MONTPELIER -- Thousands of Vermonters took to the roads on Saturday, May 3, to participate in the 44th annual Green Up Day. From cans to papers to box springs to cigarette butts, tons of litter is now off of the roadsides and in bright green garbage bags thanks to the statewide show of support.

"For more than 40 years, Vermonters have supported Green Up Day by pitching in and lending a hand because we take pride in our state and know that it doesn't remain beautiful by accident," said Lt. Governor Phil Scott, who picked up two truckloads of trash around Central Vermont on Saturday. "The dedicated volunteer town coordinators, some of whom have been doing this for decades, make sure there are boots on the ground in communities from the Northeast Kingdom to our southernmost counties.

Windham County residents take part in Green Up Day 2014. See more photos from the day at our Facebook page: www.facebook.com/brattlebororeformer. (Howard
Windham County residents take part in Green Up Day 2014. See more photos from the day at our Facebook page: www.facebook.com/brattlebororeformer. (Howard Weiss-Tisman/Reformer)
Vermont depends on our tourism industry to bring much-needed dollars into the state; I can say with pride that tourists will now see a greener, cleaner, more beautiful Vermont when they visit."

Green Up Vermont reports that, while it's too early to know exact numbers of participants and trash collected, all signs point to a successful year.

"It was an exciting day from start to finish, and the rain early in the day didn't seem to dampen people's enthusiasm," said Green Up Vermont President Melinda Vieux. "The new Green Up VT app, created by a group of talented volunteers, got so much buzz on social media that it added a whole new dimension to Green Up Day, being able to see people take part in real time."

Green Up Day saw a renewed show of support in 2014, thanks in large part to the continued involvement of long-time sponsors: Subaru of New England, VSECU, a credit union for everyone in Vermont, Casella Waste Systems, SerVermont, and Green Mountain Power, which emerged as the signature corporate sponsor; GMP is contributing $20,000-per-year for three years to the nonprofit organization.

"We are honored to support such an important Vermont tradition," said Green Mountain Power President and CEO Mary Powell. "There are few better examples of the spirit of Vermont than Green Up Day, when thousands of Vermonters come together to make Vermont a greener more beautiful place, is something that truly sets us apart. We want to extend our appreciation to everyone who took the time to pitch in. When we work together, there is nothing we cannot do."

"Just because Green Up Day is over doesn't mean that our work is done," said Lt. Governor Phil Scott. "If you see litter on the roadside while you're out driving, walking, or biking, remember that every day can be Green Up Day if we take the time to clean up throughout the year."

Green Up Vermont is a nonprofit organization with 501(c) (3) status. Green Up's mission is to promote the stewardship of our state's natural landscape and waterways and the livability of our communities by involving people in Green Up Day and raising public awareness about the benefits of a litter-free environment. Learn more at www.greenupvermont.org.