2012-04-27 / Front Page

Bad weather holds off for clean up

By Kristy Wagner
Staff Writer


Jon Dore and volunteers prepare the signup table at Mill Creek Park on Saturday. 
(KristyWagnerphoto) Jon Dore and volunteers prepare the signup table at Mill Creek Park on Saturday. (KristyWagnerphoto) Locals came out early on a cloudy Saturday morning to help clean up South Portland in honor of Earth Day.

The South Portland Land Trust organized the 2012 Earth Day Clean Up and the event has been held every year since 1999. Volunteers had the option of signing up for the event at Mill Creek Park, Willard Beach, Hinckley Park or Red Bank Community Center.

“Some years it gets really big. It was at its biggest in 2008 or 2009 with 300 volunteers,” said Jon Dore, project manager for South Portland Land Trust.

Before the event, Dore said he was hoping for around 200 volunteers at the four locations. Sign-up started at 8:30 a.m. and volunteers hunted down litter until 11:30 a.m.

“Last year it was really cold and we still had 100 people,” Dore said.

Upon signing up, every volunteer received a trash bag for garbage and other debris, a clear plastic bag for recyclables, such as plastic bottles, and a pair of blue rubber gloves.


Jon Dore, project manager with South Portland Land Trust, hands out plastic bags and gloves to volunteers for the 2012 Earth Day Clean Up; 144 people signed up with others at Hannaford, Jon Dore, project manager with South Portland Land Trust, hands out plastic bags and gloves to volunteers for the 2012 Earth Day Clean Up; 144 people signed up with others at Hannaford, Saturday’s event attracted 140 volunteers and many more helped out who were not signed up, Dore said.

Dore said the land trust partnered with many local organizations for the clean-up event, including Community Partnerships for Protecting Children, Norway Savings Bank, Saco and Biddeford Savings, Girl Scouts of Maine, Rotary Club of Breakwater Daybreak, the U.S Coast Guard, SoPo Dog Owner’s Group, South Portland Conservation Commission and the city of South Portland. Hannaford managers cleaned up around the Mill Creek store, the Boys and Girls Club picked up the Greenbelt, local Little League players and coaches cleaned up their ball fields and the Coast Guard cleaned the shoreline on both sides of its South Portland facility.

“It’s cool because everyone can participate,” Dore said. “Anyone can walk up to the table, grab a bag and gloves and sign up.”

Dore said every person who signed up at Saturday’s event was entered into a drawing to win prizes that included a $50 gift card from Norway Savings Bank; a one-hour massage from Soma Massage and Wellness; two $25 gift certificates to Terra Cotta Pasta Company; and a sandwich or dessert platter from Verbena Eat Right Now, among a few other goods and services that were donated for Saturday’s clean up.

The land trust took care of the recyclables collected and the city of South Portland disposed of the trash.

“We see mostly trash now,” Dore said.

He said the first couple years, clean-up volunteers were gathering large pieces of debris and a lot of recyclable material, but he is happy to see that people are being more responsible with discarding such items in recent years.

Volunteers from Soma could be seen practicing QiGong at Mill Creek next to Dore’s sign-up table. Julie Wright, owner and director of Soma Massage and Wellness on Cottage Road, not only contributed a one-hour massage to the prize drawing, but she and some of her Soma employees signed up and participated in the event at the Mill Creek location.

“We have been part of the area clean up for the last couple of years,” Wright said.

Staff Writer Kristy Wagner can be reached 282-4337, ext. 219.

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