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Green Up Day, one of Vermont's most cherished annual traditions, will take place on May 30 with a few alterations to accommodate restrictions related to COVID-19.

This year marks the fiftieth anniversary of Green Up Day, when citizens go outside to help clean their communities. Due to the spread of the novel coronavirus and ensuing state-wide physical distancing restrictions, Green Up Vermont postponed the event from its original date in early spring.

On May 30, from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Green Up Day bags will be available at the Colchester Police Station on Blakely Road, along with a sign-up sheet for name, number in party, number of bags taken and area planning to clean up. There will be a package of wipes to clean off the pens.

Volunteers also may contact Green Up chair Theresa Carroll in advance at mnhinc@comcast.net to register and then can pick up their bags on Saturday, which the Colchester Conservation Commission will set aside with their name on attached so folks can avoid waiting in line or being in close contact with others.

Members of the commission will be at the Police Station from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. to hand out bags and give out assignments. Most people will already have an area in mind, but if not, the commission can assign.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, this year the commission will not provide gloves, snacks or water for volunteers as they have in past years, so they suggest residents to bring their own supplies. The regular noontime cookout has also been cancelled.

Although bags will be handed out only until 12:30 p.m., volunteers do not need to clean up on Saturday morning between the official hours. Clean up can be done anytime up to Sunday evening as the town will pick up on Monday morning. Volunteers can work as few or as many hours as they want.

Bags need to be tied and left on the side of the road in a place where a truck can safely stop—and not on the bike path or school grounds, if that's the area being cleaned. Metal should be kept separate and placed next to—not into—the bags along with other bulky items.

Volunteers sometimes ask what happens to the trash. According to the conservation commission, Myers Containers donates a dumpster that is located at the police station. Any bags that are left on the roadside, the Department of Public Works staff will pick up on Monday; Myers will take the garbage to CSWD.

Green Up Day was started in 1970, making this its 50th year. In recognition of this, the state Green Up Day organization is giving each of the 247 towns that participate a plaque and a young sapling. The plaque will be hung in Town Hall. The sapling will be raffled off. Anyone who volunteers for Green Up Day can enter their name in the raffle.

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