EDITORIAL: Volunteer picks up trash at Meriden’s Hubbard Park

EDITORIAL: Volunteer picks up trash at Meriden’s Hubbard Park

It’s safe to say that if there were more people like Peter Polack the world would be a better place. That there are too many who treat the world with disrespect is a mystery to those who consider such caretaking a no-brainer.

Polack, for years now, has taken it upon himself to pick up the trash left by the careless and uncaring at Hubbard Park.

Last year, he bought a luggage scale and began weighing the junk he’d gathered: bottles, cups, food wrappers – you name it. It was out of curiosity, and a desire to answer the question about whether his efforts were worth it. He kept a record of his trash weights on his hiking blog, hubbardpark.blogspot,com.

The results may not be astronomical, or surprising, considering how accustomed we are to some people’s careless neglect when it comes to disposing of trash.

Polack thought he’d get from 200 to 300 pounds of trash in a year because he was gathering stuff from the trails and not the other parts of the park. But he finished his last cleanup of the year with just over 600 pounds of garbage while hiking a little more than 205 miles at Hubbard Park.

It’s disappointing, and we have Pollack to thank for bringing our attention to it.

“It’s just amazing that the people would be that inconsiderate and just drop things everywhere,” observed Maryellen Mordarski, chairwoman of Meriden’s Conservation Commission.

As Mordarski noted, Hubbard Park is the “jewel of the city,” but the disrespect shown to the place by casually leaving a mess is unacceptable anywhere. The simple message behind Polack’s efforts is that people simply need to take responsibility for themselves. 

The pressing need to start taking care of the planet is rendered a pipe dream when people are unwilling to make an even minimal effort to respect the beauty of their own back yard. Polack deserves gratitude for not only cleaning up the park but for helping to put this all into perspective.