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Its a good time to be green
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Earth Day is not until April 22, but the Great American Clean-up lasts from March 1 to May 21, so I’m doing my “going green” column now.


If you have e-mail and have not signed up to receive the “Keeping In Touch with Dawson County Government,” newsletter, you may be missing some good information.


That is part of the communications system that earned the county an award in the Association of County Commissioners annual County Excellence Program. In the March issue, I was reminded that we still have a Keep Dawson Beautiful Program and that Cathy Brooks (in the commissioner’s office) is executive director of it.


I already knew that they had sponsored, on March 14, an electronics recycling turn-in at the Wal-Mart parking lot. And I know about the new Recycling Transfer Station, where citizens can bring all kinds of recyclable materials like aluminum and metal cans, newspapers and magazines, plastics, etc. — and they don’t have to be separated. I know that the Woman’s Club and other organizations encourage various recycling projects, as do several churches.


But, I was not aware that the county logged more than 200 man-hours of “clean-up” during this period last year — and that’s just the ones that Keep Dawson Beautiful tabulated; there were probably more. Brooks is urging both individuals and organizations to select a do-able project and get involved: “Plant flowers, clean a vacant lot, beautify one of our landmarks, pick up litter, hold a recycling event; be creative — the choice is yours.” She does ask that, when practical, you call and schedule events, (706) 344-3501, Ext. 255.


I have long been an environmentalist, but my participation in such activities as their litter pick-up and gardening is now limited. In my car, I do carry several canvas bags to use instead of plastic bags to bring home groceries. I’ll admit, however, that I sometimes forget to take them when I go into the store. But it is a good idea to emulate.


Following that same train of thought, it is also good to know that the Wildlife Habitat at Rock Creek Park has received certification as a wildlife sanctuary by the Atlanta Audubon Society. Actually, you can make your own backyard such a sanctuary if you are concerned about the birds and “critters” we are displacing with all the development.


In fact, we can do our own litter pick-up in the neighborhood. It doesn’t have to be an organized affair.  And it doesn’t have to coincide with the Great American Clean-up. I have some neighbors who are doing a neat beautification project at the end of our street. Thank you, ladies.


Back to that newsletter, I was happy to see that County Manager Kevin Tanner saluted Senior Center Director Margie Weaver in his column in the March issue and repeated that praise in his regular column in the local papers.


Weaver has kept her smile and optimistic attitude through all sorts of changes since she became the “guiding light” for the county’s seniors. And she is right; those changes have been making lots of things better.


We may be currently going through difficult times, but I can put on a smile, too, as I enjoy a gorgeous “weeping cherry” tree, as well as emerging dogwood and many other blooms replacing jonquil, forsythia and ornamental pear blossoms.


And yes, the grass is greening.


Helen Taylor’s column appears periodically in the Dawson Community News.