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Apr 16, 2016 10:39 PM

Volunteers help clean up the Gate City for Second Annual Nashua Pride Clean-up Day

NASHUA - Warmer weather helped bring dozens of volunteers out to help clean Nashua's parks and walkways on Saturday.

Armed with rakes, shovels and brooms, more than 100 volunteers ventured out to clean up along the Nashua Heritage Rail Trail among many other parks and walkways in the Gate City.

"Over the course of the winter, New England winters, we get a build-up of detritus, trash, brush that's fallen...and it's good to get out and do a big spring cleaning" said Paul Shea, executive director of The Great American Downtown. This is the second annual Nashua Pride Downtown Park Cleanup Day. Shea said, with Saturday's turnout about double that of last year.

"This is a fantastic turn-out" said Shea.

Littered with plastic bottles and bags, Dunkin' Donuts cups, old cassette tapes and a lot of cigarette butts, the 1.6 mile rail trail was in need of a good cleaning. Volunteers say trash isn't the only thing they were gathering. Winter weather and winds had brought down many tree limbs that needed to be cleared off the path.

Volunteers also brightened up the trail by planting flowers

With the opioid epidemic hitting the city hard, there were concerns about finding needles.

"We found like two over towards the beginning of the trail," said Lisa Bumpus, a student at Hollis-Brookline High School, "and then like maybe a couple like two or three towards the back end".

"I'm definitely surprised we haven't seen more" said Rick Istvan, who works for the ambulance service American Medical Response, but out on the trail on Saturday as a volunteer with the Empire football team.

Most volunteers were just happy to be out helping to make a difference for others to enjoy.

"It's nice to do something local just to be able to help out the community" said Bumpus.

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