To the editor: Our fifth annual cleanup was held on April 24 and the weather cooperated with a sunny, cool day bringing together more than 50 volunteers (including 12 students) to scour many of Lee’s roadsides — 10 roads along with the athletic field and downtown.
Total collection was 87 bags (54 trash and 33 recyclables), plus the usual mix of odds and ends — muffler, mailbox, car parts, discarded lumber and more.
The logistics were changed this year to adhere to all COVID guidelines, which took some creative thinking to ensure volunteers’ safety. Even with this challenge, we had 22 new volunteers as our community rallied in honor of Earth Day to keep the streets of Lee clean. It is always heartwarming to see people of all ages, from young children all the way up to senior citizens, coming together to support their community year after year.
We thank the invaluable support of local businesses. Casella provided two roll-off dumpsters and processed everything the volunteers collected; Carr Hardware and Lee Hardware donated trash bags; the Big Y donated a gift certificate we used to fill treat bags, which were given out post-cleanup in appreciation to our volunteers for all their hard work; and Oak n' Spruce sent nine staff members to help out. We’re also grateful to the Lee Chamber of Commerce and the Lee public schools for helping to publicize the cleanup.
Since litter along many Lee roadsides is a continuing problem, the committee holds cleanups the last Saturday of each month, starting at the Railroad Street gazebo (9 to 11 a.m. from May through October and 1 to 3 p.m. from November through March). We welcome volunteers. Anyone interested in learning more may contact cleanup organizer and committee Vice Chair Valerie Bluhm (firstname.lastname@example.org) or committee Chair Peter Hofman (email@example.com).
As the newest member to the committee and relatively new to Lee, this was my first annual roadside cleanup, and I was honored to be involved with this project. What better way to become a part of your community than by volunteering with your fellow citizens to make your town a cleaner and healthier place to live.
Trish Johnston, Lee
The writer is a member of the Lee Greener Gateway Committee.