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Waste not, Want not

May 2, 2008 - Bill Speer
Over the past three weeks I have spent a grand total of five days in the office and the rest on the road. In the past 7 days I have gone from nearly one end of the state to the other, from Marquette to Ann Arbor, and logged over 1,200 miles.

I share this information both to explain my absence from this spot in recent weeks and because that background inspired a recent editorial and today's blog, where I want to expand on that editorial.

That editorial was one promoting the concept of Adopt-A-Highway in our state. Michigan Department of Transportation officials really came up with a winner with that system over 10 years ago and during my travels, I came across many groups of volunteers out cleaning up, or I viewed the bags from their clean-up at various locations. The system really works!

That is, the system really works across the U.P. and in northern Michigan. In southern Michigan, I'm not so sure. While certainly there were pockets where crews obviously had been hard at work, there also were many areas - frankly, too many, where the highway was in desperate need of a good cleaning.

Ironically, the worse of the areas I saw was pretty much was a 20-mile stretch around Ann Arbor. One would think that in probably one of the more "Green conscious" areas of the state there would be more volunteers ready to embark on such a project.

I was there the weekend before graduation ceremonies and one would think that with so many out-of-town visitors in Ann Arbor, highway crews would at least would have wanted to make a better first impression. Apparently not, unless old abandoned tires, wind-blown paper and discarded fast food bags qualify.

I'm not just picking on Ann Arbor. As I traveled on M-72 in that beautiful stretch between Grayling and Mio, I followed two vehicles of teenagers who were playing hop-scotch with each other. Whichever car was in the lead would have the teens throwing out items from within the vehicle at the car following - until that car leaped back in front, and then the scenario was repeated. I witnessed a trail of several miles littered by anything inside those vehicles that was not bolted down.

To desecrate God's Country like that was disturbing at best.

To all the Adopt-A-Highway volunteers out there, a sincere Thank You!!!

 
 

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