Former Patriots Quarterback Scott Zolak assisted in cleaning up the Saugus River at Stocker Playground on Sunday morning.
In a significant show of community support for Earth Day 2022, WIN Waste Innovations led a successful cleanup of the playground, which is part of the Saugus River Watershed. More than 125 volunteers participated, including several youth sports teams, Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts and members of the Saugus High School senior class. In addition to the cleanup, there were learning stations and an appearance by former New England Patriots quarterback Scott Zolak – now a color commentator on Patriots’ radio broadcasts and cohost of Zolak & Bertrand on 98.5 The Sports Hub.
Cleanup volunteer Sirlei Tarantino said she and her family members had a really good experience. “I wish more people were there,” Tarantino said. “It was great to see so many children participating and making a difference in maintaining the natural environment for the animal species.”
Board of Selectmen Chairman Anthony Cogliano said it was great to have Zolak in town as part of WIN Waste’s Earth Day cleanup at Stocker Playground. “It was also nice to see all the volunteers come out to support our town,” Cogliano said. “All in all…a great day for Saugus.”
State Representative Donald Wong said it was great that so many people, including Zolak, Cogliano, Boy Scouts and other volunteers, shared their time to make a difference.
Earth Day is an annual event designed to demonstrate support for environmental protection. First held in 1970, it now includes a wide range of events involving a billion people in more than 193 countries. Sunday’s clean up in Saugus was sponsored and organized by WIN Waste Innovations, a company committed to reliable waste and recycling solutions and sustainability at every step in the process. It is consistent with WIN Waste’s focus on community-based environmental initiatives that align with its global vision for a healthier planet.
“Changing the world starts with one action – like today’s clean-up,” said Jim Connolly, WIN Waste Innovations Vice President of Environment. “We appreciate and applaud the work and sacrifice that went into this effort by community volunteers and WIN employees, who are truly working for a world of good.”
At Sunday’s event, volunteers spent the morning picking up and bagging trash, which was then removed by WIN Waste. The event also featured learning stations where students and others could learn about local environmental challenges and solutions, such as the construction of nesting boxes designed to protect and support swallows in the Bear Creek Wildlife Sanctuary.
The protection and management of Bear Creek is a signature initiative in WIN Waste’s vision for a healthier planet. With WIN Waste’s support, the 370-acre property abutting a 2,274-acre estuary has blossomed into one of the largest bird migration staging areas in Northeastern Massachusetts and a habitat for more than 200 bird species and other wildlife. A popular site for educational and recreational programs, the sanctuary coexists seamlessly with the adjacent waste-to-energy facility and includes more than 2.5 miles of walking trails, a half-acre exhibit garden and meeting and lecture areas. WIN Waste recently received “Gold Certified” from the Wildlife Habitat Council – the highest level possible – for its management of Bear Creek.
Other Win Waste Innovations work examples:
· Helping communities reach carbon neutrality by preserving and increasing carbon stores in salt marshes, which have a capacity to store carbon that is 10 times greater than tropical rainforests
• Reducing energy consumption by 18 to 30 percent by integrating green infrastructure into urbanized environments
• Removing plastic from public greenspaces before they turn into highly mobile hydrocarbon pollution known as microplastics
• Introducing students, through WIN Waste’s Nesting Box Initiative, to the natural services provided to their communities by geological features, ecosystems and wildlife species
• Working with students, through WIN Waste’s At-Risk Species Program, to identify wildlife species impacted by climate change and to develop management plans to help the species adapt
• Working with students, through WIN Waste’s Migratory Wildlife Program, to identify migratory wildlife species and prime migratory staging habitats in their communities
• Introducing students, through WIN Waste’s Sustainable Living Program, to curb-to-grid waste management practices and proper recycling methods at home to better manage waste