Many hands make for clean earth in Newington, where several groups picked up trash to commemorate Earth Day this past week.
Employees at Keeney Manufacturing took time out of their lunch breaks every day to collect litter in each of the town’s parks. Not only Mill Pond and Churchill parks, but all of the small neighborhood recreational areas like Starr Park, Beacon Hill and Eagle Lantern.
The company’s Earth Day Cleanup is an annual tradition that began six years ago. Several different graphic T-shirts are created each year for volunteers to wear during their outdoor efforts.
“Keeney has been in Newington over 90 years and community involvement is of high importance to us,” owner Jamie Holden explained.
At the end of the week the company held an Earth Day ceremony and weighed the container of trash, which came in at a record 476 pounds.
“That’s the most we’ve ever gotten,” programming manager Steve Burzysnki said.
That brings the company’s total pounds of trash collected during the last six cleanup events to 3,000 pounds.
Burzynski brought the original idea to Keeney, modeled after a project his teenage daughter was working on at her school at the time.
In addition to trash, participants have gathered some interesting observations and treasures over the years.
“We actually found a cash register in the woods last year,” said Jamie’s son Andrew Holden, director of manufacturing.
The dirtiest part of town always seems to be Constance Leigh Drive and Lowrey Place, in the neighborhood behind the Keeney plant, which is located at 1170 Main St.
The Holdens joined maintenance manager Jude Angelicola and regional manager John Waters at Churchill Park on Wednesday. The group had to watch their footing in the marshy areas around the pond, where much of the debris was discovered.
One of the places consumer sales coordinator Betty Pelletier headed with her group was Seymour Park on 7th Street, in the same neighborhood where she grew up.
“We come to this park every year,” Pelletier said. “When I was a kid Parks and Rec had a summer camp here. Walking around now, reminiscing about the good old days brings back some memories.”
Keeney Manufacturing is one of the largest manufacturers of plumbing products in the world, with facilities in Georgia, New Hampshire, Nevada, Montreal and Jiangmen, China.
The town’s Environmental Quality Commission also led a cleanup this week. Volunteers gathered in Churchill Park on Earth Day Sunday before deploying to different areas of town to collect trash. This group paid particular attention to the forested trails on Cedar Mountain and the municipal parking lot in Constitution Square.
Erica Drzewiecki can be reached at 860-801-5097 or firstname.lastname@example.org.