People who enjoy camping have an opportunity Saturday to make the experience more enjoyable for themselves and others.

Maine’s chapter of the Izaak Walton League is sponsoring what it hopes will become an annual campsite cleanup day.

In central Maine, sites along the Androscoggin River in Turner, Livermore and Livermore Falls are being targeted, said Debi Davidson, a Walton League representative.

In western Maine, people are being encouraged to gather at the state’s Round Barn area on the shore of Flagstaff Lake. That effort starts at 9 a.m. Once Round Barn is clean, participants will move on to sites at Grand Falls on the Dead River.

Statewide, the League is encouraging individuals, families and organizations to join in the effort to clean up and restore local and remote unsupervised campsites, scenic locations and water access points that are open to the public free of charge.

“Campsite Clean-up Day is one way we can give something back to private landowners who allow public use of their property,” said the League’s Dave Lovejoy.

In the event of rain, the cleanup will be held Sunday instead.

Many commercial campground owners hold similar cleanup days, according to Tamra White, co-owner with her husband, David, of Poland Spring Campground.

Campgrounds often offer free camping in exchange for several hours of campsite raking and similar work. At hers, White said visitors camped for free on opening weekend, May 7 and 8, if they agreed to four hours of raking and other cleaning and planting trees.

White said the weekend often becomes a social event with potluck meals, and gives people a chance to try out a campground for free.

Poland Spring has been offering the clean-up-for-camping program for the past 10 seasons, she said.

For the Walton League effort, Davidson said area Brownies are expected to help League members clean the Livermore Falls Recreation Area starting at 1 p.m. Saturday.

Earlier in the day, she said, volunteers are expected to help clean the area between the Twin Bridges in Turner and the Tolla Wolla area along the Androscoggin on River Road in Livermore.

People interested in helping can contact Davidson at 897-6295 or 897-2437 for times and directions.

She said volunteers should wear gloves and bring along a shovel or rake or both when possible. Trash bags are useful as well, she said.


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