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Ugly Signs Of Spring

The brief warm-up of last weekend led to increased traffic on the area’s walking and biking trails. More signs of spring are beginning to show up.

At Oglebay Park, the tulip bulbs planted last fall are peeking out of the ground, which was, until recently, covered with a blanket of snow.

The golf courses actually look green after the long dormant non-growing months of winter. Golfers didn’t seem to mind the brisk winds as they took to the links.

The birds are singing a bit louder or maybe there are just more of them now. A determined nest builder will once again circle our propane tank before taking up residence there. We will be patient with her intrusion until her offspring leave the nest.

Playground basketball and hockey courts are seeing more activity as the temperatures bounce between winter and spring. Jackets and hoodies are hanging from playground fences, tossed aside as things heat up during a pick-up game.

The amazing awakening of more human interaction that occurs as temperatures rise can be seen in crowded mall and restaurant parking lots.

The populace is shaking off the remnants of the COVID-10 pandemic and the long, dark days of winter. Time to get out and take a walk, enjoy a symphony concert or return to the church pews.

But as spring-like weather comes and goes, something ugly and sad has shown up. Just take a drive along any rural road in Ohio County and you will immediately know what I am talking about. The amount of trash tossed aside along these roads is despicable.

Even the beautiful new interstate lanes are not immune to such defacing. You can’t miss it. The sun glints off the immeasurable number of beer and pop cans that litter the trenches of our roads.

And it’s a toss-up among pizza boxes, fast food sandwich wrappers, plastic water bottles and french fry containers to decide what makes up a majority of the trash. Don’t forget the diapers. They are there on occasion as well.

It’s disgusting just how much junk there is fouling our land. It doesn’t end just at the side of the roads.

The creeks and small streams are peppered with garbage that poisons our water sources for humans and nature.

Some of the trash adds to the clogging of our waterways. Have you ever seen the amount of garbage that collects against the wall of our local dams?

This is not a problem for the West Virginia Division of Highways to solve. It’s up to everyone who lives and travels these roads. We should not need Adopt-A-Highway programs. We should take enough pride in our land to show it some respect.

The fines for littering are sizable.

The challenge is catching the offenders. If caught, their punishment should include a pair of gloves and large trash bags so they can go out and clean up the messes they and others created.

I’m still looking for signs of spring, positive signs. But be aware, that’s not all I’ll be looking for.

Heather Ziegler can be reached via email at hziegler@theintelligencer.net.

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