Valley Breeze

The Valley Breeze Woonsocket North Smithfield 04-18-2019

The Valley Breeze Newspapers serving the Northern Rhode Island towns of Cumberland, Lincoln, Woonsocket, Smithfield, North Smithfield, Pawtucket, North Providence, Scituate, Foster, and Glocester

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NORTH SMITHFIELD BLACKSTONE WOONSOCKET EDITION | VALLEY BREEZE | APRIL 18-24, 2019 NORTH SMITHFIELD 9 tions as an add-on to their educational tours. "It'll help to continue to support our free community events," explained Rego. The oven will also open up doors for the group's education initiatives. Nwando Ofokansi, director of public health and community development for NeighborWorks, and Eben Dente, a community builder resident, both had plenty of ideas for how to incor- porate the feature into the organiza- tion's youth programs during last week's demonstration. Many of those ideas involved using the oven to bake foods traditional to the kids' diverse ethnic backgrounds, including yams and plantains. "The possibilities are really endless right now," said Dente. Emily Lisker, a city resident who has taught workshops on bread-making for NeighborWorks in the past, said she's looking forward to experimenting with the new oven and using it to engage the community. "Homecooking is where it's at," she said. "I think if we get back to sharing bread with our neighbors, we would have a much better, happier society." NORTH SMITHFIELD – Bob Lepage is what you'd call a "vet- eran" trash picker-upper. The town resident has been helping out with Clean and Green Day for the past 14 years and is one of eight commit- tee members coordinating this year's event. In his spare time, he cleans up a quarter-mile stretch of road near his Mechanic Street home. Next Saturday, April 27, Lepage and several hundred volunteers will take to the streets for the 17th annual Clean and Green Day. Committee members are hoping to top last year's total of 419 volunteers and are aim- ing for 500 participants. Several large groups, including the town's scout- ing troops, have already signed up, according to Lepage. "Every year the event just continues to grow in size," he said. "We cover more and more routes. Last year, we cleaned up 40 miles of roads and we picked up 3.43 tons of trash." The record for trash pickup, he said, was actually set several years ago, when the Clean and Green Day committee sent volunteers down to the banks of the Branch River to pull up tires and metal drums. That year, volunteers collected more than seven tons of trash to be shipped off in a 30-yard dumpster coordinated by the town's Public Works Department. These days, the committee focuses its efforts on the town's roads, particu- larly those with no residents to keep an eye on them. Most of the trash, said Lepage, comes from people either intentionally or accidentally discarding trash. "What we find is the biggest cul- prit is the little nip bottles. Those are discarded everywhere," he said. "Unfortunately, people tend to put their trash out the day before. On windy days, the recycle bins will get knocked over and there's trash every- where. We're fighting against our- selves, we want to recycle, but when they get knocked over, there ends up being litter." Those interested in participating can sign up for a section of road ahead of time or show up at registra- tion at 8 a.m. at Halliwell Elementary School. The committee is taking sug- gestions of additional sections of road that need attention. In recent years, said Lepage, new committee mem- bers have helped to increase engage- ment with residents through online registration and social media. "Along with a new cast comes new ideas. We created the Facebook page. That got the awareness out there, so it reaches a large population," he said. The committee provides gloves and trash bags, but volunteers are welcome to bring their own gloves if they wish. Lepage recommended wearing long pants and sleeves and bringing plenty of water and a snack. The cleanup officially lasts from 9 a.m. to noon, with coffee and donuts available at registration. The event, said Lepage, would not be possible without the assistance of local sponsors, which this year include Waterson Terminal Services, Stanley Tree Service, Renaissance Marketing, Dell Technologies, Navigant Credit Union, Lowes, Dunkin' Donuts, Cool Air Creations, New England Image and Print, Stop and Shop, Brigido's, Stepka Family Dental, Keep Blackstone Valley Beautiful, the Peloquin fam- ily, Comtor Gage Company and the Village Haven. Members of the Clean and Green Day committee include Tara Berard, Zaida Wenzel, Jeap Thomsoupha, Scott and Jen Hawes, Brian Wenzel, Richard Grubb and Bob Lepage. Online registration for Clean and Green Day and a list of cleanup sites is available at www.nscleanandgreen. wixsite.com/website. Volunteers ready for 17th annual Clean and Green Day By LAUREN CLEM Valley Breeze Staff Writer lauren@valleybreeze.com BREEZE PHOTO BY ROBERT EMERSON PIERRE and GINGER MANZO head to their Hanton Road assignment during the 2017 North Smithfield Clean and Green Day. This year's event is scheduled for Saturday, April 27. From preceding page

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