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By Amelia Tarallo
Hometown Weekly Staff
It is said that if each person took the time to pick up five pieces of trash in their community, the world would be a far better place.
In honor of Earth Day, several local Medfield groups got together and took time out of their weekends to clean up their community. Groups that included God Loves Medfield, the Savvy Women’s Alliance, a few Boy Scout troops, and the Charles River Watershed Association, along with other volunteers, worked together to make Medfield a cleaner and better town.
Volunteers arrived at 9:00 on Saturday at Gazebo Park and were assigned their spots to clean up for the day. The Charles River Cleanup focused on areas along 109 and West Street. Other areas included Baxter Park, Meeting House Pond, the Straw Hat Park, and areas near the Dwight-Derby House.
Despite the rainy weather, Tom Scotti spent part of his Saturday cleaning up around Hinkley Pond. To him, the area around the pond is especially important to keep clean, and he has spent the last few years volunteering at this site. Just a few feet away is the Lowell Mason House, which has been undergoing a restoration process. Scotti is treasurer of the Lowell Mason House Foundation. In addition to keeping the area near the Lowell Mason House clean, winter has left behind big branches and other hazards around the playground. With summer approaching, Scotti knows just how important it is to get the branches away from the play area. “Kids play here, we have to clear these out,” he said. Armed with a rake and plastic bags, Scotti raked up leaves, cleared branches, and made the playground one step closer to being ready for the influx of kids ready to spend their the summer playing at Hinkley.
Just a few minutes away at Gazebo Park were a few kids, some volunteering for their first time to clean the park, alongside their parents. Kate, Leah, Ryan, Owen, and Eviann worked together, each carrying a rake, to clean-up the park. They raked up leaves and picked pieces of garbage that they found. They seemed to have no problem taking time away from cartoons and outdoor activities to help their community.
“I liked raking,” said Owen, age seven.
“I like picking up sticks,” said Eviann, age 3.
Katie Johnson, Eviann and Owen’s mom, helped organize the event with her church. She was especially happy to see new groups and volunteers working together this year. “The best part of Medfield is the community,” she said. “The more people out taking care of our community, the better.” This year, The Department of Public Works joined the efforts and hosted their cleanup day on Sunday, making this year’s cleanup efforts larger than ever before.
At 9:00, Dan Nye and Lucy Mbugua began cleaning up the area around Meeting House Pond. They came because of their church’s efforts. “But it’s a community effort,” noted Nye.
“It’s our exercise for the day,” joked Mbugua.
“You can’t cheat if you pick something up,” agreed Nye.
To Mbugua, cleaning the park is a reminder that spring is here. People clean their houses out in spring, their yards, and, with this town-wide cleanup, their community. “It’s a beautiful feeling,” she said, “and now we have sunshine!”
Nye’s favorite part of the cleanup is that it brings new people together. “It’s the fellowship of meeting people,” he said. Each year Nye volunteers at a different spot, and has come out of it making new friends. He adds that he is impressed with how many people came together for this year’s cleanup. “That’s what makes Medfield so special. The volunteers.”
Like years prior, the town clean-up left Medfield in a better state. Hinkley is now ready for kids to come to the playground, Meeting House Pond is back to being a beautiful place to sit during a sunny day, and Gazebo Park is back to being a nice place to read a book or eat lunch.
Even more importantly, this weekend served as a community bonding exercise that reminded residents exactly what Medfield is all about: working together.