Green Up Vermont Tradition with a History

Vermont was the first state to designate a day to clean up the entire state. Started in 1970 by Gov. Deane C. Davis, our unique tradition continues with thousands of Vermonters taking care of Vermont.
As described in the words of Governor C. Davis, on August 30, 1984
“GREEN UP DAY launched Vermont’s environmental ethic and has been a strong and continuing influence in generating support for the environmental movement in Vermont.
“The first Green Up Day was on April 18, 1970. The idea came from Robert S. Babcock, Jr., then a full time reporter for the Burlington Free Press. It had its genesis on a clear spring day in March 1969 when Babcock, driving to work in Montpelier from his home in Waterbury, became appalled at the devastation caused by spring snow run-off and the unsightly litter thus revealed. Upon arriving in Montpelier he came to my office in the State House and proposed the inauguration of a statewide effort, to be supported by the State Highway Department and large groups of volunteer citizens to clean up the highways of the state.
“The more we worked and planned the more excited we all became. When the big day came we were thrilled to see over 70,000 Vermonters out on the roads picking up trash, hauling trash and supervising the action. A large number were young people whose enthusiasm was contagious and their work invaluable.

“The results were far beyond our expectations. Four thousand truck loads were reported hauled by the Highway Department comprising over 20,000 cubic yards of trash removed from the Interstate and other state roads,

Twenty years after the first Green Up Day, Vermont Green Up’s president Leonard Perry noted that: Green Up is more than a day in May. It is an attitude for a lifetime—an attitude toward our environment that Vermont is a precious place deserving our care and respect.
Green Up can occur at any time, at any place.
Together we share the goal of keeping Vermont a clean, safe, beautiful place 
to live, visit and enjoy.

Green Up’s mission is to promote the stewardship of our state’s natural landscape and waterways and the livability of our communities by involving people in Green Up Day and raising public awareness about the benefits of a litter-free environment.

Read more and learn how to participate at –


Vermont: One Tiny State’s Movement to Ban Private Prisons

By: Jonathan Leavitt, From: Toward Freedom
Thursday, 24 January 2013

Vermont, the most progressive state in America, spent over $14 million last year to lock up Vermonters in for profit prison like Lee Adjustment Center, located in Kentucky’s Daniel Boone National Forest. Private prisons like Correctional Corporation of America (CCA)’s Lee Adjustment Center offer no mental health, educational or rehabilitational services, but they do post massive corporate profits; CCA posted $1.7 billion in 2011 revenue alone. As best-selling author Michelle Alexander notes in her seminal book The New Jim Crow, more black men are under correctional control now than were enslaved in 1850. A recent New Yorker piece noted more Americans are now incarcerated than there were imprisoned in Stalin’s gulags.

Clearly a dialogue about mass incarceration, budget crises, and privatization is unfolding. A group of Vermonters working out of Church basements and living rooms is attempting to build a movement to push this conversation forward by passing a historic law banning Vermont’s use of for-profit prisons.

Behind the Profitable Private Prison Wall

Between 2002 and 2003, according to the Rutland Herald, the number of prisoners in Vermont increased at “nearly five times the national average.” The number of teenagers and young adults in Vermont jails surged by more than 77 percent. A racialized “get tough on crime” ideology, mandatory minimums, and harsher sentencing guidelines from the failed war on drugs left then Republican Vermont Governor Jim Douglas at a moment of departure: build new prisons, or start shipping Vermonters incarcerated under these controversial policies into the deep south to be warehoused without even the “rehabilitative” programs found in Vermont prisons.

Full article –