Westport cleans up its act on Green-Up Day
Updated 7:57 am, Sunday, April 21, 2013
If households do spring cleaning, why not towns?
Groups and individuals came together to support one civic cause: Cleaning up the community they love for the spring season of growth and renewal.
Trash bags were free for the asking at Jesup Green throughout the morning for the cadres of volunteer cleaners, who fanned out across town to selected sites and, after hours of raking and pruning and weeding, town crews hauled away the debris.
"We've been at this many years," said Angela Trucks, the committee chairwoman.
"Green-Up Day is a community-wide effort," she said. "They don't have to do it today, but today is the day that's designated."
In fact, Trucks said she hopes other groups come forward and join the 25 or so already pledged to help keep the town looking its best.
"In terms of debris and litter, I think the town does a pretty good job," Trucks said. "But in certain areas, they can't get into the nitty gritty."
She said some state-owned properties in town are among the most unsightly, along state highways and commuter parking lots. "The state does what it can," she said, but budgets are tight.
Amy Van Arsdale and her daughter, Carolynn, helped with clean-up efforts behind Saugatuck Congregational Church, a project spearheaded by the church's youth group.
"Believe it or not, we already picked up six bags over here," said Amy, who runs a household clean-up organization known as Simply Organize It.
She and her daughter were especially surprised to find a car battery on the edge of the woods. "I mean, come on," she said. "The dump takes these for recycling."
Still, she said, "It's not as bad as some places."
One especially littered spot that some Beautification Committee members discovered Saturday morning was the walkway behind the downtown Parker-Harding Plaza along the Saugatuck River. Literally hundreds of plastic bottles, wrappers and disposable coffee cups had accumulated there amid the reeds and tidal pools.
"This is just disgusting," said Nancy Carr, a committee member.
The committee members said they weren't even sure how they would tackle the big -- and wet -- clean-up job, but hoped to round up help from more volunteers.
"It's just a good idea to keep the town clean," said Debra Kandrak, committee member.
"I just wish there was more of a continuous town effort," she added, "especially on main roads. Nobody ever cleans them up."