5-6-19 Valley Pride Day

Abigail McGrath of Girl Scout Troop 10613 collects trash in the Abenaki Forest in Intervale during Valley Pride Day in 2019. (JAMIE GEMMITI PHOTO)

CONWAY — After 20 years of running Valley Pride Day, Donna Woodward of Fryeburg, Maine, has handed the reins over to the Saco Valley Anglers/Trout Unlimited.

SVA is an organization steadfastly dedicated to preserving, protecting and reconnecting the cold water resources in the Saco River Watershed. Funds donated to Valley Pride Day that are not used specifically for that day will be used as matching funds on grants to help with river protection and restoration.

The new Valley Pride Day Litter Team has already begun their efforts to organize the 21st year of patrolling and cleaning the greater Mount Washington Valley area.

Valley Pride Day will be held Saturday. Posters will be going up in all the communities to let folks know the details. Information can also be found on the Valley Pride Day Facebook page.

Each community will have a sign-up station from 8:30-10 a.m. where volunteers can pick up gloves donated by Memorial Hospital and bags donated by NH Beautiful and designate the area they plan to clean.

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, there will be some changes this year. All volunteers will be required to wear a mask when signing up and receiving bags and gloves. The town leads will also be required to wear masks when assigning locations and distributing supplies. Also, there won't be a barbecue celebration that day. Hopefully, that can take place at another time.

Picking up trash is a dirty job and sometimes participants may come across items that can be dangerous. Volunteers should make sure that children are well supervised and safe. If you see items that are questionable or dangerous, they are asked not to touch it but instead note the location and report it to someone of authority (the town, police, fire department). Safety is the ultimate goal always.

Valley Pride Day has always been a fun community effort and the results of participants' hard work is a beautiful, clean area to enjoy and share with visitors.

Each year, without fail, Valley Pride volunteers remove several tons of trash from the roadways by working together.

Watch for posters in your community and check The Conway Daily Sun and Bridgton News for more stories and announcements. If you have any questions or would like to be more involved, call Ron Mellady at (603) 387-0892 or email rmellady1@yahoo.com.

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