By KATHRYN FLAGG
ADDISON COUNTY — Captain Green Up will touch down in Middlebury on Friday once again, kicking off a flurry of spring cleaning around Addison County and throughout Vermont.
The super hero, clad in the telltale Green Up bags used to collect litter every year, will lead roughly 300 Middlebury-area middle school students through the streets.
MUMS teacher Peter Brakeley — who bears a distinct likeness to the superhero, but denies any relation — will be on hand too. Brakeley will be spearheading the event at MUMS for the 26th year this spring. He said students love the event — not least of all because it means a break from classes on a typically sunny Friday afternoon.
But from Brakeley’s perspective, the community-wide Green Up clean-up effort can be just as educational for students as classroom learning.
“It gives them an idea of good citizenship and community service,” Brakeley said. “I think that’s really important.”
It’s not just MUMS students who will spend this weekend tidying up their neighborhoods. Green Up Day has been a Vermont institution since 1970, said April Burnham, the county coordinator for this year’s event. Now, every year in communities around Vermont, volunteers take to the streets on the first Saturday in May to stuff litter into the telltale “Green Up” bags.
Last year, Addison County residents collected nearly 18 tons garbage, 271 tires, 15 pieces of scrap metal, and 14 televisions and other discarded electronic.
Peg Martin, the Middlebury coordinator for the event, said she hopes turn out is good this year. She’s been coordinating the town’s Green Up efforts “forever,” she said, and has noticed changes over the years.
“It seems to me there’s more to pick up,” Martin said. “Doubtless there’s more to pick up, more portable things. McDonald’s is everywhere, coffee cups are everywhere.”
But, as Martin said, at least towns are making an annual effort to clean up that litter, and that Green Up Day as an institution is something Vermonters should be proud of.
“We are hoping that folks look around their neighborhood and recruit other people with them or pick their favorite nasty spot and go forth and gather,” Martin said. “It doesn’t take long, unfortunately, to fill a bag.”
Green Up Day is Saturday, May 2. A list of Green Up Day coordinators, town activities, and the coordinators’ contact information follows:
• Starr Phillips — 759-2421. Contact Phillips to receive bags and to coordinate coverage areas. When bags are full, they can be dropped off between May 1 and May 3 behind the Addison Baptist Church at the Four Corners.
• Susan Highley — 758-2714. Participants can pick up bags from now until May 2 at the town office from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Bags can be dropped off on May 2 at the town office between the same hours.
• Dave Rosen — 453-5655. Residents can pick up bags at a table set up on the town green on Saturday morning. Full bags can be dropped off all day on May 2 at the town landfill.
• Vanessa Wolff — 462-3138. Bags are waiting at the town hall, where they will be available until Green Up Day. Full bags can be dropped off at the town hall’s parking lot between 8:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. on Saturday, May 2.
• Deb Healy — 475-2944. Bags are currently available at the town clerk’s office, and can also be picked up on Saturday between 9 and 10 a.m. at the Ferrisburgh Central School. Full bags can be dropped off behind the town garage on Little Chicago Road by Sunday evening, May 3.
• Jeff Cathcart — 247-5413. Bags are available at the town garage between now and May 2. Filled bags should be returned to the town garage.
• Daniel Sargeant — 767-3027. Green Up Day bags will be available at the town fire station after 7:30 a.m. on May 2. Trash should be dropped off at the station by noon on the same day.
• Davey Domina — 767-4490. Contact Domina for more information.
• Kate Briggs — 247-5305. Green Up bags will be available at the town garage on May 2, or by calling Briggs before Green Up Day. Residents should bring filled bags to the town shed between 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. on Saturday, May 3. Each participant will receive a ticket good for lunch at a cookout that afternoon, and each ticket will be entered into a raffle drawing.
• Jaqueline Olson — 453-5985. Bags will be available at the Lincoln General Store all week, or at the fire station on Green Up Day from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Filled bags should be dropped off at the fire station on Green Up Day during that same window.
• Peg Martin — 388-7697. Bags will be available at the Middlebury town manager’s office or at Otter Creek Brewery through May 2. On Green Up Day, filled bags should be dropped off at the town trucks parked at the fire station in East Middlebury, at the town offices, at the Recreation Park skating rink or at Otter Creek Brewery. The day will also feature a cookout at the brewery.
• Janet Kimball — 453-2675. Bags are available from Kimball and at the town hall, where on the morning of Green Up Day volunteers will be giving them out from about 8:15 a.m. to noon. Volunteers can drop off bags of trash at the town garage between 8:15 a.m. and 5 p.m. on May 2.
• Susie Roorda — 453-5978. Town residents can meet at the bandstand at 9 a.m. to register for roads and pick up bags, gloves and water. If participants drop their filled bags off at the town green between 9 a.m. and noon on Saturday, they can exchange their filled bags for hot dogs and drinks, while listening to a live performance by the Ridge Runners brass band.
• Cindy Watrous — 948-2751. Bags will be available at Buxton’s Store, Orwell Gas ’N Go and the town offices between now and Green Up Day. Filled bags can be dropped off at the Orwell town shed between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m. on Saturday.
• Louise Giovanella — 759-2529. For more information about picking up a bag, call Giovanella. Bags should be dropped off on May 2 at the town garage, or can be left on the roadside for pick up.
• Warren King — 388-4082 and Steve Zwicky — 388-2301. Bags are available at the Ripton Store or the town office. Participants can drop off their filled bags at the town shed from 9 a.m. until noon on Saturday, May 2.
• Christine Turner — 352-4778. Salisbury residents can pick up their Green Up bags at the Kampersville Store on May 2 between 8 a.m. and 10 a.m. Filled bags will be picked up along designated routes. A community dinner will follow at 6 p.m. at the Salisbury Community School. Tickets for the dinner will cost $8 for adults and $5 for children.
• Heidi Lanpher — 897-2244. Bags can be acquired at the town clerk’s office or by calling Lanpher. Filled Green Up bags can be dropped off at the town firehouse on May 2 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Participants who fill a Green Up bag will receive a free ice cream.
• Marcia Perry — 434-2462. Contact Perry to receive bags, or pick up a Green Up bag at the general store, the Jerusalem Store, the town clerk’s office or the town garage between now and May 2. On Green Up Day, participants can drop off filled bags between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m. at the town garage.
• Craig Miner — 877-2469. Bags will be available between 7 a.m. and noon on Saturday at the city green. Filled bags should be left on the curb by noon on Green Up Day.
• Robert Popick — 877-3323. Participants should contact Popick to pick up bags. Filled bags can be left by the side of the road and the town truck will pick them up after 3 p.m. on May 2.
• Megan Sutton — 545-2475. People can pick up bags and sign up for a section of roads at the recycling center during its operating hours. When bags are filled, participants should leave them, along with anything they can’t bag, on the side of the road in a visible place.
• Becky Bertrand — 623-632. Whiting residents can pick up bags on May 2 at the town shed, or should call Bertrand for more information.