HANSON — Now that spring has “arrived,” Green Hanson is hitting the ground running this month with a quartet of programs, old and new — and a new nominee for chairman, 2012 W-H graduate Naomi Mastico.
Also a recent graduate of UMass, Amherst, Hanson native Mastico has returned home and is taking the handoff of Green Hanson’s reins from Marianne DiMascio, who has decided it’s time to step back a bit after some 10 years with the organization.
Mastico was a Green Hanson volunteer during her high school days, and said she is looking forward to rolling up her sleeves and planning more events.
“I’m really thinking of having an event per season,” Mastico said Friday, March 31, at DiMascio’s business office at 620 County Road. “That’s my big dream, because we’ve been really spring-focused. … We’re from New England and we’re famous for our seasons and I think so much of being green is a connection to that — to the Earth, to the weather, to the cycle of the seasons.”
Among her thoughts are a possible return of past fall harvest pot-luck dinners, outdoor summer film screenings and electronic recycling days, among others.
“We’re kind of revitalizing Green Hanson,” DiMascio said. “We’ve been doing some things all along … and we have four events coming up in April.”
First up for the group was an April 1 spring meeting for the organic Hanson Community Garden, held at the Hanson Public Library at which gardening tips were offered and interested residents could sign up for a plot at the garden, located at the Hanson Food Pantry on High Street.
On Tuesday, May 2 there will also be a demonstration during food pantry hours of how to do square-foot gardening for pantry clients and other interested residents, DiMascio said.
The annual Clean Up Green Up community spring roadside cleaning day is also being planned. The event will take place from 9 to 11:30 a.m., Saturday, April 22 with volunteers meeting at the Hanson Town Hall green at 8:45 a.m. for coffee and doughnuts — provides by Dunkin’ Donuts — and for their cleaning assignments.
“We were originally supposed to have it on [April] 8, and I’m glad we’re not, because it’s still cold,” DiMascio said.
“It’s impossible to dig through snow and find trash,” Mastico agreed.
Green Hanson is urging W-H students in search of community service projects to volunteer. All volunteers are advised to wear long-sleeved shirts and pants come prepared with work gloves and boots. Walker-Clay has donated 75 bright yellow T-Shirts for visibility, by arrangement with Town Administrator Michael McCue, but volunteers are asked to wear their own bright-colored clothing in case there are not enough T-shirts to go around.
“We also invite people to let us know if there are specific areas that they’re thinking of cleaning to send [that information] to us,” Mastico said.
Green Hanson’s Clean Up Green Up partners are: state Rep. Josh Cutler, Mike’s House of Pizza, Hanson Kiwanis, Hanson Middle School Builders Club, Hanson Boy Scouts, Shaw’s Supermarket, Dunkin’ Donuts, WasteZero, the Hanson Highway Department, Noonan Waste Service, Eco-Explorers 4-H Club and the WHRHS National Honor Society.
DiMascio has also organized a bicycle donation drive to benefit the nonprofit Bikes Not Bombs, which trains low-income youths in Boston to repair the bikes for shipment to Third-World nations where the bikes are desperately needed.
Area residents are invited to drop off repairable bikes, parts, tools, accessories and cycling clothing to 620 County Road from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., on Saturday, April 29. As it costs $10 to ship renovated bikes overseas, monetary donations are also being accepted, DiMascio said.
Acceptable bikes include: road, hybrid, mountain, BMX and tandem — basically anything except rusted bikes, kick scooters, motorized bikes, exercise equipment, tricycles or Trail-A-Bikes.
One shipment of repaired bikes sent to Uganda, for example, enables a group of 500 village health workers to reach patients in rural areas. Another project, in Guatemala, creates bicycle-powered machines as an emissions-free technology to improve the productivity and efficiency of rural livelihoods.
“A bike can change someone’s life,” she said. “They can get to a market, they can get to town — mobility. It’s having the bikes go to a good place and multiple purposes.”
Other area Bikes Not Bombs collections will be held: Saturday, May 9 in Sharon or Saturday, May 20 in Hingham. For a complete list of Masssachusetts drives, or to learn more about Bikes Not Bombs, visit bikesnotbombs.org.
Green Hanson is also hosting a trail walk at the Webster-Billings Conservation Area off Old Pine Drive and East Washington Street, Hanson from 1:30 to 3 p.m., Sunday, April 9.
The next meeting of Green Hanson is at 7 p.m., Wednesday, April 12 at 620 County Road. The public is welcome to attend.
For more information, call Mastico at 781-974-8455 or email greenhanson@gmail or facebook.com/greenhasonma/.