When Randy and I first moved to Portage 27 years ago with our two young boys, they were consumed with a VHS video we had rented for free at the local Blockbuster store. The short cartoon story, "The Lorax," was written well before their time.

The Lorax was a Dr. Seuss creature extremely concerned for our planet’s well-being. He was extremely good at convincing a young boy that we must take care of our Earth or we will kill it. He “spoke for the trees.”

Earth Week is coming up, and so is Portage Township’s annual Team Up 2 Clean Up, from 9 a.m. to noon April 22, with a free volunteer cookout at 1 p.m. that same day. Volunteers are again asked to gather together at Haven Hollow Park, 330 W. County Road 700 North in South Haven, to make a difference in the South Haven community by planting flowers and trees, picking up litter, staining picnic shelters, painting fencing, mulching trails, assembling recycling bins and so much more. Every year we see more and more committed people come out to help make a difference in our community.

Job sites this year will be Haven Hollow Park, Field of Dreams Park, South Haven Fire Department, South Haven Little League and McCool Road.

So much appreciation goes out to Aqua Indiana Inc., Bounce ’N Around, Girl Scout Troop 30003, Friends of Portage Township Inc., Portage Township trustee’s office, South Haven Boys and Girls Club, South Haven Elementary School, South Haven Volunteer Fire Department and Starbucks of Portage.

So don’t forget, as the Lorax says, “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not!” Rememberm recycle, reuse, reduce!

The Friends of Portage Township Foundation has been working tirelessly to raise funds to improve the Portage Township parks. The foundation is dedicated to sustaining and expanding the Portage Township Parks and Recreation and inspiring environmental preservation through initiatives designed to raise and leverage funds, increase community awareness and promote enjoyment of the outdoors.

In 2015, they began a Friendly Fortune Raffle which guarantees $250, $100 and $50 to the winners each month. Your $20 ticket is eligible to win those prizes on the first Monday of each month starting in June. Even if you win one of the top prizes, you will still be eligible every month. This is also an exclusive fundraising event; newcomers cannot buy in to the raffle until someone else gives up their spot. Tickets are available at Portage Township Trustee’s office, Portage Township Parks office, Samuelson Insurance Agency, Portage Chamber of Commerce or Reeder’s Auto Service Center. Total number of tickets being sold is 500, so hurry on in and get your tickets to possibly win many times in the next 12 months. For more information or questions contact info@townshipfriends.org, www.townshipfriends.org or call 219-759-5471.

This column solely represents the writer’s opinion.