2014-05-02 / Front Page

Marsh receives its spring spruce up

By Michael Kelley Staff Writer


More than 70 volunteers participated in Saturday’s Scarborough Marsh cleanup effort. The event, which began 25 years ago, drew volunteers from as far away as Lewiston and included Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, members of the Cape Elizabeth Church of Jesus Christ and Latter Day Saints, Scarborough Public Works Department and TD Bank. Refreshments were supplied by Mr. Bagel, Oakhurst Dairy and Panera Bread. The cleanup was supervised by Scarborough Marsh Audubon Center Director Linda Woodard. (Kevin A. Byron photo) More than 70 volunteers participated in Saturday’s Scarborough Marsh cleanup effort. The event, which began 25 years ago, drew volunteers from as far away as Lewiston and included Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, members of the Cape Elizabeth Church of Jesus Christ and Latter Day Saints, Scarborough Public Works Department and TD Bank. Refreshments were supplied by Mr. Bagel, Oakhurst Dairy and Panera Bread. The cleanup was supervised by Scarborough Marsh Audubon Center Director Linda Woodard. (Kevin A. Byron photo) For generations the Scarborough Marsh has been a place for people to enjoy nature and explore the marsh and its ecosystem. This would not be possible without the countless volunteers who have worked hard to keep the marsh pristine and garbage free.

More than 70 volunteers took to the marsh Saturday, April 26 for a biennial cleanup aimed at removing the debris that has accumulated on the road and waterways near the marsh.


Marvel Earnshaw of Cape Elizabeth works along Route 1 picking up the winter’s trash during Saturday’s Scarborough Marsh Cleanup. (Kevin A. Byron) Marvel Earnshaw of Cape Elizabeth works along Route 1 picking up the winter’s trash during Saturday’s Scarborough Marsh Cleanup. (Kevin A. Byron) Linda Woodard, director of the Scarborough Marsh Audubon Center, said she was impressed with the strong turnout, despite the cold and wet weather that morning.

“We had over 70 people show up. That is a huge turnout for the weather we had. I was very, very pleased,” she said.

Armed with waterproof boots, gloves and plenty of trash bags, volunteers collected bag after bag of trash and other waste.

“We had one and a half hours of cleanup before the rain hit, but people stayed although it was cold and rainy,” Woodard said. “We got everything done, the beaches, the trail, Route 1, Pine Point Road.”

The event, a partnership between the Scarborough Marsh Audubon Center, Friends of Scarborough Marsh, Higgins Beach Association, the town of Scarborough and local business such as Mr. Bagel, Panera Bread and Oakhurst Dairy, is held twice a year in spring and fall.


Members of Scarborough Boy Scout Troop 39 install a sign on one of the marsh’s waterways as part of Saturday’s annual spring cleanup. (Kevin A. Byron photo) Members of Scarborough Boy Scout Troop 39 install a sign on one of the marsh’s waterways as part of Saturday’s annual spring cleanup. (Kevin A. Byron photo) “We certainly couldn’t have done it without our many partners and volunteers. With all the wildlife and life on the marsh, it’s a really important cleanup,” Woodard said. “We have had some people who have been returning for 20 years and some who were brand new. We couldn’t do it without them.”

The cleanup, Woodard said, was also an opportunity to help less fortunate members of the community. Participants were encouraged to bring canned good for Project G.R.A.C.E. (Granting Resources and Assistance through Community Efforts) to hand out to needy families.

Volunteers do much more for the marsh than just clean it up twice a year. In 2000, Friends of Scarborough Marsh, a volunteer-led organization was formed to conserve, protect, restore and enhance Scarborough Marsh. Volunteers play a critical role in helping to offer educational and recreational opportunities at the nature center.

Woodard said volunteers are needed for the recreational programming, which begins Memorial Day and education sessions for children and school groups, which begin next week.

Volunteers also play a big part in maintaining and cleaning the many acres owned and operated by the Scarborough Land Trust. For the first time, the Land Trust is going to be using some of that power for a cleanup of its own.

The Land Trust has scheduled a spring cleanup for this Saturday from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. The effort is aimed at picking up debris that has been left on the property over the winter, as well as getting the properties ready to open for the spring.

“The Land Trust relies on volunteers to care for its properties and spring is a great time to get outside,” said Scarborough Land Trust executive director Kathy Mills. “We hope folks can join in and give us a hand”.

There will no heavy lifting or strenuous work. For more information and for a meet-up location call the Land Trust at 289-1199 or email info@scarboroughlandtrust.org. Volunteers are encouraged to bring work gloves and boots for wet areas and are invited to a brown bag lunch picnic at Broadturn Farm on Broadturn Road for a May Day celebration.

The celebration is scheduled to take place from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. and feature a traditional May Pole dance and songs by Bennett Konesni and Edith Gawler, a husband and wife duo who play old-time fiddle, banjo and Swedish dance songs and farmers ballads.

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