Franklin Countys First News

Earth Day brings spring cleaning, fun to Franklin County

Volunteers Andi Walker, at left, and Lois Buschmann sign in and get their bags and gloves before heading out to pick up trash in Farmington at the 2016 event. At right are Earth Day clean-up organizer Annie Bean Palmer and Chris Palmer.

Volunteers with baby pygmy goats at last year's Earth Day cleanup event in Farmington.

Earth Day is this Saturday, April 22, and Franklin County residents will be turning out to help spruce up their hometowns. A number of communities will be holding special cleaning events, with a regional focus on a local, multi-town trail system.

In Farmington, the 4th annual Volunteer Earth Day Cleanup will be focusing on the Whistle Stop Trail in West Farmington, working in conjunction with crews in Wilton and Jay along their respective sections of the recreational trail. According to organizer Annie Palmer, volunteers can meet anytime from 1 to 3 p.m. at the Pierce House lawn, where bags and gloves will be provided.

Special ambassadors will be on the Pierce House lawn, in what is fast becoming an annual tradition: Fred Barton's baby goats. There will also be free popcorn, thanks to Public Works Director Phil Hutchins. Volunteers will receive seed packages thanks to Reny's. The UMF Sustainable Campus Coalition will have an educator present to teach anyone interested about worm composting and there will be an interactive watershed pollution display.

Jay's Recreation Committee will be taking the lead in their town, with volunteers gathering with members at the French Falls Recreation Area at the end of French Falls Lane across from Spruce Mountain Middle School. Rubber gloves and trash bags will be available, with the cleanup running from 1 to 3 p.m.

Wilton's Whistle Stop Trail team will gather near Steve's Market at the snowmobile clubhouse. Meanwhile, the Wilton Group is organizing an in-town effort, gathering at 9 a.m. at the Civil War Monument in the downtown. After enjoying some cupcakes from Collins Cakes & Bakes, volunteers will divide into crews targeting Bass Park and the surrounding gardens, the post office, the Western Maine Children's Museum, the churches and East Wilton's playground and planters.

Organizers are looking for young people, particularly high school students, to help out, but volunteers of all ages are welcome. Brooms, rakes, paper towels, white trash bags, pails and gloves will all be welcome, as will trucks capable of hauling leaves and trash to the Transfer Station.

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  1. I will do my part by picking up trash along my end of Lake Rd for Earth Day and often thru the year.