Trash everywhere, much of it potentially recyclable. And who did that? We did it; all of us did it.

Shame on us.

Our county has a picturesque niche in the Flint Hills of Kansas. We have recreation opportunities — hunting, fishing, boating, and camping. We have historic communities and family-oriented events. We should do a better job of taking care of where we live. Our elected officials have joined us in working hard to promote the good points of our communities, county, region, and state. We need to be good stewards of what we have and what we are proud to promote. Please think before you toss that fast food sack, aluminum can, plastic bottle, or Styrofoam carton into a ditch. Please do not drag your air conditioners, weekly trash, demolition debris, or anything else to dump in the ditches. Be responsible. Be proud of your corner of the world and do your best to protect it.

Yeah, sure, we can tell the city, county, and state officials that we think they are leaning way too hard on us with all their rules and ordinances about what we can and can’t do with our properties … but guess what? If we can’t even refrain from polluting our own environment, then maybe we need more laws, rules, and ordinances (enforced at taxpayer expense), just to keep ourselves in line.

Shame on us.

— Susan Marshall

Last modified Feb. 24, 2011