Green Up Vermont

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greenupdayVERMONT - Over the weekend thousands of volunteers both young and old grabbed their green bags and turned out to participate in the 43rd annual Vermont Green Up Day.

Back in 1970 Vermont became the first state in the country to designate one day out of the year to cleaning up its lands. According to Governor Shumlin the day is about more than just bettering our environment, saying, “Vermonters of all ages have turned out across the state on the first Saturday in May to not only pick up trash and clean up the state, but celebrate the community spirit that is sparked by the Green Up Day experience.”

Shumlin himself was out showing off his community spirit, cleaning up trash along a stretch of I-89.

Also joining in on the day’s mission were students from Lyndon State College, who gave up their Saturday to hop in a van and head to Red Village Road, where they cleaned up debris still lingering from January’s tractor trailer accident that left paper strewn all over the roadway. Jonathan Ross, the Community Service Coordinator at L.S.C. responsible for organizing the group, feels it’s important for students to take pride in the area, even if it’s not necessarily their permanent home they should still feel a sense of community.

“The main goal would be to pick up as much trash along the side of the road here as possible, and help out both the environment and community… This is one of the first roads you see as you’re coming into Lyndonville, so we’re trying to make it look better, to better represent who we are as a community,” said Ross.

Some of the students that came out were participating in the event to fulfill community service requirements for class, but it turns out they didn’t feel the need to look at their service as homework. While filling his Green Up Vermont bag, Hunter Covill, a sophomore majoring in Music Business, said “I’m glad that this is a designated day of service, were celebrating, and were getting work done!”

Alise Vandal, a senior majoring in Human Services, said, “I’d definitely do it again! I wish more of my friends came out to support a good cause… we’re a beautiful state and we should want to keep it as immaculate as possible.”

“Good weather, good cause, and more than enough work for all of us, it’s good to get out here,” remarked Mitch Williams, a junior in Mountain Recreation who has an appreciation for what Mother Nature has to offer.

In an effort to get younger Vermonters excited and involved in Green Up Day the state organizes both a writing and a poster contest. Fin Richards, a 4th grader from Stowe Elementary School, won the writing contest with his short poem “Green Up Today!” and Aurora Brush, a 10th grader at Montpelier High School, submitted her art to win the poster contest.

Green Up Vermont is a non-profit orginization that is primarily made possible through private donations by individuals and businesses, as well as some support from the state and towns.

Next year’s Green Up Vermont day will be held on May, 3.