It's amazing what a difference a couple of hundred hands make.
On Monday Jan. 21, combining the Martin Luther King Day of Service with the Milford Conservation Commission’s ongoing efforts to clean the city’s open spaces, residents freely donated their efforts at the Great Creek Marsh clean-up.
The youngest volunteer may have been only four years old, and the oldest, a bit older. But all worked willingly, even happily, seeing the difference they made as they fanned out into the creek.
They heaved lumber, fencing and window frames that were strewn across the marsh from nearby homes damaged during Hurricane Sandy. They combed reeds and shrubbery of insulation. They removed hundreds of multi-colored foam boards and smaller foam particles from the many florist oases discarded there.
Of course there were bottles galore—plastic water bottles, bleach containers, soda and beer cans. Most worrisome were the several hazardous chemical bottles, empty and full, scattered deep in the marsh.
Steve Johnson and Bill Poutray, both members of MCC, remarked on the volunteer’s level of enthusiasm, and more importantly, their results. “The amount of debris that was handpicked out of the marsh was simply astounding” said Johnson.
Volunteer Boy Scouts found large segments of Milford’s beautiful boardwalk, which took heavy damage from Sandy and is still unrepaired, and hauled them out—a sad sight to see. Yet others collected asbestos tiles along the beach, taking advantage of the low tide. The state will be collecting the piles of debris and hazardous chemicals, sparing the city that expense. The Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection will assume responsibility for disposing asbestos tiles.
The next walk you take at Silver Sands Park, try to observe and appreciate your fellow citizens’ efforts. Better yet, join them at MCC’s next clean up.