Park Pride Volunteer Day Volunteers
"Clean up, clean up. Everybody do your share. Clean up, clean up. Everybody show you care." How many times have I sung this simple tune with my grandchildren? In fact, THEY taught it to me. With that song they leap into action picking up toys, putting their dishes by the sink, or tossing their dirty clothes into the hamper. It's quite like magic. I don't think the song existed when my son was growing up. If it did, he managed to keep it from me.
According to a recent article in the wonderful CITYLAB, this little ditty works for grownups and communities, too. The article Forget Broken Windows: Think 'Busy Streets' (by Marc A. Zimmerman, March 22 2018) references studies that show citizens cleaning up their community streets, parks and playgrounds help fight crime. This is not to say that municipalities get to "pass the buck" to locals. It is about going that extra mile to show you care. It makes a huge difference.
So, next time you're sitting around watching your children play, do your share and clean up a little. Show everyone's children you care and show them how to be a good steward of their playspace.
Note to confuse you: if you've ever heard of a "junk playground" or "adventure playground" this advice may not apply! But, we'll get into that soon. One man's junk may just well be a child's treasure. :-)