September 26, 2017

Guest Column: Gratitude for Green Up Day 2017

By Melinda Vieux

I would like to express gratitude to many who made Green Up Day 2017 a vibrant reality. Thank you!

To the volunteers: Over 22,000 people of all walks of life and varied ages volunteered to come out and clean up litter from Vermont’s roadsides, public and natural spaces and waterways. They did this before, during and after the traditional day of Green Up Day (the first Saturday in May) — May 6 for 2017. They worked through varying weather, including rain in some areas that forced a delay to the following weekend. In the Rutland area, windstorms joined the rain, leaving thousands without power. In some areas of the state, organizers indicated weather was a definite factor in turnout.

To the Coordinators in each of the 251 towns, including numerous towns with a Co-coordinator: These caring dedicated Town Coordinators, working in conjunction with Green Up Vermont – the nonprofit organization carrying on the tradition of Green Up Day, organized logistics to publicize for participation; inform residents of areas needing cleaning; make the green Green Up trash bags available and advise what to do with filled bags; arrange for and advise of any community festivities such as breakfast, refreshments, lunch and in some cases return for gathering at a community dinner; music; raffles.

To the many schools whose students participated: Several thousand students around the state helped clean up with fellow students just prior to Green Up Day and also on Green Up Day in their communities with family, friends and neighbors. A very small sampling includes: Edmunds Elementary School, North Hero Elementary School, Union Elementary School, Thatcher Brook Primary, Sudbury Country School…which greens up “en masse” during a school day prior.

To the numerous businesses coming out to help clean up on Friday: Over thirty businesses primarily in large towns formed teams of employees to help start the Green Up cleaning up on Friday, drawing attention and reminder to take part in Green Up Day on Saturday. A sampling included Vermont Chamber of Commerce, Vermont Gas, Cabot Creamery, Dealer.com

To Governor Scott: The Governor with a team of his cabinet members went out on Friday to clean up a stretch of Rt. 2 from Montpelier to Middlesex. He is making his presence and support visible to emphasize the importance of Green Up Day.

Melinda Vieux is President of Green Up Vermont.

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