County cleanups on tap for Earth Day

David Boles cleans up a vacant lot on Wells Street in Greenfield in April 2021. Greenfield is the site of a citywide cleanup, with blue trash bags available for anyone willing to pick up litter.

David Boles cleans up a vacant lot on Wells Street in Greenfield in April 2021. Greenfield is the site of a citywide cleanup, with blue trash bags available for anyone willing to pick up litter. Staff File Photo/Paul Franz

By DOMENIC POLI

Staff Writer

Published: 04-17-2024 5:12 PM

Modified: 04-17-2024 6:11 PM


Residents across Franklin County plan to get their hands dirty in celebration of Earth Day, with various cleanup events on the horizon.

In Colrain, residents can roll up their sleeves and pick up roadside litter as part of “Spruce Up Colrain.” There is a focus on getting out this Saturday, but people are encouraged to hit the streets anytime in April and May.

Jonathan Lagreze, one of the organizers, said the event got off the ground after he started an effort to remove old tires that plagued various locations around Colrain.

“I thought to kind of make it more of a general clean-up-the-town kind of process,” he said this week.

Lagreze said Ryan Clary, the geographic information systems (GIS) technician at the Franklin Regional Council of Governments, created a map of Colrain, complete with its nearly 100 miles of roadways. This event has a QR code that will bring interested people to tinyurl.com/SpruceUpColrain, where they can find the map and register a group for a cleanup. However, participants can also simply go outside and pick up litter.

The Colrain Transfer Station at 7 Charlemont Road will offer free disposal of collected litter on April 20, April 27, May 4 and May 11. Lagreze said he had hoped to have people be able to drop off collected tires for free, but the station’s $5 fee per tire remains in place.

Email SpruceUpColrain@gmail.com or send a text to 413-559-7755 for other free pickup and disposal options or information on volunteering.

The Colrain event will be supplemented by programming at Griswold Memorial Library on April 20 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. to commemorate Earth Day and World Water Day, which was March 22. Jocelyn Demuth of Checkerspot Farm and Elizabeth Erickson will present “Getting Started with Native Plants.” The Colrain Seniority Dancers will also be on hand to perform a piece to “The Skye Boat Song” by The Corries.

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Farther south, the Leverett Community Builders will sponsor the fourth annual Earth Day community-wide cleanup from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday. Individuals and groups can participate by choosing an area to clean and signing up at bit.ly/LeverettCleanup.

Participants can bring trash and recyclables to the Leverett Transfer Station at 5 Cemetery Road at no charge. A $25 gift certificate to the Leverett Village Co-op will be awarded to the person or group that collects the most trash.

Tom Wolff, who helps organize the Leverett event, said 50 to 60 groups have ventured out in the past few years, even finding a couch that was dumped on Cave Hill Road about three years ago.

“A couple of us had the inspiration to clean up the town. My wife and I and our neighbors walk on Jackson Hill Road and it was getting covered with beer cans and [single-serve] bottles,” Wolff recalled. “And it wasn’t hard to get the neighbors involved.”

Individuals and families alike have been known to participate.

“The kids love it,” he said.

The Leverett Highway Department will pick up large items left roadside the following Monday if participants arrange pick-up by emailing highway@leverett.ma.us. The Selectboard and the Transfer Station are waiving fees that weekend for trash collected during cleanups.

This year’s Earth Day cleanup also coincides with “Hold the Foam,” an opportunity for Leverett residents to recycle Styrofoam at the Transfer Station on each Saturday in April.

Greenfield is the site of citywide cleanup efforts, with free blue trash bags available for anyone willing to pick up litter. The Greenfield Department of Public Works will collect these bags for free, no sticker needed, along its normal routes. People can get these blue bags at the DPW at 189 Wells St., the John Zon Community Center at 35 Pleasant St. and the Recreation Department at 20 Sanderson St.

According to Greenfield resident Nikki Garrett, neighbors from Precincts 5 and 7 plan to join forces for a cleanup from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday, April 21, with an April 28 rain date. The blue bags and work gloves will be available in the Innovintage Place parking lot at 76 Hope St. or the Green River School parking lot at 62 Meridian St.

From 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., residents are encouraged to tidy up their own street or nearby public areas. From 1 to 3 p.m., they can team up with larger crews to tackle some trash “hotspots” on Russell Street or Deerfield Street. Details will be provided at the trash bag pick-up locations. While Precinct 5 and 7 residents are most encouraged to participate, all are welcome. Questions can be directed to greenfield5neighbors@gmail.com or 413-225-1955.

Additional cleanups

■There will be a neighborhood roadside cleanup in Deerfield on April 20. Residents who help must provide their own bags and properly dispose of the collected trash.

■Wendell residents are encouraged to participate in weeklong cleanup effort from April 14 through April 20. A crew will pick up the bags of litter that are left safely by the guardrails or utility poles on April 20, from 9 a.m. until noon. Those who choose to bring the bags of litter to the Wendell Recycling & Transfer Station can put them in the hopper at no charge. Call Maggie Houghton at 978-544-7773, Deb Lewis at 978-544-7102 or Anne Diemand Bucci at 413-522-4453 to report which roads have been cleaned.

■There will be a cleanup at the Poplar Mountain Conservation Area on Old State Road in Erving starting at 9 a.m. on April 21. There will be tasks for people of all ability levels.

■A cleanup effort will be held at the Ashfield Town Beach & Park starting at 10 a.m. on April 27 to get the park ready for summer. Bring yard rakes, wheelbarrows and work gloves. Cookies and cider will be provided by the Ashfield Park Commission. The rain date is April 28. Call 413-628-3268 with any questions.

Reach Domenic Poli at: dpoli@recorder.com or 413-930-4120.