Always the first Saturday in May, Green Up Day this year is Saturday, May 5. A Vermont tradition since 1970, Green Up Day is a statewide event when over 22,000 volunteers come together to remove litter from roadsides and public spaces. 2020 will mark Green Up Day’s 50th anniversary.
“Green Up Day epitomizes the essential nature of Vermont … the only state in the nation where, one Saturday a year, citizens from its towns and cities come together, united in their desire to do what they can as individuals, friends and neighbors to make their roads and public lands shine pristine again,” said East Montpelier coordinator Chris Racanelli. “It is our responsibility to cherish and preserve our strong civic values and pass this tradition down through the generations,” Racanelli continued.
Organizers are excited to announce that this year there is a Green Up Day app. Volunteers for Code for BTV, who donate their time to create apps for nonprofit organizations, chose Green Up Day as one of their volunteer app projects this year. The app focuses primarily on bringing people together, such as groups of friends or business employees who can coordinate their group clean-ups. It also enables users to pin where they are dropping full Green Up bags, and to see where bags have already been dropped, potentially creating less overlap on areas that have already been cleaned. To download the app, go to codeforbtv.org.
The first Green Up Day was launched in 1970 by Governor Deane Davis. Since 1979, the non-profit organization Green Up Vermont has been responsible for carrying on the tradition of Green Up Day. Over 55,000 Green Up trash bags are distributed. Green Up Vermont works with volunteer town coordinators statewide, and provides widespread promotional messaging for participation. Funding support for this undertaking comes from businesses and individuals. Individuals can donate on their Vermont Income Tax Return form during tax filing season or anytime online at greenupvermont.org.
Governor Scott will be kicking off Green Up Day at the Vermont State House on Tuesday, May 1, at 10 a.m. Green Up’s poster and writing contest student winners will be recognized. In Rutland, pick up bags at City Hall or Kinney Subaru from 8 a.m.-noon, and drop bags off at Kinney Subaru.
In Killington, pick up bags at the town office and drop off bags at the town transfer Station, both on River Road. A thank you lunch for volunteers will be held at 11:30 a.m. at the fire house.
For other towns, visit greenupvermont.org for contact information, as well as how to get Green Up bags, what to do with filled bags after, and any special offerings.
General safety guidelines:
- Keep a First Aid Kit available.
- Work with partners or teams, one side of the road at a time; travel by vehicle to the other side.
- Keep volunteers and vehicles on the same side of the road, parking 10 feet from shoulder.
- Watch footing, especially on slopes.
- Prevent overexertion – take breaks, drink water.
- Visit rcswd.com/a-z-list to find out how to dispose of certain items (dead animals, needles, suspected toxic / hazardous materials).
- Groups with children should have two cars: one “lead” car ahead and one “follow” car, with the children working in between.
- Be tick smart – wear long sleeves and pants, use insect repellent, check for ticks.
Photo by Rik Champine
The iconic green bags will be picked up along roadsides.