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Green Up Day set for May 1

It’s that time of year, when the landscape begs for some TLC and Vermonters are called to get outside and spruce up their communities.

The 50-year-old tradition of a statewide spring cleaning, Green Up Day, is scheduled for May 1. Williston’s town planners have begun organizing sign-ups for groups interested in focusing on a particular roadway or park, and they invite residents to a meet-up on May 1 in front of Healthy Living Market to direct individuals and groups to areas that need cleaning.

Volunteers will be dispatched across town, filling the provided green bags with trash found on roadsides and other public spaces. Williston Green Up organizer Bonnie Woodford of the town’s planning and zoning office expects interest in stewardship of public spaces to be strong after a pandemic year where more people were frequenting public parks and trails.

“People are getting out a lot more and becoming more aware of places that need to be greened up,” she said. “I think participation will definitely rebound this year.”

Last year’s Green Up Day was postponed until the end of May and participation was lower than normal.

Starting Monday, residents are welcome to go to town hall and pick up Green Up Day bags and claim a park or section of road to clean. Typically, areas are claimed using a physical map in the town’s planning office. Last year, with the town offices closed, town staff created an online mapping tool where residents and groups can choose their green up areas. 

Town staff is using the online map again this year. Visit www.bit.ly/greenupsignup to view which portions of town are available. Williston Community Park and Rossignol Park, as well as a handful of roadways, were already claimed as of Tuesday. 

“It’s something people are just getting used to using,” Woodford said. “It’s always easier to have a paper map. Maybe next year we’ll have both.”

Those who don’t sign up ahead of time are invited to the front lawn of Healthy Living Market (alongside Williston Road) to greet town planners, grab Green Up bags and be directed to a spot that needs cleaning.

“It’s a way for us to talk to people face to face more than we’ve been able to do in the last year,” Woodford said.

Public works personnel will pick up filled Green Up bags and dispose of them Monday, May 3.