Green Up Day: May 30, 2020 Get Involved Volunteer Coordinators

Meet Chris Racanelli, East Montpelier Town Coordinator

Volunteers in East Montpelier holding a Green Up bag

Chris Racanelli, East Montpelier Town Coordinator, pictured in center

Green Up Day's volunteer town coordinators are the reason for the success of Green Up day each and every year. Here, we introduce you to Chris Racanelli (pictured in center, above), the Green Up town coordinator for East Montpelier. 

How long have you been a Green Up coordinator? Two years as Coordinator and two as Co-Coordinator 

Why did you get involved? My neighbor Paul Erlbaum, who was the former Green Up Coordinator, asked me if I'd be interested in helping him.

What are some highlights as a volunteer? Meeting people in our town. Witnessing the exceptional sense of community. The people of East Montpelier are very committed to Green Up Day and energetic in their enthusiasm. They scout neighborhoods for trash and pre-plan routes they intend to clean; they get their kids involved, some pick litter prior to Green Up Day, others come to the site with their trucks seeking areas with heavy debris that need to be hauled in. It is heartening to see people coming together to make a contribution.   

How did you make Green Up a success in your community? The success of Green Up Day is planning, implementation, and teamwork. We begin our planning in November - posting Save the Date and information on the Poster, Essay & Poetry Contest in the town's quarterly newsletter, Signpost. As soon as the holidays are done, we review our plan and match dates and tasks. Increasing visibility is a primary goal. With that in mind, we run articles in each issue of the Signpost and the elementary school e-newsletter. We post a series of announcements on Front Porch Forum including roads being covered and safety guidelines. We ask businesses to post Green Up signs. We also recruit a good group of volunteers to help sort and recycle trash, bottles, and tires on Green Up Day. East Montpelier Elementary School is outstanding in their support -- allowing us to use their parking lot as collection site and cafeteria to host a free lunch for all those picking trash on Green Up Day. Last year, we helped transition the Green Up Lunch from the original retiring Committee to a new group and solicited donations for the lunch and raffle. 

What does Green Up mean to you? To me, Green Up is a tradition I admire. It brings together the community and instills a sense of duty and pride. Vermonters take responsibility for their state's upkeep. We are part of the bigger picture, knowing we contribute to the cleaning up of our whole state, one town at a time.