The 9th Annual Farmington Earth Day Cleanup will be held Friday afternoon, April 22. Seen picking up near the tennis courts at Hippach Field last year are from left, Nora McCourt, Maya Kellett and Avery Jessen. The trio were eighth grade students at Mt. Blue Middle School. File photo/Livermore Falls Advertiser

FARMINGTON — The 9th Annual Earth Day Cleanup in Farmington is set for 1-3 p.m. Friday, April 22.

Organizing the event this year are Farmington Public Library Director Jessica Casey and Farmington Public Works Department Head Philip Hutchins. Jo-Anne “Jody” Bean Palmer who had been involved in prior years is out of state this year.

“It should be fun, as always, and we have some wonderful prizes for which the volunteers can compete,” Bean Palmer wrote in an April 7 email.

Prizes will be awarded for happiest cleanup volunteer group or family, oddest litter found, most adventurous litter retrieval, youngest volunteer, most litter picked up by an individual and most litter picked up by a group or team. To be considered, photos should be emailed to Farmington Public Library director Jessica Casey, [email protected]

Downtown businesses have donated the prizes, Casey said Tuesday, April 12.

Organizations, family groups, and individuals are encouraged to take part. Volunteers should plan to meet in front of the Pierce House where bags and gloves will be provided.

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“Public Works have always played a role in this Earth Day event because one of our primary roles is keeping the environment healthy and also the public’s involvement seems a way for all of us to work together,” Hutchins wrote in an April 12 email. “Our crew will lend a hand for immediate collection of debris and we will also transport the debris collected and we will dispose of it accordingly. The volume that is gathered on Earth Day by this community wide event is the same volume our small staff can gather in a full week.”

Awards will be presented to volunteers participating in the 9th Annual Farmington Earth Day cleanup on Friday, April 22. Last year the youngest volunteer was Scarlett Katzenbach at four years old, who received a Reny’s gift certificate. Seen from left during the presentation are Reny’s Manager, Dean Olmsted, Laura Columbia with Scarlett Katzenbach and Kelsey Hutchins with her dad, Public Works Department Head, Phil Hutchins. File photo/Livermore Falls Advertiser

According to information provided at the March 22 Select Board meeting:

• Volunteers cleaned up 857 pounds of litter in 2021

• Farmington spends an estimated $12,000 on litter cleanup annually

Impacts of litter  

• Deteriorates the natural environment

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• Can cause harm to wildlife

• Pollutes waterways

• Decreases property values

• Deters people from coming to the community

• Deters people from entering businesses

• Litter removal is estimated to cost United States taxpayers and businesses $11.5 billion annually

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Benefits of Earth Day participation  

• Shows care for the environment

• Shows concern for use of sustainable and environmentally friendly practices

• Helps bring neighborhood together, produces positive feelings from giving back

• Improves physical and mental health by getting outside

“Another purpose of my contribution is educating the younger generation and public on the importance of recycling and pollution,” Hutchins wrote. “Without this knowledge it impacts our environment and public facilities, which can create stress on habitat and public funds for correction.”

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