Andover High School students joined with town conservationists to mark Earth Day last month by cleaning the Merrimack River bank with an eye toward putting the boat ramp and property surrounding it to better use.
Despite heavy rain, 20 people from seven local organizations responded to Andover Conservation Director Robert Douglas’ call for help. Douglas was prompted to organize the April 26 effort by Greater Lawrence Rowing Master Frank Maldari.
The team of volunteers pitched in, gathering dozens of bags of trash while sharing ideas on how to reinvigorate the town resource, including the 6 miles of footpaths running along the Andover section of the river.
Calling it a fun project, Steve Fink of Sustainable Andover said it brought together people working to “make a difference, all while highlighting why Andover is so special.” It also served as an introduction to a long-range vision Douglas and others share for the property, Fink said.
Among those assisting Douglas and Fink were Dave Dargie of Andover Village Improvement Society; Caroly Shumway, executive director of Merrimack River Watershed Council, with board members Maureen Sakakeeny and Kim Nguyen-Lara; Carolyn Dann of Andover, municipal assistance coordinator with the state Department of Environmental Protection; Fran Fink and Norm Scarpulla of Sustainable Andover; Alix Driscoll and Kevin Porter of the Conservation Commission; conservationists Al French, Bob Decelle and Jack Driscoll; Andover police Lt. James Landry and his team of Ian Timmons, Phil Boulanger and John McMullen; and rowing masters Capt. Maldari and his wife, Michelle.