Thanks to an army of volunteers who turned out Saturday, Westport is not only greener, but cleaner.
The annual Green-Up Westport Day rolled out under sunny spring skies Saturday as the crews of volunteers from civic groups and clubs tackled trash and debris left in the wake of a nasty winter across time.
"We just want to help the beach stay clean," said Sophie Lynch, 10, of Westport, who was among those picking up debris at Sherwood Mill Pond. "We just like to help."
According to Tim Burke of the Parks and Recreation Department, which co-sponsored the event with the town's Beautification Committee, who was on hand at Jesup Green in the morning to hand out bags for the help collect the trash, many people began doing their cleanups weeks in advance.
"A lot of people picked up bags in the office," he said.
Burke said some civic groups contacted his department asking where the need was greatest, and some agreed to take on some particularly dirty spots, such as the local entrance/exit ramps to highways. "They call us and tell us where they're going to leave" the trash-filled bags, he said, and the department picks them up a day or two later.
Alicia Mozian, conservation director, who joined the cleanup in several spots around town, said the annual project not only helps the environment, but raises awareness.
"It sort of brings attention to people's behavior," she said. "Certainly some of this stuff got washed in with the tide, but if it were properly disposed of in the first place, it wouldn't have been washed in."
Mozian said cleanups also offer a chance for instant gratification: "You just pick it up and you've done something good."