Green Up Day 1970-2020

  | Community, News

Green Up Day is this Saturday, May 30th, 2020.

The first Green Up Day happened on April 18, 1970, making this the 50th anniversary of this unique Vermont tradition. Apparently, the original idea came from a guy named Robert Shillington Babcock in 1969, featured here smoking a pipe, center right:

Green Up Day origins 1969

A very brief web search reveals that Mr. Babcock was at various times a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford, a Vermont Senator, a member of the Vermont House of Representatives, and a professor at UVM. Many of his papers are housed there, and may contain an answer to the question of what inspired him to suggest this wonderful idea. Unfortunately I didn’t have time to drive over there to write this article so that must remain a mystery for now.

If you visit the Green Up Vermont website and check out The Green Up Day Story page, you’ll see the full span of Green Up Day’s history and more great photographs. I also like this one, featuring the old designs on the Green Up swag from over the years. Gotta love that old typeface!

Green Up Day design 1979

And this one. Check out these groovy volunteers! This picture is from Royalton, VT in 1999…JUST KIDDING! This picture didn’t have a year identified but it’s gotta be the 70s.

Green Up Day Royalton bandstand


And here are some dazzling Green Up Day statistics – over 6,000 tires collected annually!

Number of volunteers: more than 22,000
Number of Green Up Day bags distributed: more than 56,000
Number of tons of trash collected: 200 to 300 tons annually
Number of tires collected: more than 6,000 annually
Number of town roads miles to be cleaned on Green Up day: 13,087 (the State cleans our 2,707 miles of Vermont highways)
Number of towns that have reported illegal dumpsites: 70


How can you participate in this wonderful, statistically effective tradition? It’s easy, just pick up the special Green Up Day bags at our Brattleboro Food Co-op, Pliny Park, or West Brattleboro Fire Department on the 30th, or at Brown & Roberts or Chamber of Commerce anytime between now and then, and pick up some trash! You can simply leave the filled bags by the side of the road. It’s also probably a good idea to contact our community’s Team Coordinator, Robin Rieske. You can reach her at 802-275-7232.

This is also a great way to get some Shareholder Hours in if you’re an owner of the Co-op. For more information visit our Commitment to Community page.

Good luck out there!

Ruth, Shareholder Services