After a one-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Wilton officials have once again scheduled an annual Town-Wide Cleanup Day. After being inspired by the passion and advocacy of a Wilton 4th grader, the Wilton Conservation Commission is inviting residents to join together for this year’s Town-Wide Cleanup Day on Saturday, May 29.
Commissioners had planned to delay the traditional spring event because of the pandemic for a second year, but they were spurred to action when 9-year-old Elyse Pencu attended a recent meeting of the commission and presented her trash clean-up proposal.
The well-spoken young girl had created a campaign focused on the serious issue of littering (titled, “What we can do to help and what we can do to stop it.”), which helped her win the title of Wilton Ms. President as part of a program engaging girls in grades 4-8 to learn about government, public speaking and women’s history, among other things.
Her campaign presentation not only got her ‘elected’ but it also moved the adults on the Conservation Commission to action when she told them she wanted “to raise awareness and make our town a cleaner and safer place.”
“After listening to Elyse, the decision was made to move forward,” Conservation Commission chair Jackie Algon said. That was echoed by fellow commissioner and cleanup organizer Kim Healy. “The event is a great way to help the environment, beautify the Town and catch up with fellow Wiltonians.”
First Selectwoman Lynne Vanderslice suggested the event provides “a great Memorial Day weekend service opportunity for groups seeking an alternative means to gather.”
The cleanup will be held on Saturday, May 29 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m., and is rain or shine. Volunteers of all ages will pick up litter along Wilton’s roadways and the banks of the Norwalk River.
Residents should come to the Wilton Town Green (101 Old Ridgefield Rd.) to register and pick up supplies. Work gloves, garbage bags and dumpsters will be provided by the Wilton Conservation Commission.
Participants will receive a coupon from Pinocchio Pizza for a free slice of cheese pizza and are eligible for a prize drawing sponsored by the Wilton Kiwanis Club. Prizes include gift certificates to local businesses including Wilton Deli, Wilton Hardware, Scoops, and Orem’s Diner. To be entered in the drawing, volunteers must collect a full garbage bag of litter and bring it back to the Wilton Town Green for disposal. Winners will be drawn promptly at noon on May 29, 2021, and must be present to win.