OUR VIEW: Thirty years of sprucing up Gwinnett

For decades now, Gwinnett County has become a popular place for families to put down roots. The reasons are numerous — good schools, good hospitals, good amenities, good people.

Another of those reasons is Gwinnett Clean & Beautiful. People were already invading Gwinnett by 1980, and it was clear the influx wasn't ready to stop. A group of community leaders had the foresight to realize that if Gwinnett was to keep its quality-of-life edge, it ought to look the part.

So 30 years ago this coming Thursday, GC&B was formed. Its mission was the same as its name — to keep Gwinnett clean and beautiful.

The organization, buoyed by a tiny but dedicated staff and a horde of community volunteers, has done just that. Among its duties the group operates the Recycling Bank of Gwinnett, coordinates Adopt-A-Road programs, monitors graffiti and works toward immediate removal, conducts litter surveys to identify trends and locations for cleanup, eradicates junk cars, recycles Christmas trees, teaches sound environmental stewardship to our youth, sponsors the Great American Cleanup, initiated the storm drain stenciling program — and that just scratches the surface.

GC&B's 30 years of accomplishments are recounted in the Community section of today's Daily Post.

In the last year, GC&B was caught in the middle of a controversy over county trash pickup — a debate that board members now agree would have been better left to the politicians. The organization took some bruising but is no longer involved in the county plan to appoint trash haulers and is focusing on its core values of environmental stewardship, quality customer service, integrity and collaboration within the community.

Perhaps the clearest testament to what GC&B has accomplished in the last 30 years would be to apply the George Bailey "It's A Wonderful Life" scenario and imagine what Gwinnett would be like if GC&B were never born.

Among the suppositions: Tribble Mill Park would be a shopping center instead of one of the most picturesque public properties in Georgia. Without GC&B's encouragement of the "Broken Windows" philosophy, Gwinnett would have many more pockets of run-down, graffitied homes and businesses. More litter on the roadside. County residents wouldn't be enjoying the 50,000 trees GC&B has planted. Landfills would fill more quickly without GC&B's encouragement and operation of recycling programs.

We could go on, but you get the picture.

Gwinnett Clean & Beautiful has served this county well for the last 30 years, and we expect it will do so in the next 30 and beyond. It's another advantage that preserves quality of life here.

We thank and congratulate GC&B on this 30th birthday.

The unsigned editorials reflect the opinion of the Gwinnett Daily Post. Columns, letters to the editor and cartoons reflect the opinions of the individuals who penned them. It is the policy of the Gwinnett Daily Post to correct all errors of fact. Corrections usually run on Page 4A.