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Civic action group helps the environment

Jeanette Rasmussen and her daughter, Olya May, picking up trash in Plattsburgh for People For Positive Action.

Jeanette Rasmussen and her daughter, Olya May, picking up trash in Plattsburgh for People For Positive Action. Photo by Stephen Bartlett.

— They didn’t want to be just another group that sat in the basement complaining.

They wanted to be a politically independent civic action group, with an emphasis on action.

Recently, People for Positive Action took to the streets and the parks, filling bags with trash as part of their small action to improve the environment.

“Like our tree planting this past September, this is a practical, symbolic action, and we are actually doing something for the environment,” said Shaun O’Connell, a member of People for Positive Action. “One of the efforts we work on is the environment.”

The action group gathered at noon at the Rota Studio and Gallery on Margaret Street, armed with trash bags, their emblem, which they pinned to their backs, and tools for collecting trash.

As they pushed through the greenway off Margaret Street, they collected gum, wrappers, cigarette packs and more.

They continued to the Farmers Market area in the City of Plattsburgh Parking lot, stretched out to the monument and then headed back up to Margaret Street, picking up trash as they went.

“We need to do more for the environment,” O’Connell said.

Environmental issues plague the United States, which is the second largest emitter, after China, of carbon dioxide from the burning of fossil fuels. About 86 percent of all types of energy used in the United States are derived from fossil fuel consumption, causing greenhouse gas emissions and climate change.

The United States is one of only two countries that has not signed on to the Kyoto Protocol.

“Our emphasis is on action,” O’Connell said.

Jennifer Allen of West Chazy was merely in the City of Plattsburgh that day to become a member of Rota, but when she saw People for Positive Action in action she grabbed a trash bag and helped.

“What they are doing is pretty cool, because I like these parks,” Allen said.

Jeanette Rasmussen and her daughter, Olya May, helped as well.

As part of her activity with the Key Club, Plattsburgh High School student May watered and staked the trees the group planted.

“I think what we are doing here keeps the place looking nice so people will want to be here,” Rasmussen said.

For more information about People for Positive Action, please call 561-0291.

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