Green Up day to be Saturday


Wednesday, May 2
BRATTLEBORO -- Now that the piles of snow have melted, many road sides and parking lots are left with the dirt deposits and trash buried by the fluffy stuff all winter.

The 37th annual Green Up Vermont Day, taking place Saturday, is a chance to keep the Green Mountain state clean as plant life begins to bud.

In 1970, volunteers from all over the state lined the closed Interstate 91 to pick up trash and debris accumulated over the winter. The event was such a success that it was scheduled again the following year, on the first Saturday in May, then scheduled again every year since.

It has, according to Windham County chairwoman Becky Anderson, largely remained the same.

Today almost every town in the state has a coordinator for Green Up Day, and different towns sometimes combine the cleanup with unique activities. Residents in Newfane, for example, have constructed a "trash sculpture" in years past. In most towns, however, the day remains simple: Let's pick up some trash.

Green bags, available at different locations around the county, are used to clean up one's neighborhood, road or block and are picked up by Windham Solid Waste Management District.

Operations Manager Joe Kowalski said they usually get about 30 cubic yards of trash from the Brattleboro area. In addition, they also recover 30-50 car tires and about a half-dozen appliances left along the road.

Kowalski said the district encourages people to get involved, and asks that if residents decide to pick up trash in a rural area, they call the district to get the bags picked up.

Kowalski said it's important for people to help freshen up the landscape after long winters.

"We, as a society, just need to take stewardship," he said.

Even if people contribute a small amount of help, every little bit helps.

"The only way it drives and continues is by people coming out."

But Green Up Day doesn't end at picking up trash. The Brattleboro Food Co-op plans a day's worth of events on Saturday as well.

The co-op will have live music, a plant swap, information on biodiesel, cooking contests and kids' activities. Co-op members can also earn work credits by helping a clean up along the Whetstone brook.

Green Up activities in specific towns include:

* Athens -- Bags available at the house of Lisa Dufresne. 802-869-1241.

* Brattleboro -- Meet at Pliny Park at 8 a.m. Refreshments and water available for workers all morning. Bags also available at Chamber of Commerce office all week.

* West Brattleboro -- Meet at Vermont Vinyl office parking lot 8 a.m. Coffee and doughnuts served to workers. Bags are also available all week at Vermont Vinyl office.

* Brookline -- Meet at Brookline Elementary School at 9 a.m. Doughnuts and orange juice from 11:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. Hot dogs and soda available at the end of the day.

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* Dover -- Bags available at town hall from 8:30 to 9:15 a.m. and left for self-service after that. Pizza served at town hall from 12-1 p.m.

* Dummerston -- Meet at 9 a.m. at Dummerston Center Church. Bring a picnic lunch to eat on the common if the weather is good.

* Guilford -- Bags available at Broad Brook Grange 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Full bags may be brought to grange for disposal until 5 p.m. Separate tires and metal from garbage. Refreshments served all day.

* Grafton -- Meet at 9 a.m. at Grafton Town Shed. Ice cream or volunteers when they return their full bags.

* Halifax -- Meet at Halifax Elementary School at 9 a.m. Lunch will be served at 11:30 a.m.

* Jamaica -- Meet at Jamaica Village School at 9 a.m. Hot dogs, soda and ice cream served from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m.

* Londonderry -- Bags available at the bank, town office and Clark's IGA. Full bags can be taken to the Mill Tavern parking lot, town office parking lot and transfer station.

* Marlboro -- Bags are available at the town office. Town map in glass case outside the office.

* Newfane -- Bags are available at the town office, Newfane General Store, Williamsville store and South Newfane General Store.

* Putney -- Bags and maps are available at a town truck next to the town hall starting at 8 a.m.

* Rockingham/Bellows Falls -- Meet at Bellows Falls Union High School at 9 a.m. Pizza will be served at Athens Pizza at noon for all workers. Contact Ed Dinanny to get bags for particular areas, 802-869-2397.

* Townshend -- Bags available at town clerk's office the week before and Green Up Day 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Refreshments on the common 12-1 p.m.

* Vernon -- Meet at rec. center at 9 a.m. Pizza at 1 p.m. for volunteers.

* Wardsboro -- Meet at 8 a.m. at town office. Coffee and doughnuts will be served.

* Westminster -- Bags available at town hall and Westminster West School during week before and Saturday from 8-11 a.m. at both places.

* North Westminster -- Bags available at Community House week before. Meet at 10 a.m. at Community House on Saturday.

* Whitingham -- Bags at town clerk's office the week before 9-2 a.m. and Green Up Day.

* Wilmington -- Meet at Buzzy Towne Park 9:30 - 10:30 a.m. to get bags and route assignments. Hot dogs and soda at Twin Valley High School 11:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.

* Windham -- Meet at town office at 9 a.m. on Saturday.

Patrick J. Crowley can be reached at, or 802-254-2311, ext. 277.


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