My friend Tobi went to the Carolina Bay this morning. He had a hard time getting there—it seems there was a run going on (5K, 10K?) and the police had the road that adjoined the parking lot of our Carolina Bay barricaded. It was not an insurmountable obstacle, just a delay.
While at the park, the usual problems were noted. Wrappers here, drink containers there, here a poop, there a poop, everywhere a poop-poop. It seems Aikenites, some at least, are poorly trained when it comes to leaving their remains of the day behind, even when the City provides blue barrel after blue barrel along the trail.
What can be done? Well, first we have to recognize the problem. Since some Aikenites have been poorly trained by the previous generation, the litter, all man-made (to include the dog poop,) continues to be deposited despite efforts the City (and well-intentioned individuals) might make to clean it up. It seems nothing is to be done about poor parenting: Which might explain the tendency some have to call those that deposit the litter in such a manner “SOB’s.” Maybe the term is actually descriptive, with the “B” doing double duty.
Oh, well—just frustration showing through, here, as you might suspect. Back to the question, “What can be done?”
First of all, perhaps the question of using some well mounted (hidden) trail cameras should be revisited. In the past, when such has been proposed, our leaders did not want to be seen as wanting to spy on the citizenry. Maybe this is a poor excuse, though, since those “citizens” who would worry about being spied on are the very ones who are creating a public nuisance with their disregard of their animals’ droppings and their tossing down their snack wrappers and drink containers everywhere and anywhere but where they should be placed. Are we really doing ourselves any favors by going out of the way to avoid identifying these individuals and bringing a bit of legal grief their way? What think you? Pass this article on to our City Council if you think they could be doing a better job of dealing with this issue. Finding the perpetrators will not necessarily be easy, even if you have a good picture of them doing what we all know they should not be doing.
Enlisting the public media might be the answer, though. Shame might solve what poor parenting created. Area newspapers just might do the trick.
So much for our current miscreants—what might be done to ward off this problem in the future?
Education probably is the answer—and since the current batch of miscreants will probably be just as flawed in raising the next crop of children as their parents were in raising them, the only reasonable way to get around the current state of flawed parenting will probably be to dump the problem on our school boards.
And yes, you read that right—it’s boards, plural. This problem is being described as a problem in Aiken. If, though, you think this problem is not found in other areas of the Central Savannah River Area, you are probably walking around with blinders on. In Aiken, Augusta, and all points in between as well as towns on all sides of both municipalities, problems with parenting and litter abound and since the problem involves education, and, as stated before, since some of the current batch of parents have received defective educations from their parents, there is no reason to believe they are capable of correcting their own lack of training with the training they will give their own children. The only intervention (other than fines and jail for the current miscreants) that has any chance of success will be via the school system.
So what think you, school board members? Do you think one 15-minute session a week in environmental responsibility might get the job done? Are you able to set this up (the teachers can handle it, if only they are told to do it.)
Legislators and School Board Members are the answer, it seems. Legislators to deal with the current batch of litterers and School Boards to correct future litterers before they, too, add to the problem.
Our City Councils and school boards are representative of their constituents and they will be responsive to the stated wishes of those constituents. They will act if enough of “we the people” let them know we are concerned. Will you do your part? Make that call and send that email today. Your Legislators and School Board Members will be more than happy to hear from you.
And thanks, friends, for taking the time to wade through this article. If you’ve read this column for any length of time at all, you will recognize a common theme here. Thanks for persevering, and thanks for anything you might do to help correct this problem. Give “City Hall” a call. Find out who to contact and make that contact. We don’t have to live like this, do we?