By SARAH JOHNSON
Lawson Taylor has a friendly demeanor and a big laugh and he cares a lot about the land in his hometown. He’s gearing up for the Plainville Conservation Commis-sion’s annual river cleanup, scheduled to happen Saturday, May 4, rain or shine.
A member of the Commission for over 10 years, Lawson has taken on the role of vice chairman and he works on the meetings once a month at town hall. “We hold our meeting the second Wednesday of each month,” Lawson said. “Our river cleanup is May 4. We do two each year and alternate between the Quinnipiac and the Pequabuck. This time we’re doing the Pequabuck.”
The river, as it exists in Plainville, comes out of Bristol, crosses Route 177, winds back behind the police station downtown, and under Route 72 and continues on through the Northwest Drive area and into Farmington.
“Anybody that wants to help is welcome,” Lawson explained. “We try and advertise to the local papers and businesses. We’ve had anywhere from four to 140 people show up. Basically, we collect small garbage in bags and large garbage in a pile, which the town comes and hauls away. It’s more economical that way.”
The commission tackles key areas of the river, especially those attached to town property with easy parking access. This time, they are going in through the West Cemetery on Route 177. The group and any interested volunteers can meet at 9 a.m. at the gated access area (which is just about at the end of Camp St.) Parking will be made available, as well as gloves and bags provided.
Lawson laughed as he explained the whole process. “Plan to get muddy and dirty,” he said. “You can do whatever you feel comfortable doing as part of the effort.”
Being on the commission is not Lawson’s only contribution to nature in Plainville and the surrounding area. “I’m really an outdoor person,” he said. “I’ve always been into keeping things clean and benefiting nature. I arrange the fishing derby in town each fall and help stock the ponds locally. My favorite thing to do outdoors is probably fishing.”
The town has been doing river cleanups for years and will continue to host them, as well as other things good for the wilds of Plainville. “We are looking for a few more members to fill out our commission,” Lawsone said. “We can have 11 and there’s only eight now. Anyone can come to a meeting and see if they’re interested in getting involved.”