And how did he make mine? He has secretly been LEAD Agency's webmaster for the last several years and as such, he used a bit of what it held to build the one he presented to me. He clicked on the Tar Creekkeeper drop down page and simply copied all my articles, lots of the ones you have read in the Miami Newsrecord get posted later on my blog there. He then used a "word cloud builder" and ever so quickly these words appeared. Larger words were ones I used more often and tiny ones way less often. He and Lois then chose the heart for the shape to contain the words, I guess they figured it was appropriate since they were written from the heart.
Bold words like WATER, PEOPLE LEAD TAR CHILDREN GOODRICH CLEAN NOW look like they are being yelled as they appear in various colors, but the YEARS WANT OTTAWA PROTECT LAND are easy to find. I often have felt like when writing my pushy self is out there for the world to see, and there the words pop as proof. Yes, it was quite a gift to boil all these columns down to the core like this, but It felt like the curtain was lifted or in the old days, my slip was showing.
So who could top this as a gift? You won't believe it, I certainly didn't, it was the Department of Environmental Quality, or DEQ for short. Lots of times, year after year, I suggest, wish, nag and repeat how valuable it would be for our community to have an interactive map of all the clean / remediated residences in Ottawa County. Only about 1/4 of all of the properties have had their yard tested or remediated of legacy lead so far and we have been at this since... 1995! Which yards have been tested? which ones still need to be checked?
If you have had your yard cleaned up or want to find out it has already been cleaned before you moved there, you can click on the pink dot by your house and it will confirm it! It is like being famous for doing the right thing! If you zoom in with the interactive map, you may see that you and NONE of your neighbors have any dots.... YET. It is totally free and easy to call DEQ and get on their list so you can be a PLAYER on the map.
Why wouldn't you want to? Your property values? Can only get better if little children can play in your yard without the threat or promise of becoming lead poisoned. That is the whole reason this cleanup business is happening. It is because our kids are only little once, and if they are exposed early in life, it most often happens at home and your home sits in the middle of your yard, right? Little children can not become lead-free after being exposed without possible consequences that will follow them throughout their lives. How children learn can determine how their lives end up and lead can change how children think and process sound.
Prevention is how we protect children and DEQ is giving you a great big gift of a brand new yard or driveway if they are contaminated. Try going out and pricing gravel and how much it costs to haul in clean dirt, that isn't cheap and a little bull dozer to spread it out. Put a pencil to that and think FREE Tell me you can beat that? The other things you can save that you can't purchase are I.Q. points for your kid, or the cost kidney damage will set you back. You also can be sure you will be getting "Peace of Mind" all wrapped up from DEQ with a brand new pink dot on the interactive map for all the world to see.
You end up a hero to your family, to your neighbors, to all the people on the block and the ones on the other street will like you more. All for free.
I guess DEQ didn't just give the interactive map to me for Christmas, they gave it to all of us. Let's open it up and get with covering the board pink. All your country neighbors can get on board, all those rural roads could be lined up with pink, then we would be set and by next Christmas, we will all be sitting around wondering like me, who can beat this as a gift?
Want in? Call DEQ at 800-522-0206. Check out their website click on Tar Creek. go pink.
Respectfully Submitted ~ Rebecca Jim