Thanks to those volunteer stewards of our public places

A recent visitor to Lock Haven from the southwest made it a point to contact The Express and praise the beautiful monument to war veterans at the five-way intersection in downtown Lock Haven, and the beautiful flowers, shrubs and overall landscaping around that monument and at the point near Triangle Park.

They asked: Who takes care of all of the flowers and shrubs?

We answered: A group of wonderful volunteers who love of this community and who show that love by weeding, planting, cleaning, raking and digging at various public places to beautify the city.

Most locals probably take that work for granted.

Visitors notice it.

They also said they love the quaint Main Street lined with trees and brick sidewalks, the lush valleys, the majestic Bald Eagle Mountains, the green farmland where the corn can reach upward of seven feet tall, the country roads, villages and farm markets, the winding Susquehanna River and the clean creeks and streams that permeate our world here.

And yes, it has been — as we just reported — a busy spring and early summer for volunteers of The Dogwood Circle Garden Club, whose members tend to downtown landscaping and promote stewardship with “Garden of the Month” and many more activities.

Most communities in our region have such volunteers.

Does yours?

Whether at a park cleanup, waterway cleanup (see the story on this page from the Clinton County Cleanscapes!), at a church fundraiser, a local park, walking along roads to pick up trash — this type of volunteer work defines the character of a community.

Are we teaching our kids about volunteer public service?

Really, are we?

We’d like to suggest to those people out there who may have thought out something like this: Organize a cleanup of your neighborhood. What better way to meet your neighbors and strengthen that community bond.

Neighborhood, park or waterway cleanups, for example, are the kind of projects that improve safety for children, that show results and, importantly, that teach children about the importance of community and environmental stewardship.

Clean up projects send a powerful message to anyone watching.

And so we ask: Do you care?