Spring is nearly upon us here on the SouthCoast, and residents of Westport are gearing up for their biannual community cleanup event.

Team C.O.W. (Clean Our Westport) is once again rallying volunteers for a day of litter removal and environmental stewardship on Saturday, April 6, 2024. In case of inclement weather, the rain date is Sunday, April 7.

Originally, this cleanup was scheduled for fall 2023, but consistent rain canceled the cleanup.

Starting promptly at 9 a.m., participants are invited to gather at the old Westport High School's south parking lot, 19 Main Road, to register, receive street assignments and pick up essential cleanup tools. Thanks to the generosity of Residential Properties, volunteers will also be treated to complimentary coffee and donuts to fuel their efforts.

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Team C.O.W. has spearheaded these cleanup initiatives for eight years, drawing in over 100 dedicated locals each time. Led by Martin Costa and Deborah Weaver of Westport River Watershed Alliance, the team collaborates with local businesses and volunteers to tackle litter across the town twice annually. Preparation for the spring cleanup begins with organizing committee meetings at the start of each year.

"Team C.O.W. strives to cover as much ground as possible throughout Westport," Costa said. "It's a community-driven effort that brings families together, and the impact is truly remarkable. We collect everything from small litter to larger items like televisions and vacuum cleaners, relieving the strain on our understaffed highway department."

Volunteers will be equipped with gloves, garbage bags, garbage reachers and bright green safety vests with corporate sponsor logos. The support from sponsors such as Win-Waste, BayCoast Bank and Perfect Smiles has been instrumental in providing essential resources for the cleanup.

Win-Waste has generously donated a dumpster and $1,000 toward the project. Likewise, Bay Coast Bank and Perfect Smiles have contributed $1,000 each, with Perfect Smiles also sending approximately 20 volunteers annually to join the cleanup efforts.

Following the cleanup, at 1 p.m., four trucks will traverse the town to collect filled garbage bags left along the roadsides by volunteers. The Lions Club typically lends a hand, strengthening the community's collective impact.

For those eager to lend a hand and contribute to the cleanup efforts, signing up is as easy as contacting Martin Costa at cleanourwestport@gmail.com or 508-965-4775.

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