MTYT: Masonboro Island stays clean over the July 4 holiday

By Gary McNair - bio|email

One of my favorite stories teaches a positive message.  It's about widow Greenwald.

Out of boredom she regularly attended town council meetings. One day she listened as elected officials debated the best way to care for the dying geraniums at city hall.  Should they hire a gardener or pay to install a sprinkler system?  It was a heated debate, and as often happens, the matter was tabled.  Widow Greenwald smiled, left the meeting, went to the store, and purchased a plastic watering can.

No one recalls much about that meeting, but they now have beautiful geraniums at City Hall -- all because widow Greenwald took the matter into her own hands.

This story came back to me this week because that is exactly what happened at Masonboro Island. It seems like forever that elected officials have been trying to come up with a solution to keep the island clean during big holiday weekends.  We're all familiar with the ugly images of past celebrations.

But it was different this year, a group called quietly organized.  They developed a plan, put in a lot of volunteer hours, and their efforts paid off.   Masonboro Island did not again suffer the harm typical of holidays past.

I think widow Greenwald is smiling right now.  Because just like her, the good people of showed us there's a time for talk, and a time for action.

That's my turn.  Now it's your turn.  To comment on this segment, or anything else, email me at

Emailed comments from viewers:

Excellent summary of Masonboro cleanup.

I am a lifelong resident of Wilmington and have gone to the island for 52 years.  Residents understand and take care of the island.  During  special events, some others just need reminding of how to act.  All it took was a little suggestion from these fine folks of, and they took up the cause.  It was congenial between the group and the party goers.  This grassroots organization demonstrates how the private sector can best regulate itself.  No rules or threats from State organizations are needed.  Masonboro is our island.  Let the young folks have fun.  It is only 3 times a year that it is an issue and I understand this group plans to be present every holiday event.

Go and Go WECT!!!

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