For a Better Commute. For a Better Prince William County.

Moser: Winter Melts, Clears Way for Litter Enforcement Month

It’s 50 degrees outside and the sun is shining brilliantly. Fat, yellow Daffodil heads are nodding in a little whisper of breeze. The last remnants of the most recent snow are dripping off the roof and traveling melodically through the downspouts to share water with the Crocus, Tulips and Hellebores that are rising from their sleepy winter mulch beds.

I’m feeling it! I don’t want to write about overcrowded schools or politicians who may not be meeting my expectations. I can’t find it in my head or my heart to opine about builders, developers, roads or transportation. I consider writing about my miserable experience being stuck in traffic last week and missing a luncheon with the League of Women Voters of Virginia, but it’s just impossible to focus on the sad, the bad, or the mad stuff!

I know the end of winter is here. I’m nearly giddy with the anticipation of the end of dry skin and itchy scalp that competes with snowfall for frequency and density. I’m counting the dollars I’ll save on skin cream! I’m thinking how much faster I will be able to make arrivals and departures when I don’t have to spend time putting on boots and gloves and coats, nor will I have to put them all away after they’ve dried by the heating vents all over the house.

More than the physical relief of hands and feet no longer numbed by cold, more than the luxury of hitting the floor barefoot in the mornings without gasping and grabbing a robe and slippers, even more than the prospect of stepping into a warm shower instead of an icy spray is the mental warmth that comes with Spring.

Spring renews our hearts and fulfills the promise we made while begging, “God, please just let me get warm!” Everything seems softer, not so sharp and bitter and I may be romanticizing a bit, but it also seems the people I see are more friendly, open and more accessible. (That may be true because they are no longer hidden under six layers of clothing and a ski mask.)

For gardeners, it is the absolute best time of year. We can put down the seed catalogues and start the work that will ensure a delightful season of growth and largesse. The soil, too wet just now, but very soon will be perfect for amending with compost. Here’s a perfect opportunity for me to tell you to take your yard waste (grass clippings, tree limbs, brush) to the Prince William County Landfill or the Balls Ford Facility to be rendered into compost.

Since I meandered my way into the landfill through this post, I’d like to also mention another reason April is my favorite month: It is Litter & Illegal Dumping Enforcement Month!  The paragraph below captures the essence of why I volunteer for so many cleanup activities.

Littering and illegal dumping negatively affect our neighborhoods and the Potomac River. Further, litter that surrounds homes and businesses affect feelings of well-being, recreation and tourism in the County, and studies show that there is a strong correlation between large amounts of litter and increased crime.

So enjoy this beautiful time of year and all the good things that go with it. It’s quite likely next week we’ll all be grousing about how hot it is!

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  • Nancy Berlin

    The money you save on skin cream can be used for new plants!

  • Nancy Berlin

    The money you save on skin cream can be used for new plants!

    • Nancy! Ha Ha ha!!!! It’s true! My skin is so dry I leave trails. (At least not sticky like slugs! 🙂 )

  • What an absolutely cheerful article about embracing spring, getting rid of the winter blues and looking happily into the future. By all means everyone should come out and help clean up the environment. April 12th is cleanup day for the Occoquan River and the surrounding areas. Both Friends of the Occoquan (FOTO) and the Prince William Trails & Streams Coalition will be signing up folks at five different locations. Check their websites at http://www.friendsoftheoccoquan or

    • Thanks Renate! We’re looking forward to April 12 and joining FOTO and PWTSC for another great year on the Upper Occoquan!

  • Margo Schloss

    Connie, great post. We work with keep Prince William beautiful and were amazed how much trash is out there 🙁 The good news is that there is awareness of this problem. Interesting regarding the correlation between litter and increased crime…

    • Thanks Margo! All efforts are appreciated. There are so many great groups and organizations to work with and we’re all dedicated to a cleaner, healthier, safer community.

  • Kristin Nieman Day

    Every spring we head out to the woods and stream behind our house and collect many bagfuls of trash. I am also amazed how much trash we collect year after year. How the heck does it get there?? Anyway it feels so good to know we are keeping that stuff from polluting our Chesapeake watershed.

    • Thank you for your help Kristin! I have to feel like we are failing because we just keep doing the same things over and over. It’s not like dusting for crying out loud! 🙂

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