It Takes A Village To Beautify A Town

Town officials perform tons of thankless tasks.

They read mind-numbing reports. They sit through mind-numbing meetings. They put up with a lot garbage.

Today, they had enough of that trash.

In the wee hours of Westport’s Green Day, RTM member Andrew Colabella and his friend Franco Zaffina — a 2003 Staples graduate — headed to Grace Salmon Park.

The popular pocket park off Imperial Avenue attracts tons of visitors. Sometimes, some forget (ahem) to pick up after themselves.

You can’t see it here, but Grace Salmon Park attracts plenty of garbage. (Photo/Patricia McMahon)

By 9 a.m. Westport Rotarians, residents of Gault Park and Marvin Road, Homes With Hope founder/RTM rep Jeff Wieser, Parks and Recreation director Jen Fava, 1st selectman Jim Marpe, assistant town attorney Eileen Lavigne Flug and the Westport Garden Club were there too.

Clad in gloves and boots, armed with trash pickers, and roaming the high tide line and marshlands, they filled over 25 garbage bags.

Among the loot: styrofoam cups, bottles, cigarette butts, and — mostly — dog droppings.

A small part of the big haul. (Photo/Andrew Colabella)

It took 2 hours to clean the entire park.

But Garden Club members were not done. They hauled out shovels and edgers. Magically, their green thumbs beautified the garden beds.

That’s just one of the many spots benefiting from today’s Green Day. All across town, other groups, families and individuals did their part to Make Westport Green Again.

Colabella could think of no better way to celebrate his 29th birthday.

“Westport is my home — along with 27,000 other residents,” he says.

“There’s about 34 square miles of land and water. We are responsible for every inch of our environment. Please clean up after yourselves — and your dog — and dispose of waste properly.

“There are garbage cans at every park. Don’t throw trash into the marsh, where animals live.”


7 responses to “It Takes A Village To Beautify A Town

  1. Caryl Beatus


  2. Tom Feeley Sr


  3. Amen on the dog poop. A lot of people at Compo leave their dog’s excrement, or bafflingly, a bag of same! I guess “there are people to do that”.

  4. Karen Solicito

    And a shout out to all the volunteers who were out collecting garbage at the Police lot and Imperial Ave lots, an effort that was put together by Lt. Jillian Cabana and Officer Edward Batlin.

  5. Baxter Urist

    As we were cleaning up the marsh we found over 20 dog waste bags in the reeds. NOTE TO DOGS: If your owner picks up poop and then throws the plastic bag in the river, find a new owner.

  6. Don L. Bergmann

    The beauty of Westport can easily be enhanced by volunteer efforts such as this one, but can also be achieved by each of us as individuals simply picking up trash as we see it and placing it in a trash container. Those of us who are dog owners have an easy time doing that since we usually carry our own waste bags, or at least should.
    Don Bergmann.

  7. Adam Vengrow

    Can we pass a new law that anyone who knowingly and willingly throws empty bottles or cups on the ground and walks away, first offense you get kicked out of westport, second offense you get kicked out of this country? Is that too harsh?