By Hayley Leonard, Community Engagement Coordinator
Saturday, April 27, Wildlands Trust partnered with the city of Brockton for their annual ‘Keep Brockton Beautiful Day’. The day is an opportunity for community members to come together with the shared goal of cleaning up trash throughout the city, culminating with an afternoon cookout for those that volunteer. This year marks the second year that Wildlands Trust has participated in the event, the first being in 2012 when Wildlands first acquired Brockton Audubon Preserve.
Early that morning, despite the dreary conditions, a crew of 11 Brockton residents came together to help Wildlands Trust staff and AmeriCorps members clean up trash from Stone Farm and Brockton Audubon Preserves. These properties are some of the last intact parcels of open space left in the city and together they total about 240 acres. Armed with gloves, trash pickers and bags provided by the city, we made our way into the most littered areas of the properties. We spent almost three hours cleaning and removed around 20 bags worth of trash by the end of the morning. With everyone’s help, we were even able to clear out some larger items that had been there for quite some time, such as a broken flat screen television, an old tire and what remained of a spring mattress.
Local clean-up efforts tie into Wildlands’ mission of connecting residents with their natural environments – what better way to build a connection with a place than to help care for it? As a heavily urbanized area, residents of Brockton have fewer opportunities to explore natural spaces than those in the surrounding towns of Plymouth County. Events like this are an important addition to the work Wildlands Trust is already doing in Brockton with Greening the Gateway Cities and the Brockton High School Envirothon Team because they provide residents with the opportunity to actively engage with and learn about their environment, and understand how it connects to other aspects of their lives.