WOODSTOCK — Earth Day cleanup volunteers in Woodstock, Bethel and Canton were busy for hours on Saturday bagging trash from roadsides and parks.

Crews in Bethel and Canton also painted trail blazes and removed blown-down trees and branches while clearing trails.

Saturday was a cleanup day for national conservation commissions and committees around the country.

“So we said, ‘Let’s do it in Woodstock,'” Jane Chandler of the Woodstock Conservation Commission said.

In three hours, 17 people removed trash from 15 miles of roadsides, the Bryant Pond Ballfield and the public boat launch in Woodstock, said Chandler, of Bryant Pond. The debut cleanup effort will also benefit the Woodstock Bicentennial Celebration planned for June 20 and 21.

“We’re finding lots of stuff,” Chandler said. Returnable bottles and cans were to be given to the Woodstock Parent/Teachers Association.

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“Among the odd things they removed were one gas tank, six tires, several assorted auto parts and one dead deer,” Chandler said. “We called the (Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife) on the dead deer, but the rest of it was taken to the Greenwood/Woodstock Transfer Station in Greenwood.”

“It was the head and the hooves in a bag and it looked like they skinned it out,” volunteer Carla Phillips said.

“It was nasty,” volunteer Becky Carter said of finding the bloated deer parts. They believed a game warden retrieved the bag, because it was gone when they returned.

Saturday’s Woodstock cleanup efforts were also educational, because Greenwood and Woodstock debuted zero-sort recycling that morning at the transfer station.

Karen McNaughton of Topsham and Pine Tree Waste Services in Lewiston greeted all of Chandler’s volunteers and local residents hauling trash to the transfer station.

McNaughton handed out a Zero-Sort Recycling sheet that explained what is and isn’t accepted. “The residents are loving it,” she said.

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Volunteers Ruth Feeney and Jennifer Chase drove in with a pickup bed containing many full black trash bags, car parts, a New York license plate and a Paul LePage for governor campaign sign. The car debris and plate were found at the corner of Routes 232 and 26, they said.

Up Route 26 in Bethel at Davis Park, Bethel Conservation Commission members and volunteers bagged several items of trash and tossed them into Dave Freiday’s Earth Design Associates truck.

Ten first- and second-grade children and seven parents in the Daisy Girl Scout Troop 2100 of Bethel cleaned up Bethel Station, while others cleaned roadsides, Angevine Park on the North Road and Newt’s Landing, an Androscoggin River Trail canoe access site in West Bethel. Another crew worked on the Mount Will Trail off Route 2.

“We had about 40 people come out and it’s a beautiful day,” Jessie Perkins of the Bethel commission said. Their volunteers collected three cubic yards of trash.

In Canton, 15 volunteers, including the Canton Parks and Trails Committee, removed trash, fall leaves and dead grass from Canton Heritage Park beside Route 108.

“Cleaning this park is definitely a labor of love,” committee member Becky MacDonald said.

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Two selectmen removed blown-down trees and limbs from the nearby Whitney Brook Trail.

“We’re really happy (with the weather) and to have so many people come down and help out with the trail as well,” said Sue Gammon, a committee member.

“It’s been a really good day,” she said. “We didn’t even have a cleanup last year, because there was no turnout. The last few years, we’d get one or two people at most, so we were really gratified this morning to see such good help, especially the kids.”

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