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Gear Up for Green Up Day 

Scenes from Green Up Day, 2022. Photo courtesy of Green Up Vermont.
People celebrate Earth Day in the rest of the country, but Vermonters make a bigger deal of Green Up Day. Held the first Saturday in May (this year on May 6), the event had its 50th year anniversary in 2020. And, over the course of time, each town has developed traditions involving bright green bags, trash, and community. But the commonality ends there.

Each town has a slightly different way to celebrate a day of picking up trash after the snow melts, so those who want to volunteer need to check with their town about its procedures. This year it is as important as ever to know what coordinators want. Some towns want volunteers to leave bags by the side of the road while others do not. Below are requests and offerings by a sample of towns in the area from greenupvermont.org.

Barre City (Spaulding High School) student volunteers will hand out Green Up Day bags in the parking lot behind city hall from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Bags can be picked up in advance in the Barre City Clerk’s office. Filled bags may be dropped off May 6 and 7 in a Green Up dumpster at the Merchant’s Row parking lot behind city hall. Contact Guinevere Fredriksen at gfredshs@buusd.org.

Barre Town will offer bags at the town office. People are asked to leave bags along the roadsides. Green Up Day prizes will be raffled off to volunteers and a free BBQ for volunteers will be held at the recreation area picnic shelter from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Contact Johnny Crossley at jcrossley@barretown.org.

Berlin residents may pick up bags at the town offices or at the Berlin Elementary School library prior to Green Up Day. People are asked to either leave bags by the side of the road or put bags in dumpsters at the town offices. Contact Geoff Bosse at gbosse@802cars.com or Tom Badowski at zoning@berlinvt.org.

Calais residents may pick up bags at town offices or town stores. Drop off full bags at the Calais Depot, the Maple Corner Community Store, and the Adamant Coop. Drop off between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. at the Calais Depot, and 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the two stores. Do not leave bags by the side of the road. They will not be picked up. Contact Jamie Moorby at transfeminist@gmail.com.

East Montpelier residents can pick up their Green Up bags at the town office, Dudley’s Store, Bragg Farm, Morse Farm, East Montpelier Elementary School, and Fox Market and Bar. Drop off is at 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the East Montpelier Elementary School. Contact Chris Racinelli at jumpinracflash@gmail.com or Erin Borland at erinmborland@gmail.com.

Middlesex residents can pick up their bags at either the town office or the Rumney School. Do not leave bags on the roadside; instead bring them to the town garage on Molly Supple Road between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. Contact Jon Udis at jonudis@together.net.

Montpelier residents can get gloves and bags in front of Montpelier City Hall or the entrance to the Capital City Farmers Market on Green Up Day between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. Volunteers are asked to use the online mapping tool montpelieralive.org/greenupmap to coordinate territories. This platform shows volunteers which areas have been claimed and which areas still need help in real time. Volunteers can leave full Green Up bags curbside within city limits. Contact Pete Walke at petewalke@gmail.com.

While most towns are simply offering green bags and instructions on what to do with the refuse, others continue the tradition of offering goodies to volunteers. Roxbury is having a picnic at the church at noon. Grafton is offering a “dumpster and ice cream” at drop off. Vernon is putting on lunch; Strafford is giving out popsicle coupons; Thetford is offering ‘treats.’ Montgomery will have a raffle and prizes; Leicester is having a cookout and prizes; Ripton is offering food at the town shed from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.; and Shoreham is offering coupons donated by local businesses as well as refreshments at the church in the morning. Also, Whiting is having an ice cream social for volunteers at 1 p.m. at the town hall, and St. Johnsbury is having an appreciation BBQ for Green Up volunteers, while Sutton is having a potluck. Meanwhile, Alburgh is having all kinds of fun with a scavenger hunt for kids and a BBQ that starts at noon with hamburgers and hot dogs, pasta salad and chips, beverages, and ice cream. There are many ways to execute the shared mission of cleaning up Vermont.