Green Up Day is on.
A Vermont institution celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, Green Up Day will take place across Vermont on Saturday. Organizers have been continuously monitoring daily reports from Gov. Phil Scott and the Vermont Department of Health, and along with many Vermont towns, believe Green Up Day can be done safely, by following the protocols set in place by authorities.
Green Up Day, by nature, is an activity of social distancing as citizens of all ages get outside and clean up miles of Vermont roads.
Green Up Day supplies have been delivered with the help of all nine VTrans districts across the state and are available for pickup in each town. "We urge people to check in with their town coordinators to make themselves aware of specific safety protocols," said Green Up executive director Kate Alberghini.
"People can find contact information and additional details on our website, greenupvermont.org, on the Get Involved tab. We are updating the site daily to bring the most current town safety plans to people for both the pickup of supplies and disposal of the trash," Alberghini said.
"Our first priority is Vermonters' safety, and we are promoting social distance, gloves and masks in addition to the traditional road safety precautions. Although it won't be Green Up Day as usual, we have much to celebrate with Green Up's 50th anniversary, along with the perseverance of Vermonters' for doing good in their communities," she said.
A few special interest groups for Green Up Day include a Green Scuba team, led by Patrick Carr, who will be picking up litter in the depths of Lake Champlain. Plogging groups will also reach various corners of the state. Plogging is an activity that combines jogging and picking up trash.
The Green Up App has also launched on Apple and Google Play, making it easily accessible to set up virtual teams, communicate instantly, track trash drops and routes, and add a little friendly competition with its leaderboard. Green Up is encouraging all participants to take pictures and post them on the Green Up Vermont Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/GreenUpVermont/, to cohesively share this statewide celebration of community service.
In commemoration of its 50th anniversary, Green Up Vermont has delivered "birthday boxes" to each Vermont town. The contents include a coupon for birthday cake donated by Shaw's, coffee from Vermont Coffee Company, and flower seeds from Subaru of New England, among other things.
Each town has also been given each town a sugar maple tree sapling and engraved granite plaque to plant in a common town area in thanks for all of the work towns have done throughout the past 50 years. Green Up has also been collecting oral histories that will be compiled and aired by the Vermont Historical Society on their podcast channel "Before Your Time" this week.
Green Up Vermont continues to encourage student engagement by launching a video contest where kids of all ages can send in a 30-second commercial or share what Green Up Day and community service means to them.
"Green Up is a well-loved Vermont tradition that will bring some normalcy to our communities and will help contribute to the physical, social, and mental health of Vermonters as much as their Green Up service will help beautify our state," Alberghini said. "We look forward to Greening Up safely on May 30 with social distance, masks, and gloves. Visit our website at greenupvermont.org for more information."
Green Up Vermont is a private nonprofit that relies on the contributions from corporate partners including Casella, Subaru of New England, CCV, National Life Group, Northfield Savings Bank, Co-op Insurance Co., Cabot Creamery, Spruce Mortgage, UVM Health Network, Eternity Web, and Hagan Associates, along with others and individuals to ensure programs such as the poster contest and Green Up Day happen. Individuals can choose to donate to Green Up Vermont on line 23, Charitable Tax Contribution, on the Vermont state income tax return or donate online.
Saturday's forecast for Bennington County calls for mostly cloudy skies, with a high of 83 degrees and a chance of an afternoon thunderstorm.