Brunswick-Topsham Landing Trust and the Cathance River Education Alliance hosted an Earth Day Clean-Up event for the first time at Brunswick Landing on April 22.

It was estimated that 10 40-gallon contractor trash bags or 20 20-gallon trash bags were filled to capacity after the clean-up ended. 

Over 30 people showed up for the project, eight of them were children. The clean-up began at Crea’s Storywalk and the BTLT New Mainers’ gardens with individuals cleaning up the adjacent woods and roadsides. The cleanup continued at a large area, stretching from Neptune Woods (on Neptune Drive) all the way to Orion Street and ended partway up Pegasus Street. 

Styrofoam, masks, cigarette butts and coffee cups are some of the items that were collected.

According to the Science History Institute, polystyrene foam (Styrofoam) base material, styrene monomer, is a carcinogen; plastic- and rubber-industry workers exposed to the unreacted monomer suffer higher rates of some types of cancer. Even more problematic, the finished material can take thousands of years, and perhaps more, to biodegrade.

“It is always nice to bring people together to do something that benefits the community and the natural world,” Caroline Eliot, executive director of the alliance said. “If you want people to take care of something then they have to care about it so we are trying to engage people with the natural world with the goal that the more they care about it, the harder they will work to preserve it.”  

Angela Twitchell, executive director of the Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust, emphasized the importance of keeping the community clean. 

“One of the reasons why we love calling the Brunswick-Topsham area home is because we have a lot of great natural resources and places we can go outside and enjoy that are really beautiful,” she said. “That experience is lessened when you go out and there is a lot of trash around and it is our responsibility to keep our natural areas healthy, clean and nice-looking.”

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