FARMINGTON — Many turned out Saturday, April 22, for the 10th Annual Farmington Earth Day Volunteer Cleanup.

Matt DeCastro of Wilton checks out a couple of goats Saturday afternoon, April 22, during the 10th Annual Farmington Earth Day Volunteer Cleanup. Volunteers signed in in front of The Pierce House then went to various locations throughout town to pick up litter. Pam Harnden/Livermore Falls Advertiser

Matt DeCastro of Wilton was there with his family. They participated in an Androscoggin County Earth Day event last year. This was the first year they tried the Farmington one, he stated.

Annie Palmer, organizer of several Farmington Earth Day Cleanups, was pleased with the turn out. Free seed packets were available for the volunteers.

Fred and Matilda’s petting farm animals was there with ducks, chickens, rabbits and goats. University of Maine Farmington students Autumn Ditzel of Bangor and Saraphim Bechard of Sabattus took time to take photos and get a closer look at the goats and ducks.

Macie Staples picks up litter Saturday afternoon, April 22, between the Farmington Post Office and The Pierce House. Staples, now a Farmington resident, was participating in the 10th Annual Farmington Earth Day Volunteer Cleanup, her first time. She said she picks up things daily while walking. Pam Harnden/Livermore Falls Advertiser

Volunteers could sign up for various categories including:

• Happiest cleanup volunteer group or family


• Oddest litter found

• Most adventurous litter retrieval

• Most litter picked up by an individual

• Most litter picked up by a group or team

Pictures taken during the event could be submitted to this year’s organizer, Jessica Casey, director of the Farmington Public Library for prize consideration. Announcement of winners is expected at a later date.

Casey Bragg and Sovanny Sin of Farmington signed up for oddest litter and were assisted by Harold Mcswain, also of Farmington.


A new activity this year was preparing the flower pots placed in the downtown each summer, Palmer said.

“We are transplanting the flowers today,” Phil Hutchins, director of Public Works stated. “We hang them every year downtown. Decided to make a little event out of it this year, thought it would be a good idea.”

On Saturday afternoon, April 22, Patty Haggan, president of the Farmington Downtown Association, separates petunia plants during the 10th Annual Farmington Earth Day Volunteer Cleanup. Haggan, members of Public Works and others filled the planters that will be placed around the downtown in late May. This was a new addition to Earth Day activities. Pam Harnden/Livermore Falls Advertiser

One volunteer stopped Hutchins to talk about a pile of 15 tires he had found along the roadside past Mosher Hill Road going towards Industry on Route 43. He said he had pulled three of them out, left them by the side of the road for the crew to more easily find where they were.

Some people throw stuff on the side of the road to avoid disposal fees at the transfer station, Hutchins said.

Returning to the previous topic, the flower pots will be put out closer to Memorial Day, Hutchins noted. “They will be stored in our heated facility until then,” he stated. “We will maintain them, water them. They are sensitive.”

Petunias for the pots were obtained from Robin’s Flower Pot, he added.


Years ago it cost $35-$40 to purchase pots ready to go with the flowers already in them, Jim Kiernan with Public Works stated. Public Works now owns the pots and refills them each year, saving some money, he noted.

Teddy Collins from Public Works also helped with the transplanting as did Patty Haggan, president of Farmington Downtown Association.

Macie Staples, who currently lives in Farmington, officially participated in Farmington’s Earth Day cleanup for the first time. “I do it on my own,” she said. “I pick up things on my daily walks. It’s fun to do it as part of something.”

Volunteers gather on the lawn of The Pierce House Saturday afternoon, April 22, for the 10th Annual Farmington Earth Day Volunteer Cleanup. Several small groups and a large contingent from Franklin Savings Bank spent a couple hours clearing litter [lots of cigarette butts] from roadways and parking areas in town. Pam Harnden/Livermore Falls Advertiser

Franklin Savings Bank had a large contingent participating, including Courtney Austin and her dog, Ryker. Bank staff Heidi Hedstrom, Robyn Belcher and Katie Deming chose to pick up litter on Front Street.

“I did find some old Christmas lights and a four of spades playing card,” Hedstrom noted. “If it had been the ace of Spades I might have kept it.”

Marc Edwards of Strong, who works for Natural Resources Council of Maine, was also seen picking up in the parking lot near Depot Laundry on Front Street. He said he found lots of cigarette butts, nothing too unusual yet.

“Close to two tons, approximately 4,000 pounds were picked up Saturday,” Hutchins said when contacted Monday morning. “We still have some furniture, mattresses and things we have to go pick up, mostly on the Industry Road [Route 43].”


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