Our opinion: Help keep our state clean

Published 5:43 pm Tuesday, June 4, 2024

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Since that first day we could walk around without a coat, many of us have been waiting to get outside to enjoy what our state has to offer; getting the bikes out, getting the boat ready for the water, tuning up the motorcycle and getting our camping supplies in order.

Our state is a Midwestern oasis with a wide variety of environments to spend our time in. That includes the patches of prairie in southern and central Minnesota as well to the forests and lakes of northern Minnesota.

We have come to value these opportunities and the lands and waters on which these opportunities lie. At the same time, these opportunities are a strong source of revenue for the state as people flock to Minnesota to take part in these same opportunities we get to live in on a day to day basis.

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According to Explore Minnesota, in 2022 alone there were 76.6 million total visitors to Minnesota with an impact of $22.8 billion in total state economic impact. Those are impressive numbers supported by people who find reason to come to Minnesota and come back to Minnesota.

It’s also an ever-important reminder that we, as individuals, do our part to ensure our state remains a place people want to come back to. It’s important that we take the necessary steps to keep our state as clean as possible.

Always remember to not leave a physical reminder that you were there in the form of trash. Not only is it harmful to the environment, but it’s unseemly and could turn a decision to vacation in our state into choosing somewhere else to go.

If you’re camping, be mindful of your campsite and pick up everything you brought with you. Recycle or throw your things in the trash. Leave the space for others as it was left for you.

If you are on the lake or a river, take care that nothing from your boat makes it into the water and if it does, retrieve it. Don’t let it become someone else’s problem.

And if you see trash along a bike trail or walking trail, we encourage you to take that extra step and pick it up and throw it away. It’s a couple seconds worth of effort to help maintain those things that make Minnesota such a destination spot.

If it’s something larger, like tires or appliances, then take the time to report it to authorities so those larger things can be picked up as well.

When it comes to our state being a destination for those both inside and from outside our borders, we need to take an active role in the state of our resources. In a sense, this is our home and we wouldn’t want people coming into our home and throwing garbage on the floor.

Minnesota has a vibrant recreation scene and we want that scene to be as pristine as possible.