For the past 50 years in Vermont, the outdoor spring cleaning effort known as Green Up Day has been a source of civic pride and environmental stewardship. This year’s birthday celebration event looks a little different than originally planned. First, it was postponed because of COVID-19 and will now be held on Saturday, May 30. Second, we’ll all need to take extra precautions to stay safe, like wearing masks and keeping at least 6 feet away from other volunteers who aren’t members of our household. And towns won’t be gathering for barbecues or cake cuttings after all.

Still, Green Up Day is a great opportunity to get some fresh air and exercise while helping to beautify our communities and create a healthier environment. You can find town-specific details and information about how to use the new mobile app to create a team here. Even if your town is not formally participating this year, you can still get involved by helping to green up your neighborhood.

Below are safety tips for participating in Green Up Day from the Vermont Department of Health. Accidents unfortunately do happen: every year, patients are injured while engaging in outdoor projects. Please seek emergency care when you need to. We are open and here for you. Our urgent care and emergency departments have stayed open and ready to safely take care of you  – no appointment needed. Your safety has always been our top priority, and we are now taking extra precautions based on the most current science and informed by public health guidance, to protect our patients and staff.

Green Up Safety Tips

Stay safe in the sun, even if it’s cloudy!

  • Use plenty of sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher, even if it is overcast.
  • Protect your face and eyes from the sun with a hat and sunglasses.
  • Cover up with long sleeves and long pants.

Be careful near roadways.

  • Review road safety rules with children before you head out.
  • Wear light or bright-colored clothing.
  • Work facing oncoming traffic.

Know what to do with needles.

  • Tell children to get an adult if they find a needle.
  • To safely dispose of a needle:
  • Use gloves and pliers or tongs to pick up the needle.
  • Place the needle in a thick plastic container, screw the lid on and tape it shut with duct tape.
  • Write “Do Not Recycle” on the container and toss it in the regular trash.

Be Tick Smart.

  • Protect yourself with an EPA-registered insect repellent and wear long pants.
  • Check your whole body for ticks when the day is done.
  • Remove any ticks as soon as you can using tweezers.
  • Watch for symptoms of tickborne illness and tell your doctor if you feel sick.

If You Are Injured

Do not hesitate to seek medical care. For minor injuries, you can contact your doctor by phone or seek care through an eHealth video appointment to see if you can treat the injury at home or if you should seek in-person care. Learn more:  Find out how to see your doctor from home

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