May 1 is Green Up Day. It is as much of a tradition in our little state as Town Meeting Day. It is an important moment each year, when community comes together again to celebrate what makes Vermont so special.

According to Green Up Vermont, the group that coordinates and oversees the annual event (https://greenupvermont.org), “We live our mission to keep Vermont beautiful. Green Up Vermont’s mission is to promote the stewardship of our state’s natural landscape and waterways, and the livability of our communities by involving people in Green Up Day while raising public awareness about the health, economic and visual benefits of a litter-free environment year-round.”

Last year, because of the pandemic, Green Up Day was canceled. But thousands of Vermonters still took to the roads and waterways to do their part, some out of boredom; some out of of that perennial obligation. It wasn’t the same Green Up Day with community celebrations and barbecues, but volunteers throughout Vermont wanted to do their part for their environment, nonetheless.

It sends an important message: “It makes a huge difference and it feels great to give back to your community,” the Green Up Vermont website states.

For more than 50 years, Vermont has been teaching citizens and young people exactly how to take pride in their town or city.

Green Up’s 51st year, we need to adhere to health guidelines and safety protocols.

This year, the 2021 Green Up Day poster art winner was Jiya Sekar, a third-grader from Union Elementary in Montpelier. And writing contest winner Casey Kendall, a fourth-grader from Ryegate, described the 2021 challenges rather eloquently.

Green Up, Clean Up!

Green Up means clean up

Our pretty state

If you are keen to make it green

Don’t hesitate, don’t wait!

Making Vermont green can be fun

Just grab a friend,

Put on a mask,

It can be a new trend!

Meet your friends,

All you do is pick up trash

It’s an activity

That doesn’t cost you cash!

Vermont has beautiful mountains

And amazing views,

There are so many

They keep making the news!

Foliage, maple syrup, and more

Skiing, boating, fishing, and fun

Cleaning up Vermont

Keeps us number one!

Vermont is truly the best place

To quarantine.

And the best place

To make things green!

How long has it been?

51 amazing years.

Keep up the good work

So cheers, cheers, cheers!

To find out what you can do this May 1, go to https://greenup.powershift.info/towndetails/

Get out and do your part.

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