FARMINGTON — “Restore our Earth” is the international theme for the 51st anniversary of Earth Day and Farmington’s 8th Annual Volunteer Cleanup.

The Farmington cleanup is scheduled for Earth Day, Thursday April 22. Volunteers are asked to wear masks and apply social distancing when they pick up bags and gloves, which will be handed out from 1 to 3 p.m., at the Pierce House on Main Street right next to the Post Office. All volunteers are welcome and can show up anytime between 1 to 3 p.m., volunteers can be assigned an area or choose their own.

Farmington’s enthusiastic volunteers of all ages have gone out each year and cleaned up roadsides, parks and trail ways, picking up litter and “spring cleaning” the town. Groups from local businesses, schools and churches, families and other organizations have made the annual cleanup meaningful, productive and fun. It’s been particularly great to see kids come back bright and proud of their Earth Day efforts and contribution.

A few cautions should be observed this year so everyone stays safe: COVID restrictions apply fully. Bright colors should be worn by anyone near roadways. Phil Hutchins, public works director, also has cautioned that volunteers should not pick up anything suspicious or possibly drug related. Anyone who finds something like this should contact the event coordinator at the number below and properly trained personnel will remove it safely.

“Plogging” is a fancy word for jogging while picking up litter. “Ploggers” are welcome to participate in teams or as individuals as a fun option for the athletically inclined — a chance to exercise and contribute to the health and beauty of the environment any time you are out.

Because of COVID restrictions and potential schedule conflicts, volunteers also are encouraged to go out any time during the week of April 22. Please share what you do and your photos with the volunteer coordinator to submit to the press.

People doing cleanup outside event hours are asked to leave their bags by the roadside and contact the volunteer coordinator who will arrange pick up.

Other Earth Day activities this year include fertilizing blueberry plantings in public spaces and pruning apple trees at the university. Dave Fuller of the Maine Cooperative Extension will be leading groups of UMF students to explain these skills and techniques. Mark Pires, leading the UMF Sustainable Campus Coalition, has noted numerous activities are scheduled for Earth Day week, including a campus cleanup.