Phyllis Theermann

Big thanks to the Wellesley High School Football players and coaches who took part in the first high school team town-wide clean up this past weekend. This event was so motivating that the team will start doing it annually and have challenged other teams to do it as well.

Members of Wellesley Green Schools and Football Coach Jesse Davis last came together to create a meaningful community-service project to call attention to the increasing problem of single-use plastic pollution.  A team-building cleanup project was proposed and organized, with the NRC providing maps of areas in need of cleanup, as well as gloves, safety vests, and other supplies.

“The Wellesley Football Team town-wide clean up not only beautified Wellesley’s public spaces, but also allowed the players to see first hand the amount of single use plastic around town. This started conversations on ways to reduce it,” said Coach Davis. “To encourage players to create less waste, the team purchased water bottles with their numbers on them for students to re-use,” Davis said.

Thanks to the team’s hard work, residents noticed trash-free areas around the High School, Memorial Grove, Perrin Park, Ollie Turner Park, Ouellette Park, and Reeds Pond.

“The coach encourages us to give back to the community since they support us on the field,” said Holt Fletcher, Wellesley High School senior and one of the four captains of the football team. “Not only was the town-wide clean up a great way for us to do that, and to get out into the community as a team, but it really opened up our eyes to the amount of trash lying around our school and many of the town’s parks and conservation areas,” Fletcher said.

“I hope other teams and community members join the football team in this important effort to help our town,” said Nicholas Cavallerano, a junior on the team. His brother Louis, a freshman, said proudly, “This was my first football community activity and I really liked that coaches and players worked together to help our community with the cleanup.”

To get involved in other town cleanups or propose one of your own, contact the Natural Resources Commission at 781-431-1019, ext. 2294. To learn tips on plastic waste reduction visit Wellesley Green Schools at  www.sustainablewellesley.com.

Phyllis Theermann

Greenpeace UK image

Two sisters, Ayesha & Vaani, are hoping to reduce plastic in local communities by elimination, education and prevention. These Wellesley Public School students have learned how plastic is destroying the Earth but are frustrated that not many people are doing anything about it. They want to make a change. They believe the first step to doing so is by picking plastic up from the streets of our own town.

Please join them on Saturday, April 27th from 2-3pm to pick up plastic, and other litter from the sidewalk of Route 9 that stretches from Cliff road to Kingsbury street.  Meet at the bottom of Cliff road, at the intersection with Route 16, where they will provide the trash collection bags and gloves.

“We would just like people to come with a positive attitude, and be ready to help, and if they cannot join us, we would love for people to go out to their backyards and streets and help remove plastic from their community,” said Ayesha & Vaani. “Thank you so much for all you help!”

They were aware of the challenges plastic creates in the world, but did not realize how people were personally being affected by it until they had the opportunity to visit India. There they saw first hand that people were living in areas where their houses were surrounded by plastic waste. They were inspired to bring some change and created The Project Plastic USA  – follow the initiative on Instagram @projectplasticusa.

Their goal is to reduce plastic locally by picking it up from the roads, educating people about the harms plastic creates, and lastly preventing large companies to produce single use plastic products. They are starting with the clean up in their neighborhood in hopes of motivating other communities to do the same – perhaps, eventually, reaching places similar to the ones they saw in India.

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The Friends of Brookside is hosting its annual Spring Clean-up this Saturday, April 13, at 9 am. Feel free to bring family, friends and neighbors to the meeting spot at Longfellow Pond (off of Oakland St).

Friends of Brookside is a community association of Wellesley residents dedicated to protecting and preserving Scenic Brookside Road, Longfellow Pond, Town Forest, Rosemary Brook and Brookside Community Gardens. The Brookside area boasts natural beauty in all seasons.