We Americans have been conditioned to believe that nothing says love of country more than barbecue, beer, fireworks and lounging in the grass.
Where we need some work is post-celebratory clean-up.
No matter where you party this Fourth of July, afford your fellow citizens the respect of cleaning up your mess.
And if the grass you lounge on is property of the federal government, leaving evidence of your Independence Day revelry could leave your Uncle Sam pretty upset.
One of the gems of GGNRA land within The City — Fort Mason’s Great Meadow — was so trashed after last year’s Fourth of July celebration that park officials are implementing new rules to ensure it stays clean.
After heaps of garbage, bottles and even furniture left the Great Meadow looking like more like the front lawn of a frat house than a National Park, park officials have found it necessary to reiterate some of the longstanding rules, along with encouraging basic decency.
New signs with updated regulations have been installed, and visitors are no longer allowed to bring glass containers and kegs. We know, we know — alcohol just doesn’t taste as good in plastic or aluminum — but them’s the rules.
Barbecue grills and charcoal have never been allowed, and pop-up living rooms on the lawn just aren’t necessary.
GGNRA Superintendent Frank Dean said in a press release:
“This kind of misuse is not acceptable. … Parks are to be enjoyed by everyone, not trashed.”
Sure, the Great Meadow takes a beating during outdoors-centric celebrations — like the infamous Earth Day bashing this year — so we can expect it to be a little sore by tomorrow.
But let’s pay our respects to one of our country’s greatest features – the public parks – and not get kicked off Uncle Sam’s lawn.