AT GREEN UP VERMONT
We live our mission to keep Vermont beautiful.
Green Up Vermont’s mission is to promote the stewardship of our state’s natural landscape and waterways, and the livability of our communities by involving people in Green Up Day while raising public awareness about the health, economic, and visual benefits of a litter-free environment year-round.
The History of Green Up Vermont
The story of a fine idea that has created a legacy for those who acted upon the concept in 1970 to a much-loved Springtime tradition of Vermonters today. …And more to come.
Robert Babcock (right of center) then a Burlington Free Press reporter, approaches Governor Deane Davis with the idea of cleaning up Vermont’s roadsides. Governor Davis decides they need a year to plan the event and appoints Robert Babcock and Ted Riehle (left of center) from his senior staff to co-chair the steering committee.
The first Green Up Day is launched statewide by Governor Deane Davis on April 18, 1970. The Interstate Highways close 9am–12pm for litter pick up by volunteers. Schools bused kids all over Vermont to lend a hand while the Governor covered many miles in his helicopter, landing on the Intersate to praise volunteers.
A very successful first Green Up Day was reported in newspapers throughout the state. 70,000 volunteers cleaned up nearly 100% of all roads and because 90% of litter picked up were beer bottles, state government passed the “Bottle Bill.” Estimated savings from Green Up Day saved taxpayers $200,000 in road clean up fees.
A PRIVATE NONPROFIT
After almost a decade under the direction of the Governor’s office, a group of concerned citizens came together to form the nonprofit Vermont Green Up Inc., and became responsible for continuing the success of Green Up Day. Green Up Vermont was incorporated in Shoreham, by a Vermonter named Merrill Durdan.
THE POSTER ART CONTEST
The Green Up Poster Art Contest launched and kids across the state submitted their masterpieces. Each year the winner receives a cash prize and an invitation to the statehouse to be applauded by the governor. The artwork has always been used on the Green Up Day promotional poster and in additional marketing.
STRUCTURE & STABILITY
After serious economic instability in the early 1990’s, Board Chair Sheldon Prentice secures a loan for Vermont Green Up Inc. and the Board hires Melinda Vieux to lead the organization as Executive Director. Melinda, almost immediately, changed the dba name of Vermont Green Up to Green Up Vermont to be more actionable.
May 2014, Ms. Vieux succeeds in getting the legislature to pass a bill adding Green Up Vermont as the fourth charitable giving organization on the State Income Tax Return. Green Up Vermont diversifies its income by increasing individual giving and by building its corporate partnership.
WE CELEBRATED 50 YEARS!
In 2020, in the midst of a global pandemic Green Up Vermont celebrated an amazing milestone – its 50th Anniversary of service to Vermont and keeping our environment cleaned up. If you do the math (based on the 2020 stats), that’s over 24 million pounds of litter and 450,000 tires!
Our Board of Directors
Our board is extremely passionate about Green Up Day and the effect it has on Vermont. Our common goal is to build the initiatives of Green Up Vermont to reach communities year-round creating a sustainable future for our beautiful Vermont.
Mike is the GM of Casella Waste Systems, Inc. and brings broad experience in both the private and public sectors, particularly in the field of waste and recycling. He has been a member of numerous industry-and community service-related state and local boards and commissions and has served on various state task forces.
Parker launched First Tracks Strategies, LLC in 2017, a public affairs and communications firm, after serving as the ski industry’s chief lobbyist and media spokesperson for the Vermont Ski Area Association, while managing their marketing and public relations initiatives. He previously served on Governor Douglas’ senior staff.
Corinna is the VP of Government Guaranteed Lending at People’s United Bank and for the last 21 years, has worked with US SBA (Small Business Administration) loans in VT, ME and NH. She participated in Green Up Days as a child in Island Pond and has fond memories which drove her to be on the Green Up board.
Caleb graduated from the University of Vermont in 2018 with a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science and spent two seasons working for the State of Vermont managing aquatic invasive species and is now the programs coordinator at Middlebury Area Land Trust. He values sharing his passion for the outdoors and leading others towards the wonders that nature has to offer.
Ronda is the principal and founder of Ronda Berns Sales Consulting and Coaching. She has been in sales management for 30+ years and has been Vice President of Tourism for the Vermont Chamber of Commerce, National Sales Manager for Destination Hotels, and Executive Director for the VT Convention Bureau.
Justin is an attorney at Sheehey Furlong & Behm P.C. He practices in both federal and state trial and appellate courts, and before administrative agencies and boards. Justin represents businesses and individuals in complex civil litigation, white collar and felony criminal defense, and internal investigations.
Erin is Principal at Vermont Small Business Accelerators, LLC and specializes in business and economic development. Previously she was the Member Engagement & Events Director at Lake Champlain Regional Chamber of Commerce. She is actively involved in assisting the non-profit community and serves on several boards.
Ara is President/Creative Strategist of Hagan Associates, a full service marketing firm in Essex Junction. Ara is a graduate of Rochester Institute of Technology and specializes in creative strategy, market research, media planning, and understanding user experience (UX). She and her family enjoy many outdoor activities.
Lucas is a resident of Barre City, where he has served on City Council for the past decade and as past Mayor. By day, he is also the IT Director for the Agency of Digital Services serving the Department of Corrections. Lucas also serves with many other organizations within his community where he promotes community service and being a part of events like Green Up Day.
Bryn is a program manager at Efficiency Vermont providing leadership for EVT programs and initiatives to ensure that programs align with and meet strategic objectives. Previously she was an Environmental Analyst at the State’s Agency of Natural Resources
Denise is a Financial Advisor with Ameriprise Financial (formerly American Express Financial Advisors) in Barre Vermont. She has been in business for twenty years and currently holds the ChFC and CLTC designations. She resides in New Haven.
Heather is the Commissioner in the Dept. of Tourism & Marketing and previously the Chief Marketing Officer for the State of Vermont. She serves as steward of the Vermont brand. Prior to joining state, Pelham was the managing partner of an advertising and design firm.
Gene is a life-long entrepreneur and philanthropist. Currently he is the Director of Aviation at the Burlington International Airport. He began his career as VP of Bank of Boston’s mortgage department and went on to incorporate Spruce Mortgage where he still serves as CEO.
Kate has a background in design, marketing, and event planning and joined Green Up Vermont in Oct. 2019, right before the pandemic hit. Prior to that she helped many small businesses develop their brands and built and produced the Vermont Women’s Expo.
In the News…
A sincere thank you to all the press and news outlets for helping us share the Green Up stories.