Cleanup reflects love of community

Published 12:00 am Sunday, July 24, 2011

By Hugh Fisher
SALISBURY — They started early in the day, at 8 a.m., before many people were out on the road.
Members of the Ladies Auxiliary of J.C. Price American Legion Post No. 107 kicked off their new community clean-up initiative Saturday.
They’re taking part in the Community Appearance Commission’s Adopt-a-Street program.
Wearing yellow vests, carrying orange garbage bags and long-handled pincers to pick up trash, they helped rid two streets of litter in what they expect to be a long-running effort.
“We came out to start our journey today,” Terry Love, president of the Ladies Auxiliary, said. “It was something we felt we had to do.”
Only two of them were able to participate in which will become a monthly clean-up effort, Love said.
Some of the group’s 18 members are elderly, and others had to work, but volunteers are committed to the program, Love said.
After seeing how much litter was collecting along streets in the neighborhood surrounding the Legion hall, members decided to take action.
Love met with city reps and was provided with the bags, the vests and the long “grabber” tools used to pick up garbage.
Also provided were brochures detailing the community appearance program.
Love and Vice President Edith Wyatt formed the first team.
Other volunteers will rotate through the duty in coming weeks, Love said.
They started Saturday with Institute Street, used often by residents who walk to the Sonic drive-in restaurant at the corner of Institute and West Innes streets.
From the looks of things, Love said, many of those residents finish their food and simply throw cups, bags and wrappers on the ground.
“It’s laziness,” Wyatt said.
There’s other trash, too, that speaks of more disturbing activities.
“There’s a bunch of wine bottles,” Love said.
The ladies were convinced that people drive through the neighborhoods drinking beer and wine.
The problem, Wyatt said, is a lack of pride, which disturbs her as a Salisbury native.
“I was part of the first class that integrated Boyden High School and created Salisbury High,” she said.
“And I can’t believe how this community has changed.”
When she was younger, Wyatt said, nobody would think to throw trash out onto the ground, because the neighborhood was more like a family.
“It made us take pride on ourselves,” she said.
That’s why she said the street clean-up was so important.
Some drivers waved and spoke encouragingly as they passed.
As she placed the brochures by residents’ front doors, Love said she hoped people would begin to take more pride in their community as a result of the example being set.
She hopes the street clean-up might spawn more efforts, such as partnerships to help take care of older residents’ lawns.
Wyatt said she hopes the next generation will also get involved.
Young people today, Wyatt said, are “a show-and-tell generation.”
“If you tell them something, they won’t absorb it,” she said. “But if you show them, they’ll get the concept.”
Contact Hugh Fisher via the editor’s desk at 704-797-4244.