Friday, May 18, 2007

May in Fairbanks

One of my favorite things about May in Fairbanks is it's local slang name: Clean-Up Month.

When all the snow melts around the end of April TONS of trash is revealed. Imagine an entire 6 months of litter spread out on the roadways at one time... It's disgusting.

You'd be shocked at the number of people who get involved in getting Fairbanks all prettied up- we want it to look nice before the tourists start showing up enmasse (the stampede begins around the last two weeks of May). On the highway you'll see groups of twenty bent-over people with yellow trash bags. Or just two. And you'll definitely see sections of the road with piles of yellow bags left every 20 yards or so. And there's one day that everybody focuses on getting it really straightened out- I think it was May 5th this year. I'm not sure 'cuz Beth and I were recovering from our First Friday experience...

My guess is that a good percentage of Fairbanks participates- even if they don't involve themselves in the road clean-up, trash turns up in your own front yard from the snow melt-off. Since the snow is scraped up along the road it can show up half-way up your yard. Rather shocking to find condom wrappers, beer bottles and cigarette butts on your front yard... Not a full party load, mind you, but enough trash to make you wonder what was going on 4 or 5 houses up the road...

I just checked out an article from the local newspaper, The Daily NewsMiner, and these are the facts: more than 5,000 people were signed up for clean up day this year, more than 29 tons of trash was collected, and more than 61 cases of the yellow trash bags were handed out! Go, Fairbanks!!

My other favorite thing about May in Fairbanks is the GREEN. Everything starts budding and growing and it's beautiful.
We also start getting a pretty dramatic increase in sunlight hours, which I love. The sun isn't going down till after 10 now, and coming up around 4. And twilight is lasting pretty much all night now. Yeah. Bring on the sun. Just for fun- this picture was taken at about 8:30 pm tonight. :)

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