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August 18, 2022

Letter: Keep Hollister clean

My husband and I like to take walks outdoors, as many other people do. Just recently we discovered beautiful Enterprise Road for our walks. It would be wonderful to be able to look only in front of you and not look down at the ground that is littered with garbage such as plastic bottles, metal cans, paper coffee cups, plastic bags and so on. So when we see all the trash, our mood immediately turns to sadness and deep pain enters our hearts. 

The question I asked myself was, “Why do people treat the environment with such disrespect?” I did not like this situation, but I certainly did not feel I should pick up someone else’s litter.

However, this time my husband, Steve, enthusiastically grabbed a huge plastic garbage bag and gloves and we began our walk. Of course I noticed and asked him, “What are these for?” He calmly responded: “To pick up all the garbage on our way.” I strictly stated, “I want to walk and enjoy my connection with nature, I do not want to clean after someone.” Steve responded with a nice smile “Ok, no problem!” I insist on, “I am serious, I am not going to pick up someone else’s garbage.”

Nevertheless, Steve vigorously started to pick up trash from Valley View Park, near where we live, toward Enterprise Road. I began to feel angry with him, because instead of enjoying our brisk walk, I had to stop many times to wait for Steve while he was busy picking up garbage. My feelings were confused: I did not want to waste my time on it. 

Only one woman who rode by on her bicycle said with a pleasant smile, ”Thank you for what you are doing !” Steve continued cleaning the trash on the shoulders of the road and as my anger slowly subsided, I started to observe him.When I noticed that Steve had missed a plastic bottle, I proudly said, “You missed a bottle over there !” He responded with a big happy smile, ”Oh, now you will be my spot Captain!” I smile back at him.

A few minutes later, watching Steve’s satisfaction at cleaning our environment, his dedication and sense of humor as he completed his task, he deeply touched my heart and I started to help him. I was no longer angry with Steve for interrupting our brisk walk. I found three small plastic bags and I began filling them with litter. After we filled all our bags, we headed home! Our bags were heavy. 

When we finally got home, I was tired and frustrated about people’s lack of concern about the condition of the environment in which we live and share with wildlife. At the same time I was so proud of Steve, who did not consider his own time and did not hesitate to do that dirty and unpleasant job in order to make our Hollister a cleaner place. For me he is one of the environment’s heroes, a true friend of nature! In addition, he not only made it better for nature and humans, he made me a better person.

All I would like to say to everyone is, please join us in showing respect to nature, to the wildlife, and to the environment. Let’s keep our Hollister clean and just enjoy amazing nature beauty around you! 

Thank you.

Natalya Gallion


This author byline indicates that the post was contributed by a member of the community.

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