“Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.”
—George Bernard Shaw
Our earth is capable of expressing its true colors to all living things on its grounds. We citizens of Pawling should be realizing how the earth is evolving into something else, something it has never been. Native Americans have always cared intensely, admiring the environment they settle on, worrying about what the earth would be like for the next seven generations. Throughout the years our mindsets have changed thoroughly, as we only care about today, not even tomorrow. Because of this mindset, all lives on our planet are suffering including the environment itself. Think about it: Because of our greed, we are hurting our community faster than we think. We, Veronica, Elizabeth, and Mairin, sixth grade students at Pawling Middle School, are here to tell you that you have the ability to make a difference for our own town.
There are many environmental threats that are happening right now in our own community. Take pollution as a prominent example; this can be the result of of residents sometimes forgetting to care because of their jobs, schedules, or just not noticing how they affect the world around them. Instead of being clear, our waters are murky. Instead of blue skies, we have cloudy skies.
We believe that one of the most significant problems is marine pollution. It harms millions of marine plants, birds, and animals each year, and most important, our unique creatures of the Hudson River and our local Lakeside Park. According to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC.NY.gov, “How Is the Hudson Doing?”):“The Hudson’s color at Tarrytown once matched the paint applied to vehicles at a General Motors plant there.” Although regulations have been put in place since then, the DEC also states that “Rain sweeps automotive fluids and trash from parking lots into the nearest storm drains and eventually the river. Fertilizers, pesticides and animal wastes wash off lawns and farm fields. Soil left bare of plants erodes into streams.” These are consistent issues that are still occurring today, and we, as a community, need to take action to prevent our waters from getting worse. And although we aren’t scientifically sure how much of the water is polluted in Lakeside Park, there is definitely a lot we could be doing as a community to make it a cleaner place for residents to visit. Through the years of visiting in the summer, we have been polluting the waters by accident. We need to begin to preserve the fragile beauty of our planet, and we can start within our own community.
All of us in the Hudson Valley need to change our mindset about our environment in order to save the earth. Starting today, let’s worry about tomorrow. Let’s care about the significant world we are standing on. By working together, we can change our community and stop pollution, one step at a time. We can do this, and if we step in, there are so many ways all of us can save our environment. Help our community turn back to what it was before, and make a remarkable difference.
Elizabeth Keel, Veronica Webber, and Mairin Hoffman are sixth grade students at Pawling Central Middle School.