Understanding “It”: What We Do Vs. Why We Do It

On behalf of CleanScapes’ mission, and for those who don’t yet understand “it” but who are trying to, our work may appear one dimensional.  There’s dumped trash and tires spoiling our public spaces and CleanScapes’ volunteers haul it out.  Yes, that’s what we do, but I feel duty-bound to clarify why our volunteers will stand knee deep in mud to extract a tire from a river or stand on a 45-degree incline to bag inconsiderately dumped trash.  We do it because we get “it”.  And the “it” is the all-encompassing community-based character and infrastructure level of standards that we soar upward towards – the desire to inspire and improve all aspects of our most basic level of organized public structures.  In other words, our communities thrive when all components are improved and sustainably maintained – be it employment opportunities, roadway conditions, sewer and water pipelines, public schools systems, transparent and effective governments…, or debris-free waterways and landscapes.  All those elements impact the quality of our lives and they are intrinsically linked.  That’s “it” – a thing, a whole thing.  And that’s why we continue to work together and remove the tires and pick up the trash in our service areas of Clinton and Lycoming Counties.

With deepest regards & best wishes to all,


Elisabeth Lynch McCoy is the Project Director for Clinton County CleanScapes. This piece was originally written for our e-newsletter, The Clinton County CleanScapes Quarterly. Sign up for the newsletter here.