Image Caption: The Londonderry High School Boys Volleyball team volunteered their time on Monday to help Kent Allen sort through the debris left from fall and winter storms in the town forest. Photo by Chris Paul
After two weeks Beautify Londonderry has reached its half way point and results this year are running well behind normal. In 2017, volunteers collected almost 400 bags of trash. So far in 2018, about 100 bags have been collected.
However, there have been several bright spots. This past Saturday for three hours a group of ten volunteers cleared forty-eight bags of litter from Auburn and Old Derry Roads. Six of the volunteers live in neighborhoods along Old Derry Road, two came from other parts of Londonderry and two were missionaries for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints doing service work. One volunteer who lives in a neighborhood off Old Derry Road, Amy Bahan, sent the Beautify Londonderry organizing committee an e-mail stating, “Thank you for organizing this! It is so needed. I wish it was able to be done more frequently during the year.”
There have also been significant clean ups on Old Nashua Road (17 bags of litter) and 11 bags were collected on Adams and Frost Road. Londonderry Trailways led a volunteer effort supported by Beautify Londonderry to remove fifteen bags of trash from along the Rail Trail. Other cleanups have been done so far in the LAFA parking lot area and along Pillsbury Road, Shasta Drive, Parmenter Road and Elwood Road. Admix, a company located on Harvey Road, has more than 50% of their employees volunteering to clean litter in that area for the second year. Last year, they collected fifty bags of litter.
Most litter in town accumulates along the town’s twenty-three collector roads. Collector roads are low-to-moderate-capacity roads that move traffic from local neighborhoods to the main arterial roads including Route 102, Route 28 and Mammoth Road.
In addition to roadside cleanups, Beautify Londonderry has organized volunteer projects to spruce up the landscaping at town schools and other town properties. With mulch donations from Estey Lumber and Shady Hill Greenhouses, Londonderry Boy Scout Troop 521 cleaned and re-mulched the areas in from of the Londonderry Middle and High Schools. Trimmer’s Landscaping is donating mulch for South School, but a volunteer group is needed to spread the mulch. Volunteer groups are also needed to help with clean up and mulching at North and Matthew Thornton Schools.
If people are interested in volunteering with litter collection, there are several ways to help, each with a varying level of time commitment. According to John Loker, a long-time Beautify Londonderry committee member, “The easiest thing to do is remove any litter that has accumulated in front of your residence or business.” For those who are slightly more ambitious, clearing litter from other nearby properties is a good next step. Areas along roads where there are no buildings tend to have the litter pile up, so tackling one of those areas makes a big difference. Lastly, if you are interested in giving a few hours of time, you could tackle an entire road or a significant segment of road, perhaps as part of a neighborhood group.
Regardless of how you can help, Beautify Londonderry can provide you supplies including trash bags, gloves, safety vests and water. Volunteers also get a Beautify Londonderry volunteer t-shirt. Beautify Londonderry also arranges to have the bags of litter picked up once they are full. For more info, Beautify Londonderry can be reached via email at email@example.com or on their Facebook page facebook.com/beautifylondonderry.