Learning a lesson from some bandits

........................................................................................................................................................................................

There are a lot of groups and organizations in Valencia County who are doing things on a daily basis behind the scenes, making the community a better place for all of us and future generations.
One of these groups is the Ditch Bank Bandits. They’re actually not an “official” group, but a bunch of friends and family members who work really hard making sure that the ditches in Valencia County are clean from litter.
The group, headed up by its founder, Daniel Silva, have been combing through ditches for about a year now. They have pulled out a number of couches and possibly tons of debris from their favorite childhood fishing spots.
Last weekend, the Ditch Bank Bandits held their second fishing derby at the Los Lunas River Park. Not only did they encourage the community and youngsters to enjoy local recreation spots, but they sent a message that our ditches are precious and should be cared for.
In October, we recognized this bunch of bandits by naming them one of our Unsung Heroes. They are well deserving of that title. They don’t do what they do for the recognition. They do it for the community, for the environment, for our future.
The ditches in Valencia County are not the only areas ridden with trash. Appliances and other waste, including dead animals, are constantly thrown on our treasured mesas, in our llanos and in open spaces throughout our community.
Many have said the problem is part of our culture. We strongly disagree. Our culture has always promoted citizenship and striving for a clean environment. The problem lies with those who are lazy and ignorant of what their actions are actually doing.
Let’s all try and follow in the footsteps of the Ditch Bank Bandits and treasure our land, our ditches and our communities. So the next time you think about throwing your trash out your car window, wait until you get home. It’s just that simple.
We can do better Valencia County. We have to.