PLAINVILLE - Eleven garbage bags stuffed with debris at first glance may not appear to signal an overwhelming cleanup effort, but for the Plainville Conservation Commission every bag represents a cleaner Quinnipiac River.
Members of the commission on Saturday made their annual trek into the wooded area near the Fairfield Inn on New Britain Avenue to collect a variety of trash from the banks of the Quinnipiac River. By mid-morning, nearly a dozen full trash bags had been collected, along with various debris including a large aluminum sheet, plastic piping and large pieces of plywood.
“Most of it is trash that collects from the highway and people who gather along the train tracks,” said Marge Burris, chairperson of the Plainville Conservation Commission. “We have a lot of dedicated people who want to keep the river clean and get in there to pull out whatever they can.”
The cleanup crew was populated exclusively by members of the commission. Burris said the weather may have discouraged volunteers, though showers had let up by early morning.
Former Conservation Commission member Leslie Sundell was among those returning from the banks of the river with a trash bag weighed down by a variety of litter. She said the garbage she collected included soft drink cans and bottles and Styrofoam cups. “It’s stuff people throw out their car window,” said Sundell. “Just unbelievable.”
Other members said some of the debris, including alcohol bottles, was indicative of “parties” near the river and the freight train line. Past cleanups have also uncovered used syringes.
Route 72 is located just yards from the train line, which lies adjacent to the river.
The Plainville Conservation Commission today will host its returning fishing derby at Paderewski Pond. The area has been monitored and studied extensively since a large fish die-off in October 2015. Town officials now believe the pond is healthy enough to bring back the popular town tradition, being held from 8:30 to 11 a.m.
Children ages 5 to 15 can participate with their families for this catch and release fishing derby, where they may be able to win prizes such as fishing lures, tackle boxes and fishing rods.
Christopher Fortier can be reached at 860-801-5063 or firstname.lastname@example.org.