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Letter

Every spring, as the snow melts, rather than revealing the fresh new beauty of Montana, it is ugly trash from humanity that is exposed.

As I drive into Missoula from the Bitterroot, I'm reminded of trips to third-world countries where garbage fills every roadside ditch and open space. In a state that relies heavily on tourism for revenue, it seems we should do better keeping our beautiful valleys cleaned up and looking their best.

Each spring I grab a black garbage bag and do some local roadside cleanup, trying to keep my own neighborhood looking good. I hate being distracted by beer cans when I'm enjoying the view of our awesome mountains.

My reason for writing this letter is to encourage community group leaders — church youth groups, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, running clubs, etc — to consider organizing some roadside cleanup this spring. Maybe the kids from juvenile detention could get outside and do some community service. Maybe your group is looking for a worthwhile service project this spring.

What a great way to show gratitude for the blessing of living in this incredible place!

—Katy Hofman, Stevensville

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