Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Today is a good day for a clean start

Last summer, my wife and I simplified our lives and rediscovered the great outdoors. We got rid of our motorboat, and replaced it with a canoe and a kayak. The move to self-propelled watercraft led us away from the more populated, recreational lakes of Minnesota (speed boats and canoes don’t mix well), and toward the less travelled rivers and backwaters of the region. We hadn’t done much paddling since before we were married; it was really nice to get reacquainted with the water… and all of the natural wonders that drink from it.

We captured some pretty nice photos along the way, which I’ll share here as time goes on (click on the photo to see a larger image). There were subtle rapids. A perfectly-engineered beaver dam and hut. A pair of Bald Eagles who studied us as we floated past their nest. And a quiet backwater we suspect few others have ever seen, even though it waits to be discovered within about an hour of the Twin Cities.

Glorious as it all was, there were times when the beauty was interrupted by the thoughtless pollution of people who had passed through, leaving their litter (or worse) behind. And that is the motivating force behind this blog, as well as its’ companion site, http://www.disposeofproperly.com/.

Don’t get me wrong… I’m not going to get all preachy about the environment. (We don’t need any more folks who talk lots and do little.) My intentions are much less elegant than that: I plan to pick some garbage out of a few rivers. And I hope to develop some ideas that encourage—and make it easier—for others to do the same.

It’s this simple: Anyone, on any given day, has the power to significantly improve a place. There are plenty of things that I cannot dramatically impact on my own… like crime, global conflict, or climate change. But this I can do something about. I have the capacity to positively impact a river. Or two. Or three.

I’m in the Twin Cities, Minnesota, U.S.A. But because of the web, the world is my back yard, and the same is true of you. If there is a river close to your heart and you’d like to restore or preserve it, I’d love to hear from you. I hope you’ll add your thoughts to build on the ideas you see offered here (if you have a suggestion, drop me an email). If you have a friend with a canoe, kayak or boat who you think might be interested, please let them know how to find this site (http://www.cleanuptheriver.com/).

I’m not big enough or smart enough to save the planet. But I can clean part of it up. And today seems like a good day to get started.

If you’d like to help, I look forward to knowing you.

© 2007, 2008 Mike D. Anderson, Crystal, MN.

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