Climate Corner: A little cleanup makes a big difference

Feb 12, 2022

Reed Byers

As the snow melts and we draw closer to the brighter days of Spring, I’ve begun to feel some relief. Relief not in the sense of wishing the winter away, but from the opportunity and inspiration Spring can often provide. I’ve learned that winter is an ideal time to plan for the wonders that spring can bring. With firm ground, longer days, and new perspective I’m looking forward to us all joining together outdoors in the coming months.

Last time I wrote, I emphasized the importance of focusing on our local environment and illustrated the impact that volunteerism can have on our community. I extended an offer to the community to organize a neighborhood cleanup in an effort to make a tangible difference in the world around us. Considering we were headed into what has been a snow- and ice-filled winter at the time of publication, it was no surprise that I haven’t been contacted by any readers yet. Thankfully, we are at a time where clearer weather is in sight and the holidays are behind us.

I’d like to thank the group of volunteers that generously gave their time to assist Parkersburg City Councilwoman Wendy Tuck and me with a small neighborhood cleanup in District 4. With everyone’s help we were able to remove well over 10 bags of trash from areas of 14th Street, Lynn Street, and St. Marys Avenue. It was very encouraging to witness the transformation a neighborhood can make in just a few hours with a small group of people. It was also very sobering to observe the amount of trash in the areas we were unable to reach. It will take a sustained effort over time to beautify Parkersburg and I am confident that our community will continue to step up and take action to make the Mid-Ohio Valley a more desirable place to live.

If you’ve seen trash in your neighborhood or surrounding areas, how does that make you feel? Do you contemplate your duty to do something about it? Or does it shift your attitude toward one of lost hope for our neighbors? Would you like to be part of the solution but don’t know where to start? I implore you to consider how big an effect a small piece of waste can have on our neighborhood, emotions, perceptions, behavior, and life in general. The ability to overlook a problem and the tendency become complacent in our actions leads to problems that we cannot estimate or measure.

Beginning Feb. 20, each Sunday at 1 p.m. feel free to join us at 13th and Avery streets to take some small steps towards leading by action and treating our community in a way that models stewardship and responsibility to all.

Hopefully, through concerted positive efforts like these, we create an atmosphere of unity — a communal force of individuals that isn’t concerned about differences or disagreements, only creating solutions, together.

It is my vision and belief that by starting on common ground, we open the door toward solutions for the greater problems we are facing in our society and the world.

Be sure to follow Mid-Ohio Valley Climate Action on Facebook and join our group to stay up to date on climate related issues.

Please RSVP for our cleanup at 304-812-2884 or If you have ideas for ways to improve our community through action, please reach out. I am happy to help in any way I can.

Until greener days.