St. John Valley

People of all ages volunteer to clean up litter in Fort Kent

FORT KENT, Maine — Finley Martinez, 2, may have been the youngest volunteer to help pick up litter in Fort Kent on Saturday during a community clean-up event. 

Dozens of volunteers of all ages spent the morning filling trash bags with garbage and debris uncovered throughout the town during the spring snow melt.

Fort Kent Community Action Team and St. John Vianney Parish organized the event and supplied the trash bags, as well as plastic gloves and refreshments for the volunteers.

Dozens of community-minded volunteers spent a few hours Saturday morning cleaning up litter in Fort Kent. (Jessica Potila | St. John Valley Times)

Finley, who picked up trash around Riverside Park along with her parents Brad and Alex Martinez, and grandmother Patty Banfield of York, may also have been the litter collector who expressed the most appreciation about the environment during the task. 

“A bird flying,” Finley shouted while pointing to the sky, between trash gathering. 

The Martinez family recently moved to Fort Kent when Brad Martinez decided to attend University of Maine at Fort Kent to study nursing. Alex Martinez took a job as a math interventionist at Fort Kent Community High School. 

Alex Martinez said it is family-friendly activities such as the community clean-up that they enjoy about living in Fort Kent. 

“We’re always looking for things to do; we have a 2-year-old to entertain,” Alex Martinez said. “This is a great community we’ve benefitted from so we’ve given back where we can.” 

Volunteer Brandon Dayton and a friend picked up trash that had been scattered from a February fire that burned a building on Main Street along the area of the First Mile Monument. 

“It was great to see so many people come out and help clean up our community,”  organizer Patricia Nason said. “We hope to see more people out for future events.”

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