Saturday April 27, 2013

Even if you don't know where you're going to be on May 4, thousands of your neighbors know where they will be: On the sides of roads, on the banks of rivers and in fields around the county.

But they won't just be hanging out, soaking up the sun; they'll be bending and stooping and scooping and snagging, filling trash bags as part of the annual Green Up Day.

For more than 40 years, in a tradition started by former Gov. Deane C. Davis, Vermonters have been gathering together to keep their state clean and green.

This year's Green Up Day is scheduled from 8 a.m. to noon on Saturday, May 4.

"It's part of nationwide effort to make our country look beautiful," said Nancy Barber, the Green Up coordinator for West Brattleboro.

It's particularly important for a state such as Vermont, she said, a state that relies on tourism for much of its income.

"It makes a great deal of difference if a tourist drives through Brattleboro, or along Route 7 or Interstate 9, if there is no trash. It really defaces the landscape ..."

Green Up is a non-profit organization that receives only 10 percent of its operating budget from cities, towns and the state. The majority of its funding comes from donations from individuals and businesses.

In Brattleboro, Connie Burton of Burton Car Wash on Putney Road will donate 100 percent of her proceeds between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. to Green Up Day.


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Trash pickup in Windham County will be coordinated by Becky Anderson, of Guilford, and for the second year, Triple T Trucking will pick up any Green Up bags left at volunteers' homes on their regular pick-up day and Brattleboro Subaru on Putney Road will provide a pickup station for volunteers to get bags and gloves.

But it's not all hard work for volunteers: Refreshments will be provided all day and a cookout lunch will be offered at noon at the Subaru dealership.

Bags will also be available at the Brattleboro Area Chamber of Commerce on Main Street, at the Elliot Street Cafe and on the green in front of the firehouse in West Brattleboro.

For other locations in Windham County, visit greenupvermont.org.

With the weather warming up, it's a nice way to spend time with family and friends and maybe make some new friends. It's also a great way to show you really care about your neighborhood and the Green Mountain State.

For those who are unable to make it out on May 4, there are other ways to contribute. Donations can be made directly to Green Up Day by visiting the website.

It's important to note that it's too bad we have to set aside one day every year to clean up after people who are too lazy or too busy to properly dispose of their trash. Unfortunately, litterbugs are like insects; they can be found everywhere you go and it's tough to stomp them out.

That's why we need the coordinators and volunteers who have made Green Up Day a success since 1970. Say thank you if you see them cleaning up on May 4. Better yet, ask for a bag and do some picking up yourself.