Burlington beach trashed following Fourth of July

Published: Jul. 5, 2020 at 6:56 PM EDT
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Burlington officials say Queen City beaches attracted a historic number of visitors over the holiday weekend, and North Beach was covered in trash Sunday morning.

Cindi Wight, the executive director of the Burlington Parks, Recreation and Waterfront Department, says everything from cans and glass bottles to empty coolers and unfinished food scraps littered the sand. Wight points to a ton of younger people leaving these mounds of garbage.

"Our campground manager, Alex, said it's the busiest he's ever seen it," she said. "Ninety percent of the trash is found in the area in which the college students are hanging out."

Luckily, there were a few visitors, like Elizia Meskill of Essex Junction and Ian McClein of Burlington, who felt obligated to help with the cleanup effort.

"I was disappointed," Meskill said. "Mostly, I was concerned with the lake, so when I came here, and I saw, I went back to the camp, got a few large garbage bags, and I wanted to come and pick up closest to the water as possible."

"Lot's of trash on the beach, which is disappointing to see," McClein said. "I love, love coming here, and you know you'd think it, I mean really how hard is it to just pack up what you brought?"

Wight says this isn't the first time visitors have trashed the beach this season. She says the department hasn't seen this big a problem in the past.

"Our campground manager though noted that it was also a mess yesterday morning," she said. "I'm not sure why this year we're having that issue. It's unique this year that we're having a lot of garbage left behind."

Visitors say the main demographic at North Beach this weekend were those in their late teens to mid-20, and most weren't wearing masks or social distancing. The Parks Department will spend the rest of the holiday cleaning up the area. Officials ask that visitors be more responsible moving forward before the department is forced to close its public beaches or bar certain people from coming.

People can get kicked off the beach if they are caught violating the rules and regulations. Here they are: