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Beautifying Vermont - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Beautifying Vermont

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RUTLAND, Vt. -

Allison Gillette is a born and raised Vermonter. For her, keeping the Green Mountain State beautiful is a responsibility that comes with living here.

"Growing up here you're really taught, whether in school or by your family, to love the environment," said Gillette of NRG Residential Solar.

Gillette and others planted flowers along the community solar array on Hillside Street in Rutland Saturday. Their efforts were all part of the 44-year-old Vermont "Green Up Day" tradition. Others around Rutland picked up trash. Green Up Day traditionally takes place the first Saturday in May, and the message stays the same.

Steve Costello from Green Mountain Power said, "The likelihood of you ever throwing something out of a car window or dumping your trash on the side of the road is pretty minimal, if you're taking the time to do it, this one day, it serves as a kind of base reminder for you all year long."

Green up day events took place in over 200 communities across the state, including the state capital.

Pinky Clark, the Montpelier Green Up Day Coordinator, commented, "Activities we do will make it a vibrant city, plus the whole state so when they're driving across the border from Mass, or wherever they're coming from, they'll say boy this is a nice, pretty state. Nice and clean. it's a reputation we've got to keep."

But the decades old event, unique to Vermont, where over ten thousand people clean, pick up trash, and plant - almost didn't make it to it's 44th year. The non-profit expressed financial challenges, but Green Mountain Power stepped in with a $20,000 per year commitment for the next three years, to keep Green Up Day going. Saturday's efforts will continue to benefit the communities long after.

"The vegetables we're planting are part of a kind of community garden in a sense, anyone who wants to come work on them, watering, weeding can come and then if they want to take the plants home, whether they live in this neighborhood or community solar off-takers, they can come at anytime," said Gillette.

One day spent beautifying Vermont, but organizers and volunteers say the results can be seen all year.


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