Wareham Area Litter Mob kicks trash
Linda “Redbird” Finnegan has declared war on the litter in Wareham.
“Wareham needs this,” she said on Saturday, December 24, while braving freezing temperatures for an hour and a half to clean up the grounds at the Wareham Free Library.
“I spent two years trying to find out who’s responsible for maintaining the area,” said Finnegan.
She remembered a time when there were landscaped flowerbeds and lawn around the library. Concerned that budget cuts left the area in poor shape, she said she found a kindred spirit, Maria Viljoen of Brooklyn, N.Y., who gave her the idea of “mobbing” the library to pick up litter. Viljoen’s efforts at litter mobbing Prospect Park in New York were Finnegan’s inspiration.
“When you go someplace clean, you think twice about throwing trash around,” said Finnegan.
A self-proclaimed "middle-aged mutant ninja granny," she started the “Wareham Area Litter Mob” to tackle the problem. Much of the mob mentality was not apparent on Saturday -- Christmas Eve. Perhaps would-be mobsters were put off by the rare burst of winter in yet another record-setting week of mild weather this December.
But there were a few recruits. Litter Mobster Karen Spinks was already at the library picking up trash and raking before mob leader Finnegan arrived. Mary Beth Cormier, an assistant at the library, joined them after finishing up her Christmas pies.
Finnegan’s son Henry Bell also joined her in her quest to make the library grounds presentable. Bell said he volunteered to make up for his youthful transgressions.
Bell said he found wrappers from snack products that aren't even made anymore. “It’s atrocious,” he said.
Much of the trash was from fast food and junk food wrappers, said Finnegan. And there was what she called an “alcoholic’s alley,” full of small "nip" bottles and wine bottles. Fortunately, that area was in the library parking lot on the opposite side of the building -- well away from the playground.
All in all, the mob picked up two barrels of trash and enough bags and boxes to fill the back of Spinks' pick-up truck.
Want to lend a hand? Join Finnegan and her mob on Sunday, January 8 at 10 a.m. at the Wareham River, behind Main Street. The group will be cleaning the area from Wareham Feed to the train station.
To stay up-to-date with litter mob events, including plans in the event of inclement weather, check out Finnegan's blog: http://warehamarealittermob.wordpress.com.