Our City’s top goal is “to be a city that looks safe and is safe.” We have a real public safety problem in Josephine County and Grants Pass, our county seat. As our official top goal implies, looking safe is the first step to being safe.
“Looking safe” means being clean, as clean and neat as we can, considering our county’s current lack of money to guard prisoners in the jail. Even in the best of times with a fully funded jail, a clean city has less crime and general nuisance behavior than one that is full of litter and weeds. Orderly surroundings invite orderly conduct; disorderly surroundings encourage disorderly conduct. A lack of litter and weeds shows that someone cares what happens on a property; their presence shows neglect and invites trespass.
Littering is invited by the ugliness of weeds, as people try to hide their ugly in ugliness. Ugly hedges also become repositories for trash. Weeds make it harder to pick up litter entangled in them, particularly star thistles and blackberries. The combination of litter and weeds calls in disorderly vagrant campers, many of whom mark potential campsites with litter to see if it gets picked up. Old litter means that no one cares, and it is safe to camp.
This gardener recently started to take direct action against litter, the easiest thing to fix. Litter only adds up; weeds multiply. You can see me occasionally in my bright green advertising tunic, cleaning up litter from the most public and most littered places. Private properties can and should be cleaned up by their residents and owners; public places like roadways and bridges get cleaned occasionally by governments, but they need a lot of help, and that is my niche.
This gardener, after all, is getting a bit old for doing the harder work of gardening, weeding, pruning and bed building, full time. But litter cleaning takes little bending with the help of a litter grabber and rarely requires a wheelbarrow, except when one gets a wild hair and cleans up the tree litter and moss on something like the Caveman Bridge, which you can read about in The Litter Cleaner Blog at GPgardener.com.
The work is satisfying and gets a lot of kudos, but it needs your help to continue over the long term. I’m working for gardening customers three days a week and working for you, the public, for two. If I get enough donations for public litter cleaning, I will not replace customers as they naturally drop out and will increase my litter cleaning, eventually to full time.
Read The Litter Cleaner Blog and support litter cleanup in Grants Pass at GPgardener.com.
Rycke Brown, Natural Gardener 541-955-9040 firstname.lastname@example.org
Gardening is easy, if you do it naturally.