Freemasons, Friends of the Pukcommeagon get dirty for clean waterways

COLRAIN — Passersby on Green River Road last weekend may have noticed a team of men and women, all wearing matching gray kerchiefs, hauling everything from mattress springs to pots and pans up from the riverbank.

Members and friends of the Mountain Lodge of Masons in Shelburne Falls and the Friends of the Pukcommeagon spent the day on Sept. 12 cleaning up dump sites and debris along a 2-mile stretch of the road as part of this month’s Source to Sea Cleanup efforts.

Although the Source to Sea Cleanup organized by the Connecticut River Conservancy is typically held over just two days, due to the pandemic and congregation being discouraged, organizers planned this year’s event to last throughout September. Cleanup efforts focus on the Connecticut River and tributaries across the four-state watershed.

“In challenging times of division and disease, we have to be creative about finding ways to connect and build community,” said Martin Driggs, presiding officer of the Mountain Lodge of Masons, which was first established in Rowe in 1806, later moving to Colrain and then Shelburne Falls. “This outdoor service project allowed for safe physical distancing while working to protect the waters.”

According to a press release from the Mountain Lodge of Masons, several hundred pounds of trash was recovered, filling a 5-by-8-foot trailer. Finds included a large flat screen television, two mattress springs, a collection of pots and pans, an IBM computer and, ironically, a Greenfield recycling bin.

Volunteers also did some “micro-trash” pick-up, raking a path to a popular river spot and recovering years’ worth of broken glass. The trash and recyclables were brought to the Colrain Transfer Station.

“If you’re feeling down and out, I would recommend getting together with a few friends and doing some local roadside or riverside cleanup,” said Colrain resident Dennis DePaolo. “Connecting with new people who share similar values in helping the community is priceless. It will raise your spirits and give back to your community.”

To learn more about the Source to Sea Cleanup, visit

Author: Going Green

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