It’s nice to know that a group of volunteers such as the Cape Ann Trail Stewards has stepped up to help Gloucester’s public works crews — and those in Rockport — clean up trash left behind by ignorant partiers and others in the woods of Dogtown, along Pole’s Hill, and elsewhere.
What’s not so nice is that the work of these volunteers is needed — and the toll this illegal trash dumping takes on the environment and on local DPW budgets, as Gloucester Public Work Director Mike Hale noted last week.
Even with the help of the volunteer Stewards, the city’s Clean Team and others, Hale notes that DPW crews are increasingly struggling to complete needed projects while also having to pick up after careless residents and visitors who literally trash the city’s natural spaces. And while police have stepped up their fight against illegal dumping — checking receipts and citing a Rockport couple, for example, who tried to pawn off their own trash in the city’s Dumpsters at Good Harbor Beach, for example – officers also have better things to do than to hang out at known party spots and guard against the kind of trash abuse that all-too-often occurs.
The fact is, all of us can and must play a role in keeping Gloucester’s beautiful spaces beautiful. That not only means carrying out our own trash and discarding it properly, but also calling police, perhaps noting partiers’ license plates and providing other information when we do see people abusing our local environment.
The help of the Trail Stewards is greatly appreciated. But officials need our help, too.
Let’s all embrace our own roles in keeping Gloucester and Cape Ann beautiful.