Leonard Lookner Memorial Earth Day clean up set for April 20, 21

By Susan Mustapich | Apr 10, 2018
Courtesy of: Alison McKellar In 2017, teams of volunteers helped pick up and bag litter from Camden's roadsides during the Leonard Lookner Memorial Earth Day Clean Up.

CAMDEN — A community Earth Day clean up taking place April 20 and 21 aims to pick up litter from every roadside and public area in Camden.

This will be the second annual Leonard Lookner Memorial Day Clean Up. The Camden clean up is organized by Jenna Lookner and Alison McKellar, both members of the Camden Select Board.

At 9 a.m. on April 20 and 21, volunteers will meet in the Camden Hannaford Supermarket parking lot. Organizers will provide instructions and trash bags, as well as safety vests and trash pickers. Volunteers should wear gloves and closed-toed shoes.

The litter is bagged and left on the roadside, where it is picked up by the Camden Department of Public Works. Last year, the Camden Fire Department assisted with pick-up as well. The bags are taken to the Mid Coast Solid Waste transfer station in Rockport and weighed.

Last year, volunteers collected about 2,000 pounds of litter each of the two days, McKellar said.The most common items that litter roadsides are cigarette butts, returnable beverage containers of all kinds, nips bottles, fast food containers, stuff that falls out of truck beds such as construction debris or bagged trash, and styrofoam.

Lookner said that last year, she and McKellar were talking about an Earth Day clean up, not long after her father Leonard passed away unexpectedly. Picking up litter along the road was one of his habits, and his birthday is a few days before Earth Day. Jenna remembered how he once posted on Facebook, "don't get me anything for my birthday, pick up some trash today."

The two decided a roadside cleanup in Camden would be a great thing to do in his memory. McKellar "took up the mantel" and organized it, Lookner said. The Earth Day event is modeled on the Keep Rockport Beautiful road-side clean up, started by Maggie Timmerman, McKellar said.

Lookner explained that her father was known for walking from his home on Melvin Heights Road to downtown Camden and back, and picking up litter along the way and stuffing it into his pockets. He began inviting others along for the walk and conversation, and to get them to pick up litter, too. He enjoyed his walks, and he liked to joke about what he found along the roadside. He wanted people to adopt his habit of walking and cleaning up, as one small thing to do for the environment every day, Lookner said.

People who cannot make it to Hannaford April 20 or 21, and who would like to clean up a road prior to the event, can contact the organizers via Facebook, by searching "Leonard Lookner Memorial Earth Day Clean Up."

More Earth Day events

Camden Conservation Commission's Plastic Pollution Photography Exhibit. Ongoing exhibit in keeping with this year's Earth Day theme, "Ending Plastic Pollution." To enter, snap a picture of plastic pollution found anywhere in the Midcoast, pick up the litter if possible, and dispose of it properly. Email photographs to CamdenConservationCommission@gmail.com.

Winners, selected each month at random, will receive a reusable tote bag featuring the CCC's logo. The exhibit is open to all ages and participants may enter as many photos as they like. Photos received before April 18 will be shown onscreen at the Camden Opera House before the CIFF Selects film "Leaning Into the Wind," April 18 at 7 p.m. All photos will be displayed on the CCC Facebook page.

Camden Public Library

Earth Day stories and crafts for children. April 21, 10 a.m.

Mount Battie Earth Day Walk, April 22, 1 p.m., led by "Miss Amy” from the Camden Public Library. Meet at the Carriage Trail Head off Mountain Street to walk up together as a group. A group photo will be taken at the top.The walk is family-friendly, but not stroller accessible.

Spring Choral Concert Sunday, April 22, 2 p.m., featuring The Quasimodal Chorus, The January Men and Then Some, and The Mill Street Irregulars.

Keep Rockport Beautiful

The community roadside clean up takes place April 27 and 28. Visit the group's Facebook page for time and meeting location.





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