Editor’s Note: “The Economic Development Side” is written by Rhonda Dishner, the Jefferson County Economic Development Alliance’s executive assistant.

It’s official. Fall is here. The time for football, hiking, scenic drives, long walks, hayrides and raking leaves. Even though the “feels like” temperature lately has remained at summertime levels, the weatherman has promised sweet relief by later this week. So, begin making your own fun-activity list.

Then there’s that other not-so-fun activity always demanding our attention. That would be the constant need for volunteers willing to pick up trash all around our community. Including in our neighborhoods, along city streets, in city parks and in industrial areas.

Keep Arkansas Beautiful sponsors statewide fall and spring clean-ups. The fall event is underway through the end of October. Unfortunately, it’s a never-ending chore around here. It doesn’t take several months for trash to accumulate. The blight of litter keeps recurring almost immediately after clean-up help from individuals, civic organizations, church groups and local government-sponsored initiatives.

Despite this negative tone, know that those determined beautification efforts are appreciated. Keep up the good work, volunteers.

Thanks also to all who help beautify and improve the community in other ways, too. Kudos to those of you rehabilitating properties around town. Thanks for cutting that knee-high grass. Thanks to those responsible for the demolition of abandoned houses (please work faster). Thanks for picking up those curbside piles of limbs (but there are more). And a big “thanks to you” for the new construction going on.

We’re also much obliged to new groups volunteering to help us address the very real litter problem in our Jefferson Industrial Park. This industrial park is a source of community pride because of the many industries calling it home. We should not be embarrassed by the trash and household garbage discarded there by a few thoughtless people.

Take heart. Someday, we trust, a drive through the park will feel like a drive through a park. There will be trees and grass and buildings—and no rubbish in sight.