Londonderry may be known for its lush vegetation and picturesque forests, but keeping Londonderry so beautiful is not an easy task, especially in the face of an increasing population and more businesses expanding throughout the town.
For these reasons, the Beautify Londonderry program was formed. A volunteer-based effort, the program’s focus is to keep the town visually and environmentally pristine by cleaning litter from the side of the roads and completing general landscaping projects on various town properties. These projects typically take place annually between April 22 and May 21.
But, in order to keep tabs on the progress and status of the program, Beautify Londonderry’s Chairman Mike Byerly recently met with the Solid Waste and Environment Committee to discuss how the program handled its 2017 efforts.
According to Byerly, roughly 195 volunteers, including groups and individuals who were interested in lending a hand, helped to keep Londonderry in great shape. During their most recent trash collection efforts, they managed to fill 393 bags of trash, which is twice the number filled the previous year.
Amongst the usual suspects of soda cans and fast food wrappers, other objects that stood out included bathtubs, TVs, carpeting, and dozens of tires strewn along the side of the road. Byerly was happy to note that they “definitely accomplished more that [they] did last year.”
As far as their beautification (landscaping) projects go, the program worked to help mulch the properties of every school throughout the town, excluding the North School, with the help of local Boy Scout and Girl Scout troops. Byerly noted that it was “great to have them involved.”
Fundraising for the program was actually unnecessary this year, as funds were high enough from previous years to make the program self-sufficient. However, volunteers did receive some support from the likes of Harold Estey Lumber, Independence Lawns, and even The Coca-Cola Company, the latter of which donated bottled water.
Although the program continues to be a success, Byerly feels that their work can only have so much of an impact due to their limited resources, time span, and staff in comparison to the expanding size of Londonderry. He would prefer if the town would sponsor the program to some extent, allowing for more frequent trash cleaning efforts and more manpower. Byerly explained that there was a ballot initiative for such change last year, but it failed.