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SOMERSET CO. April is
Keep America Beautiful Month. I
know, 1 know, it isn’t news be
cause your teachers and others
have been talking about it for
I suppose that everybody where
you live is bustling around to plant
trees like they are here where I
Supermarkets and businesses
are giving away scads of young
trees so kids and adults will think
about the importance of trees and
forests to our daily lives.
But taking care of our country is
more than planting trees. And
making it a beautiful place to live
means each person has some re
sponsibility, whether a kid or an
When we start keeping our
country beautiful through preven
tion of pollution, it’s a good start
First of all, don't throw trash and
garbage along the roadsides and
streambeds. It looks terrible and it
pollutes the water and soil if left
Besides that the rats come, the
flies come, and then they all have
dozens of babies like themselves.
Before you know it, these crea
tures can carry awful diseases to
us humans, and sometimes to
other animals. So use proper me
thods of throwing away the stuff
you don't want or need.
Lots of kids enjoy fishing in
freshwater streams. When I drove
along some streams I saw one
really nice, clean trout stream. A
fisherman was wearing waders so
he could go into deeper water and
cast his fishing line for a big one.
Later, I saw all kinds of trash
near a popular fishing river. It was
between the water and the high
way and everyone passing could
“Adopt. . programs such as
'Adopt A Highway,” which is
used by Boy Scouts, for instance,
have groups taking responsibility
for regular litter pickup. These
programs help America to look
beautiful. But why do we continue
to litter our roadsides? It makes us
work harder when we have to get
rid of litter twice instead of once.
Littering is illegal. In Pennsyl
vania, if you are caught littering
you are fined $3OO. The state fish
commission will also fine persons
who throw trash along the rivers
and streams in Pennsylvania.
There are loads of ways to make
our communities attractive. When
we each do something for our own
area, together we are helping to
keep our country pretty.
Of course, in the spring almost
everybody rakes the grassa and
plants flowers, shrubs, trees, and
gardens. All of these look terrific
and you can’t be too young or too
old to leant how it’s done.
A good example of kids and
adults working together was in a
school district that needed a new
playground. Ugh, the old oone had
rusty equipment and hardly look
ed like a fun place to stay.
So with the help of a grant to
purchase the materials, and some
community fund-raisers, adults
and kids built the “Wooden King
dom.” A high school senior de
signed the playground during his
industrial arts classes and got
praised for his super work.
Later, some carpentry construc
tion experts offered to build the
playground without pay. Kids
who had study halls in school
were allowed to go outside and
work with the adults. Even though
the kids didn’t know all the techni
cal stuff, they had strong muscles
and could follow instructions giv
en by the expert builders.
Those kids worked hard and
made a terrific contribution to
their school and to their communi
ty since the playground was for
everybody. Things like this are
Churches and even cemeteries
can look beautiful when people
lake care of them. Country
churches have a way of making
me feel nice inside. We should al
ways lake care of time. They are
part of America and part of the life
I have some special treasures
just outside my house, even
though they are simple things.
One is an unusual rock and the
other is two evergreen trees.
Rocks and trees are everywhere
so why should mine be special?
Because the people who gave
them to me died later.
My Uncle Clyde was a gentle
farmer who loved people and ani
mals. He once dug up two young
trees and gave them to me. They
are about IS feet tall now. Each
day when I lookat them through
my kitchen window I have such
good memories of him.
He made America beautiful by
giving me the trees where birds
can build nests and find shelter
from the wind.
Aunt Rosella, my mother’s sis
ter, once lived in an isolated
mountain home. When I was a kid
I was scared there at night. After
her husband died she moved off
the mountain, nearer to other peo
Before her home was sold, she
gave me the rock that I always ad
mired. It’s shaped with three sides
and stands a foot tall. Because it
tapers in at the top, it’s unusual.
Aunt Rosella died when she got
old but I see her pretty rock every
day. It makes me happy even
though I’ve never learned where
she first found the rock.
Things like special trees and
rocks can be part of family tradii
Anyway, let’s work to keep the
land and water beautiful. Let’s not
throw soda cans, bottles, foil, plas
tic and paper products on the
ground so others have to pick
Let’s just be more responsible.
America belongs to each of us.
A beautiful and unuaual
rock can be a reminder of
somebody special who
This fisherman has found a clean freshwater stream fbr trout fishing.
This is not a nice sight. The roadside garbage has a small river running nearby
which could be polluted.
This Wooden Kingdom playground damonstrataa how klda and adults worked to
gether to make their community, school district and America, more beautiful.