It's clean-up day in Vermont

Green Up Day is slowly approaching. This years Green Up Day will be May 5. Vermont's Green Up Day began in 1970 when 70,000 Vermonters joined together around the state to clean up roadside litter that had accumulated during the winter months. The first Green Up Day was on April 18, 1970. The idea came from Robert S. Babcock, Jr., then a full time reporter for the Burlington Free Press. He had the idea on a clear spring day in March 1969 when Babcock, driving to work in Montpelier from his home in Waterbury, when he noticed unsightly litter revealed by spring snow run-off. Upon arriving in Montpelier, he went to the office of Gov. Davis in the Vermont State House and proposed the inauguration of a statewide effort, to be supported by the State Highway Department and groups of volunteer citizens to clean up the highways of the state. After 37 years, the Green Up legacy continues the improvement of the Vermont landscape. It's about more than just picking up highway litter and cleaning up public parks. Green Up Day is about people of all ages joining together in community spirit to take care of Vermont. It teaches our children about pride and respect of the land and environment. Today, the tradition continues to grow thanks to the not-for-profit organization Green Up Vermont. Over 40,000 bags of trash are collected annually with the help of over 250 volunteer coordinators and co-coordinators and over 15,000 participants. Green Up Vermont is funded primarily by private donations from individuals and businesses, with some support from the state and towns. Green Up Vermont also holds a writing and poster contest for all area schools to participate in. Their very first "Write Up" contest started January 2007. Students are invited to write their thoughts about Green Up in the form of a poem or an essay of up to 400 words. This years winners of the poster contest where, Overall Winner Justin Cole from Blue Mountain Union School, Orange County, grade 9, K - 4 Winner Sarah Young from Neshobe School, Rutland County, grade 4, 5 - 8 winner Morgan Young from Bellows Free Academy, Franklin County, grade 6 and 9-12 Winner Marissa Gagnon from Blue Mountain Union School, Orange County, grade 9. The winning poem of Ethan Nerney of the Lathrop School in Pittsford: Green Up Day Helping, cleaning lots of fun Green up Day has just begun You and I should tidy up Let's be part of the big cleanup! You should not be a litter bug Recycle all those cans and jugs. Congratulations to all the winners and lets all pull together to clean up our beautiful state.

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