Leaving spaces in our city better than we found them.

Being green is not just for Earth Day. We can keep Jefferson City clean and green all year long! Our capital city is beautiful, and we all have a responsibility to keep it that way.

Every spring, cleanup efforts are revitalized through events like Serve JC, which engages volunteers across the community, and Mission JC, which focuses on giving back through volunteer services put on by local churches. Then, there are also the wide-spread association cleanups around the east and west sides of town, as well as downtown, Old Munichburg, and other areas.

After you’ve spent the day picking up discarded trash along the roadways, it gives you a different perspective on how and why it is so important to discard trash properly the first time. And, yes, cigarette butts are also trash. They are everywhere!

Mayor Carrie Tergin and city staff members help clean up scattered pieces of garbage from around Jefferson City as part of an Earth Day cleanup event in April.

Earth Day inspired action. JC Parks provided biodegradable trash bags donated from the Missouri StreamTeam for people to use. Even at the dedication of theBicentennial Bridge chess board on Adrian’s Island, a group of Eagle Scouts took the time to pick up trash, acting as a great example to always leave places cleaner than they were when we arrived. Thank you to the many volunteers who keep JCMO clean!So often we look to others to take the responsibility of cleaning our city, and often it falls on our city employees. But ultimately, the city is us. We are the city!

We fund the street sweepers and the people that operate them. It’s easy to think that others should pick up after us. And, yes, while there are responsible parties for keeping most areas clean, we can each do our part and pick it up. But we can do more than just pick it up. We can reuse and recycle. Make an effort, and a habit, to eliminate single-use plastic bags, straws, or plastic bottles. Every little bit makes a big impact on our world if we each do our part.

Jefferson City is fortunate to have single-stream recycling available for city residents. Go to jeffersoncitymo.gov, click live & play, residents, and then recycling opportunities to find a wealth of recycling tips. When it comes to recycling, the keywords to remember are empty, clean, and dry.

Our city’s Environmental Quality Commission takes on topics such as recycling, cleanup strategies, storm-water quality, and rain barrels. Wears Creek is a recent focus for the EQC because it runs through a significant portion of our city. Newly discovered areas like Adrian’sIsland provide an opportunity to experience and explore the riverfront environment. It’s been fun to see animal footprints, native plants, and even an eagle’s nest. Keep-ing areas cleaner and greener than when we found them is something we can do all year long. #BeGreenJCMO!