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Remember Messages From the Past

June 2, 2016
by Anesa McGregor , Emmetsburg News

Over the long holiday weekend, I decided to spend some time outside enjoying the first long weekend of the summer. It's not something I have done in quite sometime, so I figured it was time I got back in touch with the area.

Growing up in Ayrshire, I spent a lot of time at the area lakes, especially Silver Lake. I learned history of the area from my parents that I still remember to this day. At one time there was a ballroom at the old park and Lawrence Welk played there in his early years. All that is left anymore is part of a cement foundation.

There was a drive that connected the old park to an access area to the north; it was called Lover's Lane. It had been blocked at both ends by trees the DNR put across each end of the drive, but in my youth, you could walk along it. There's a point along the east side of the lake that someone drove a model T Ford off, according to some, it's still there (I really don't know if it is or not). Finally, on a hill to the east of the lake (it's a field now) is where the Indians used to camp. If you walk between the rows of crops, you can find flint chips and sometimes arrowheads.

Like all teenagers we had our parties at the lake, sometimes we camped, and sometimes we just went there with our sweethearts to gaze at the stars, but whatever the activity, we made sure we cleaned up any garbage and took it with us. Sometimes we left the area cleaner that it was when we got there. It was just something we were taught growing up Clean up after yourselves.

So while I was at the lake this past weekend, I looked around and saw all this garbage just thrown into the brush, along the bank and even out in the open and I wondered who would do this to such a beautiful serene place as Silver Lake. Not many go to this lake. There are no camper hook ups so if you camp you are really roughing it. But it is quiet, with beautiful sunsets and sunrises (if you get up early). There are many varieties of birds. Deer are plentiful and if you go out there at the right time in the spring, you can see the painted turtles laying eggs along the road.

So, as I stood there, staring at all the garbage, I was reminded of a commercial from the 70s. A lone Indian with a single tear rolls down his check. With the commentator saying, "Some people have a deep abiding respect for the natural beauty that was once this country and some people don't. People start pollution. People can stop it." It was a campaign to Keep America Beautiful.

It was a powerful commercial that evoke an emotional response from people. Littering didn't stop, but people took notice of what was happening. No one remembers those campaigns and ads anymore. Littering is commonplace I wonder if anyone really cares anymore.

As we move forward into the future, we cannot forget the lessons learned in the past. So many are afraid that greenhouse emissions are changing the climate of the planet; it all goes hand in hand. We need to keep the land clean as well as the air if there will be a future that will include outdoor activities for generations to come.

 
 
 

 

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