2008-05-01 / Front Page

Earth Day brings out the island volunteers

By Erin Brennan

Evan Kirby, left, and Bill Walsh loaded their bags with trash at Potter Cove on Saturday. They were among the 60 volunteers who participated in the Conservation Commission's Earth Day Shoreline cleanup. Photo by Andrea von Hohenleiten Evan Kirby, left, and Bill Walsh loaded their bags with trash at Potter Cove on Saturday. They were among the 60 volunteers who participated in the Conservation Commission's Earth Day Shoreline cleanup. Photo by Andrea von Hohenleiten Last Saturday the Jamestown Conservation Commission sponsored an island clean up in honor of Earth Day.

Volunteers met at the Community Center and proceeded to several different areas of the island such as Mackerel Cove, Potters Cove, Fort Getty and Heads Beach, where 1.8 tons of garbage and other debris were collected. Last year, there was significantly more garbage, about 2.08 tons.

The Conservation Commission has been sponsoring the project in accordance with national Earth Day celebrations. Chris Powell heads the group and is very concerned about the preservation of the island for future years to come, but is satisfied by the number of citizens who want to help the cause. "We had the same number of volunteers as last year," he said, "and we put in the same number of hours."

The decline in the amount of trash collected, he said, is not from lack of volunteer effort, but rather the effort of islanders to keep clean all year. "It seems that people are becoming more aware of the environment and their surroundings," Powell said.

Sarah Baines, who worked to pick up garbage washed up on Potter Cove, says that it is important to keep the island clean. "If we can't keep our own small part clean, how can we keep it up with the rest of the world?" she said.

It was Baines' first time helping out with the island clean up, but she says it is especially important to work on the beaches and coasts of the island. "I noticed just the other day that some of the beaches were absolutely filthy," she said.

It seems that the island becomes more littered as the years go on, and people become more careless, Baines said.

There were participants who were new to the island who felt compelled to help with the project. Bill Wilson, who has only been in Jamestown for three years, said he felt it was his duty to help clean the important beaches.

It was Wilson's second time helping with the Earth Day clean up, and he also worked at the Potter Cove location. He noted that the area behind the beach, where some people go fishing, was covered in bottles and cans.

There are several trash barrels located adjacent to the beach, but the beaches were still covered in litter. The barrels, ironically, were found to be empty.

Wilson commends the citizens of Jamestown for supporting the island and keeping it relatively clean. "I think that most of the island is doing okay as is," he said.

It does seem that the citizens of Jamestown are trying to do their part to keep the island clean, and that islanders are trying to conserve the precious resources that exist.

Powell added that it is easy for islanders to help keep Jamestown clean. "If you go for a walk, take a bag with you, or clean your favorite beach," he said. "The problem isn't litter, it's people."

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