Brochu-Krikken’s children and former colleagues at a community clean-up day in 2018. Contributed / Amy Beth Brochu-Krikken

A number of Windham residents have stepped up to help keep the town’s parks and trails clean by volunteering for community clean-up days next month.

One of the organizers, Amy Beth Brochu-Krikken, said that around this time last year, she noticed a lot of litter on the Mountain Division trails around Gambo Road, but with the pandemic, “it wasn’t the right time to strike.”

She kept it in mind for “my first community service project,” once it was safer to gather outdoors.

Brochu-Krikken’s company, Rockstar Real Estate, is sponsoring a cleanup on Gambo Road Saturday, May 1, and will provide gloves and trash bags. So far, about 20 people have volunteered to help out, but she said she’s hoping to get even more involved. Volunteers will meet near the intersection of Gambo and River roads at noon. For more information, visit fb.me/e/2dMMbVaY4/.

The same weekend, resident Kayla Leigh Desmond and the Greater Windham Business Exchange have organized “Operation Community Cleanup” at Donnabeth Lippman Park on Chaffin Pond Road in North Windham. The event will take place Saturday, May 1, and Sunday, May 2, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. For more information, visit greaterwindhambusiness.com.

Windham Parks and Recreation Director Linda Brooks said that throughout the pandemic, Windham’s parks and trails have been “inundated” with visitors.

The Parks and Recreation Department launched a “Take 5 Windham” challenge earlier this week in honor of Earth Day, encouraging all visitors to pick up five pieces of trash when they visit public parks and trails.

The department also employs a “Carry In/Carry Out” policy, which is used by local and state parks across the country. Except for a few pet waste disposal stations, there are no trash cans in the parks and trails and instead, the department asks that visitors take their trash with them when they leave.

Brooks said not having trash receptacles in the parks helps keep away bees, wasps and odors. The department has one employee who works on parks maintenance.

“We want to stress that we are most grateful for the residents who take great pride in our parks and trails,” Brooks said. The Take 5 Windham campaign “is a response to many folks who ask ‘How can we help?’”

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