Shawn Winslow delivers a bucket of sand in November 2018 in Augusta. City workers are again providing free deliveries of salted sand to older or disabled residents this winter. Requests to participate must be submitted before Thanksgiving on Nov. 23. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal file

AUGUSTA — Organizers hope a reenergized program delivering free buckets of salted sand will gain traction with residents who may not otherwise be able to safely clear snow when winter leaves their walkways slick and treacherous.

Augusta Parks and Recreation workers will deliver, at no charge, one five-gallon bucket of salted sand to residents who are 60 and over, and to residents who are disabled and unable to get a bucket themselves from the city’s public works facility. City workers will also deliver at least one refill later in the winter.

The filled buckets will be delivered to residences after Thanksgiving, and residents should contact Wendy Somes at Buker Community Center, at 626-2350, or email, as soon as possible to get on the list for a bucket. Requests must be submitted before Thanksgiving, on Nov. 23.

The program, a partnership of the Augusta Age-Friendly Committee and city of Augusta Parks and Recreation Bureau and Police Department, started in 2017.  But organizers hope to reenergize the effort and raise awareness of it for residents who may not know about it but could benefit from it.

“We as a group are getting reenergized, post-COVID, and we’re really focusing this year on the sand buckets program, and doing a good job with that,” said Duane Scott, chairman of the Augusta Age-Friendly Committee.

Kevin Lully, deputy police chief and the department’s liaison to the Age-Friendly Committee, said partners including Home Depot, Lowe’s, Hancock Lumber and Harbor Freight Tools donated an additional 50 buckets for the upcoming winter season.


When phoning for a bucket or a refill, residents may specify where at their home they want the bucket to be delivered. If no specific instruction is provided, they will be left near houses. Buckets to be refilled, according to Lynn Bowditch, a committee member, should be left out in a conspicuous place to make it easier for workers to find and fill them.

Lully said no one involved with the program will request payment of any sort. If someone claims to be from the program and attempts to solicit money, Lully said residents should contact police at 626-2370.

The program has provided sand buckets to more than 60 residents in past winters.

Residents who do not qualify for or participate in the delivery program may pick up two buckets of winter sand per season for free. Winter sand is available from late November to mid-April from the sand pile located at the John Charest Public Works Facility at 55 North Street. Buckets must be five gallons or less.

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