BERLIN –Despite chilly temperatures and the threat of rain, more than 125 volunteers joined Grow Berlin Green (GBG) and the Town of Berlin on Saturday morning to make the third annual "Take Pride in Berlin Spring Clean Up Day" a major success.
After registering at the town’s Stephen Decatur and Henry Parks, volunteers of all ages fanned out to help with a wide range of clean up and beautification projects in the parks and around the town.
In addition to picking up litter in the two parks, participants installed new native plant beds and enhanced existing gardens, including the rain garden established at Decatur Park as part of last year’s spring clean up event.
Major trash removal projects included a kayaking crew that pulled a fire extinguisher and other assorted debris out of the pond at Stephen Decatur park and a clean stream team that scoured a section of Hudson Branch to haul out all manner of detritus — bikes and scooters, car batteries, most of a seesaw, bags full of bottles, cans, plastic bags and abandoned toys.
This year’s event also featured planting flowers and native perennials at numerous sites around the downtown Main Street business corridor. Prior to the event, GBG had recruited a number of downtown merchants to “adopt a garden” by providing a planter in front of their business into which volunteers deposited donated flowers on Saturday.
The businesses will be responsible for watering their new plantings.
After a morning of cleaning and greening, volunteers were guests at a free barbecue lunch at Henry Park with food provided and prepared by a team from Berlin Area Ministries United. On display at the park were butterfly and bat houses built and painted that morning under the direction of Assateague Coastal Trust’s Coast Kids program.
These houses will be placed around the Town’s parks in the coming weeks.
The effort was aided by GBG, the Town of Berlin, Worcester Youth and Family Counseling Services, Shore Can Volunteer Center, the Berlin office of State Farm Insurance, Super Fun Eco Tours, Worcester County Health Department, Bank of Ocean City, Paul and Trish Dufendach, the Church Mouse Thrift Store/St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Berlin Coffee House, Chesapeake Bay Trust and Town Creek Foundation.
Mike Gibbons and his crew from Berlin’s Department of Public Works worked as hard or harder than most leading up to and during the event, while GBG Project Manager Debbi Colley who took the lead in planning and coordinating all event activities.
In order to recoup some of the remaining event expenses and to fund future projects, Grow Berlin Green is sponsoring a raffle featuring green gift boxes loaded with products and services donated by numerous Berlin merchants and businesses. For more information on this raffle and to purchase tickets, please contact Colley at 410-629-1538 or visit GBG on the web at www.growberlingreen.org.