News
What spring brings…

By Brian G. Schommer

It is safe to say, “Happy Spring,” even though the weather has been anything but springlike for the most part. The trees are starting to bud, and the grass is exiting its dormant state, turning green and exposing those who have dogs by the several brown patches scattered throughout the yard. Townball has begun and the local nines have been shaking off the offseason rust. More people are out and about on the walking trails and the 100mile garage sale is in the books. Yes, it is most definitely safe to say, “Happy Spring.”

Spring brings many opportunities to get out and take in an extra dose or two of free Vitamin D that is offered by the sun. The cities and counties that we live in offer a lot of free or lowcost activities for all ages at this time of year. Various civic groups organize cleanup projects to help maintain a viable environment so the outdoors can be enjoyed for generations to come. The benefits and enjoyment of the outdoors for all of us becomes quite evident in the spring. The implementation of the numerous activities and projects takes a lot of planning and effort to be successful. Another thing that spring offers us all is the chance to volunteer our time and talent back to our communities.

For example, the Hastings Environmental Protectors is hosting their fourth Spring Lake cleanup on May 21st starting at 9am. The project will include doing some shoreline pickup and the use of boats to access some of the islands to pick up the trash that has accumulated at Spring Lake. HEP member Phil Vieth said, “I think it is a newsworthy event as to the amount of trash that accumulates from people's actions. Most of the island areas are in a wildlife management area.” The organization could use the help of another boat or two equipped with a “mudder” type motor. Attention to our duck hunting readers, even if you do not hunt Spring Lake, many of our brethren do. Here is an opportunity to band together to help the sport. “The more people aware of the need to pick up after themselves will hopefully lower the trash that flows into our waterways and other outdoor areas,” Vieth added. If you have some time to volunteer, contact Vieth by calling 6514854782 or 6514378586.

The crack of the wood bat can once again be heard at the local ballparks in the area. The Hastings Hawks opened their season with a win over the Ellsworth Hubbers and I am quite sure that if the Prescott Pirates, River Falls Fighting Fish, Miesville Mudhens, Hampton Cardinals, et cetera, et cetera, have not had a game yet, they have at least started to get the field ready and slapped the ball around a bit. None of these organizations would exist without the dedication and commitment of countless volunteers. The Hastings Hawks are seeking board members and volunteers according to their Facebook page, and as you know, if it is on the internet, it must be true. According to their page, “If you have a passion for volunteering and serving the community, enjoy being outdoors with great groups of people, love baseball and have a desire to assist the community to be a better place for our kids and neighbors… this might be for you.” For more information about the many opportunities that exist, check out the Hastings Hawks on Facebook or at www.hastingshawks. com. Contact information is readily available and volunteer opportunities exist for those ages 14 and older. To be a board member, one needs to be at least 18 years of age.

Former first lady Rosalynn Carter said, “without volunteers, we’d be a nation without a soul.” It has also been said that “you make a living by what you get. You make a life by what you give.” If you are like me, you are frustrated by the amount of selfcenteredness that exists in our world. I was reminded of the “gimme, gimme” mindset this past week at a local shopping hotspot. Granted, the child was maybe four who was in the midst of a tantrum because his mom would not buy him everything he wanted, but that child reminded me of many adults encountered on a daily basis. The amount of entitlement is real in my humble opinion. If we are to ever break this trend, or at least strike a balance, I believe it is high time that more of us go back to the mindset of the past and give more of our time, more freely than ever. The Dalai Lama himself said, “the intelligent way to be selfish is to work for the welfare of others.” How many of you reading expected a quote from Caddy Shack? I know at least two of you did. That will be coming in the next few weeks as hopefully a day on the course is in my future. Until then, consider volunteering some time to either of these or numerous other opportunities and “Get Out and Enjoy the Great Outdoors.”

May 11, 2022