Farmington Public Library’s 2024 Earth Day Volunteer Clean Up flyer, seen on Tuesday, March 26, in a store window in downtown Farmington. Brian Ponce/Franklin Journal

FARMINGTON — The Farmington Public Library will be hosting the eleventh annual Earth Day volunteer clean up on Monday, April 22, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

Registration for the volunteer clean up will be on the day of the event at the Pierce House, located at 204 Main Street in downtown Farmington. According to Library Director Jessica Casey, bags and gloves will be provided for participants, but members of the community are welcome to bring their own.

Casey also added that registration is not required in order to participate, but it helps keep track of the amount of people who take part in the efforts to clean up the town of Farmington.

“We just encourage the members of the community to come out and volunteer their time picking up trash and litter,” Casey shared with The Franklin Journal.

Last year, Casey shared they had 67 volunteers sign up to help pick up trash across different parts of the town and even Franklin County.

Once the trash has been collected, participants are asked to bring the bags back to the Pierce House, where the Farmington Public Works Department will take it from there.


Along with cleaning up the community, the library will also have prizes and awards for the following categories:

• Happiest Clean Up Volunteers

• Oddest Litter

• Most Adventurous

• Most Litter Cleaned Up [Group]

• Most Litter Cleaned Up [Individual]


Prizes are set to be announced soon.

The haul from Farmington Public Library’s Earth Day clean up from 2023. Library Director Jessica Casey said they gather everything up by the Pierce House and the Farmington Public Works Department takes it from there. Submitted Photo

The “Most Adventurous” award will go to those who are willing to go the extra mile to grab a piece of litter, like climbing up a tree. Casey, however, stresses for people to only do so if they feel safe and confident in their ability to accomplish the task.

“Oddest Litter” will go to the participants that bring back the strangest piece of litter. While most would expect wrappers, bottles, and paper, you wouldn’t expect things like a Loretta Lynn CD or a hubcap with a tree growing out of it. According to Casey, these were some of the stranger items the winners from last year brought to them.

Earth Day officially began in 1970, but its roots stretch back to the year before with the Santa Barbara oil spill of 1969. Reaction to the disaster prompted efforts from activists and politicians to establish stricter environmental regulation, promote environmental education, and set a day to honor the Earth.

Even before that, many saw the 1962 publication of Rachel Carson’s book “Silent Spring”, which covered the effects of pesticides, as the beginning of the modern environmental movement in organic eating and the “back-to-the-land” movement, according to

Denis Hayes, an environmental advocate and organizer of the very first Earth Day in 1970, said that Senator Gaylord Nelson from Wisconsin was inspired to bring the concept to life after witnessing the Santa Barbara oil spill first hand.


Early concepts, like “environmental teach-ins”, were met with resistance from college campuses as many students were hyperfocused on anti-war and civil rights movements and saw environmentalism as a distraction.

To combat this, Hayes and other early organizers shifted their focus away from college campuses and instead focused on community rallies to promote major environmental issues and encourage environmental education at the K-12 grade level.

Since then, Earth Day has grown significantly and has adopted themes to coincide with the annual event. This year’s theme will be “Planet vs. Plastics”, which is in response to the dangers of microplastics.

According to their website, is “unwavering in our commitment to end plastics for the sake of human and planetary health.” The organization is demanding a 60% reduction in the production of all plastics by 2040.

If you are a Farmington resident, or a local in Franklin County, you can do your part by joining the Farmington Public Library in their efforts to clean up the town, or set out on your own with a short walk down the road. You might be surprised by what you clean up.

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