Quantcast

Will Vermont's Green Up Day tradition be trashed? - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Will Vermont's Green Up Day tradition be trashed?

Posted: Updated:
MONTPELIER, Vt. -

From the very first Green Up Day back in April 1970 when it took an act of Congress to close down the interstate, to today's iconic images of volunteers with green bags collecting liter, Green Up Day has become a true Vermont tradition. But the nonprofit that runs the whole operation is facing a budget crunch.

"Our situation is as such that we do not have enough support to continue past 2015," said Melinda Vieux of Green Up Vermont.

First, major sponsor Ben & Jerry's pulled out in 2012. Then late last year Green Mountain Coffee Roasters said it will also not continue to support the effort. For an organization with just a $120,000 budget and two part-time staffers, it made an immediate impact.

"It doesn't happen for free. It takes a couple of human beings to make Green up Day happen," Vieux said. "We're experiencing a pattern with corporations, including that a number of them in Vermont have become so successful they have national and international focus and are not as interested in the local Vermont support."

Green Mountain Coffee and Seventh Generation say they have changed their criteria for charitable giving, supporting year-round efforts instead.

Ben & Jerry's issued a statement saying, "we continually reassess and adapt our partnerships on an annual basis."

Green Up Vermont gets 66 percent of its budget from about 15 corporate sponsors. Cities and towns kick in about 17 percent of contributions approved by voters on Town Meeting Day. And the state provides another 14 percent.

Vieux says despite waning volunteer enthusiasm at times in the past, the Green Up tradition remains strong today. She says unlike "adopt a highway" and similar programs, Green Up inspires action on one day across the state.

"I don't know any other state in the country that has such an endeavor that engages people from all walks of life and raises community spirit like Green Up Day does," Vieux said.

Lawmakers might have a fix in the works. A bill in the House calls for adding a voluntary Green Up Day checkoff contribution box to state tax forms.

"It's an opportunity for kids in school to learn about littering and cleaning up their environment. It's a way for communities to come together and I think that Vermonters will want to support it when they're given an opportunity to, so I was really happy to put the legislation in," said Rep. Janet Ancel, D-Calais.

And the governor says he'd like Green Up to keep going.

"You know Green Up Day is important to Vermont and it's an extraordinary tradition started by Dean Davis," said Gov. Peter Shumlin, D-Vermont.

If approved, Ancel says the checkoff box could generate upward of $50,000-- enough green to help keep Green Up Vermont humming along for another half a century.

  • Local NewsMore>>

  • 2 charged with skid-steer joyride on I-89

    2 charged with skid-steer joyride on I-89

    Monday, September 1 2014 10:15 PM EDT2014-09-02 02:15:25 GMT
    The theft of some construction vehicles caused chaos on the Interstate this weekend.
    The theft of some construction vehicles caused chaos on the Interstate this weekend.
  • Bike racers wrap up weekend events

    Bike racers wrap up weekend events

    Monday, September 1 2014 9:59 PM EDT2014-09-02 01:59:03 GMT
    The Green Mountain Stage Race took to the streets of Burlington Monday.
    The Green Mountain Stage Race took to the streets of Burlington Monday.
  • Allergy sufferers brave ragweed season

    Allergy sufferers brave ragweed season

    Monday, September 1 2014 7:08 PM EDT2014-09-01 23:08:26 GMT
    If you're sneezing, your nose is running and you're eyes are itchy once again this year -- you're not alone. Fall pollen counts are peaking in our region and proving tough for allergy sufferers looking to enjoy the outdoors.Despite a spate of heat and humidity, the signs of fall are undeniable. Cooler temperatures and color are on the way. And even though many think of spring as "allergy season" due to tree pollens, this time of year can be particularly tough for allergy sufferers, too -- bec...
    If you're sneezing, your nose is running and you're eyes are itchy once again this year -- you're not alone. Fall pollen counts are peaking in our region and proving tough for allergy sufferers looking to enjoy the outdoors.Despite a spate of heat and humidity, the signs of fall are undeniable. Cooler temperatures and color are on the way. And even though many think of spring as "allergy season" due to tree pollens, this time of year can be particularly tough for allergy sufferers, too -- bec...
  • Holiday drivers find lower prices at the pump

    Holiday drivers find lower prices at the pump

    Monday, September 1 2014 6:59 PM EDT2014-09-01 22:59:21 GMT
    Drivers this holiday weekend found lower gas prices at the pump.
    Drivers this holiday weekend found lower gas prices at the pump.
  • Sanders addresses Labor Day rally

    Sanders addresses Labor Day rally

    Monday, September 1 2014 6:51 PM EDT2014-09-01 22:51:52 GMT
    Community members gathered in Burlington's Battery Park Monday to celebrate Labor Day -- and hear from Senator Bernie Sanders.Union leaders addressed the importance of employees supporting one another. They also thanked the community for supporting Vermont's unions. Senator Sanders says the holiday is for working people to not only celebrate their gains, but to also address issues facing the working class."There's a lot of work in front of us if we're going to make sure that our kids and our ...
    Community members gathered in Burlington's Battery Park Monday to celebrate Labor Day -- and hear from Senator Bernie Sanders.Union leaders addressed the importance of employees supporting one another. They also thanked the community for supporting Vermont's unions. Senator Sanders says the holiday is for working people to not only celebrate their gains, but to also address issues facing the working class."There's a lot of work in front of us if we're going to make sure that our kids and our ...
  • Authorities seize animals from Santa's Land

    Authorities seize animals from Santa's Land

    Monday, September 1 2014 4:32 PM EDT2014-09-01 20:32:03 GMT
    The Windham County Sheriffs Department says it seized multiple animals from the theme park this weekend.
    The Windham County Sheriffs Department says it seized multiple animals from the theme park this weekend.
  • Body discovered in Massena

    Body discovered in Massena

    Monday, September 1 2014 4:02 PM EDT2014-09-01 20:02:43 GMT
    New York State Police are investigating an unidentified body found in Massena.
    New York State Police are investigating an unidentified body found in Massena.
  • Community remembers O'Hagan's presence at Sheffield Field Days

    Community remembers O'Hagan's presence at Sheffield Field Days

    Monday, September 1 2014 6:54 PM EDT2014-09-01 22:54:21 GMT

    Sheffield Field Days is a Labor Day tradition -- attended by hundreds. But each year the event reminds the community who is missing.

    Sheffield Field Days is a Labor Day tradition -- attended by hundreds. But each year the event reminds the community who is missing.

Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and WCAX. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.