Green Up Day

May 29, 2020

Vermont’s Green Up Day celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. In 1970, the day featured closed interstate highways, coerced schoolchildren, and shouted encouragement from a buzzing Cessna. 

This Episode’s Featured Object:

Governor Davis’ Construction Helmet

Amanda Gustin: This hard hat was worn by Governor Deane Davis at the very first Green Up Day in April, 1970. I really like this particular object. I’ve liked it for a long time now for a bunch of different reasons.

Amanda: This idea of getting out there and cleaning up the environment got approval and support at the highest possible level in the state. It came out of the governor’s office, and the governor used it as sort of a moment of pride. He saved this hard hat that all these people involved in this first effort had signed.

Episode Transcript

It’s the first Saturday in May – where are you?

[background audio of Kentucky Derby]

Not if you’re from Vermont.

Melinda Vieux: “Hartland, it is a lovely time for residents across the generations to meet, mix and mingle.” In Middlebury, “Green Up Day is a FABULOUS Vermont tradition. Brings neighbors organizations, college students, businesses together in a positive way. Reinforces a sense of community, pride in our community and makes a huge difference in the appearance of our roadsides. There is no other state that has a Green Up Day like Vermont’s.”

Read the full transcript.

Episode Credits

Before Your Time is presented by Vermont Humanities and the Vermont Historical Society. This episode was produced by Amanda Gustin and Ryan Newswanger.

Thanks to our guests Melinda Vieux and Parker Riehle. Thanks also to Kate Alberghini, Executive Director of Green Up Day, for her help on this episode.

Music is by Michael Chapman and the Woodpiles, The Calm, Magical Joy, and Northwestern.