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April 15. 2013 10:52PM

Deerfield making plans for clean-up and wellness expo

DEERFIELD - The Town of Deerfield is taking up some spring cleaning this week, with the third annual "Take Care of Your World" town clean-up and wellness expo scheduled for Saturday.

In the clean-up, families are assigned to work in the parks and town office area, with adults being assigned to work on various roads coming into the town, with most of the emphasis tending to be on the main roads into town and the areas around the river.

"Roughly on average, we work on about ten different roads in town," said Denise Greig, Deerfield's Welfare Administrator and Deputy Health Officer. "We have 54 square miles in Deerfield and we have, I think, 70 miles of road."

The event was conceived three years ago as a way of celebrating Earth Day while harnessing community effort to address previously neglected roads in town.

"It was my first year here and we had a lot of a areas that needed some help and taking care of, and we just thought it was a great way to get some spring cleanup done around in town in areas that aren't normally addressed," said Town Administrator Leslie Boswak. "It's been greeted with tremendous community support. The support, the volunteers that show up, it's fantastic, and we're very happy to continue what's become a tradition here."

"Take Care of Your World" is somewhat broader than a simple service opportunity, however, taking on an educational component emphasizing wellness.

"The Town Administrator and I had talked about a town-wide clean-up to try to clean up the roads once the snowbanks had melted. And as part of my role, I have a particular interest in wellness," said Greig. "So we talked about combining it with a few different events to make this happen."

Inside the Deerfield Community Church, the event's "wellness" bent becomes more holistic, where guests will find a free healthy lunch provided and an interdisciplinary "wellness expo."

"Folks come along, saunter through, pick up the information, and get to have a healthy lunch," said Greig. "They'll be providing information on a variety of topics, everything from financial well-being, to consumer information, healthy homes. A variety of topics."

Town workers from various departments will be manning tables at the expo and providing their own perspectives on wellness.

Year to year, the event has seen between 65 to 100 people participating, sometimes braving unforgiving weather.

"The first year we had bitter cold winds, but we still get a good chunk of people to get out to clean up the roads," said Greig. "We get a lot of turnout from families. I think a lot of parents use it as an occasion to have the kids outside, working on clean-up, and then moving inside to get a good, healthy lunch."

Participants are encouraged to wear work clothes and gloves, boots, and orange vests. Trash bags and disposable gloves will be provided by the town.

The free lunch and wellness expo will be held from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. at the Deerfield Community Church Parish Hall on 15 Church Street. Both are open to the public, regardless of participation in the clean-up.

The snow date for the cleanup is Saturday, April 27, but the wellness expo will go on rain or shine.

bclogston@newstote.com


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