Bernie Paquette, South Burlington’s well-known anti-litter guru, receives the South Burlington Land Trust Award from Sarah Dopp.   Photo: PenArts Communication LLC

Anti-Litter Guru Wins SBLT Award

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Thursday March 28, 2013

The 10th anniversary annual meeting of the South Burlington Land Trust (SBLT) was held on March 10 at the Community Center in the Village at Dorset Park. Fifteen members (of the total of 106) gathered for a potluck meal and great conversation around the tables.

The highpoint of the meeting was the presentation of the 4th annual SBLT Award, this year to Bernie Paquette, South Burlington’s well-known anti-litter guru. In introducing the recipient, Sarah Dopp noted that Paquette, a 30-year resident of the City, has contributed a regular column entitled “Green and Clean to The Other Paper for years,” blogs under the header “Litter With a Story to Tell,” and has assisted with Green Up Day since his teen years. Bernie actually believes that every day should be Green Up Day, however, and he also proactively works with local businesses to keep their premises tidy. His idea is that every community member should “develop an intolerance for litter.”

When Bernie rose to accept his certificate, SBLT pin and honorary one-year membership, he shared more of his passion for litter-picking. Litter stories can be powerful in making people care about their city and the earth. As he put it, “Litter injures and kills wildlife. Littered trash tarnishes the image of our community.” There is a world-wide community of litter-pickers with whom Bernie communicates. They all urge people to carry a bag when out walking, in order to pick up trash, and they ask people to be attuned to reusing and recycling all forms of packaging. Bernie enjoys outdoor pursuits and the treats of Vermont life. In closing the presentation, Dopp noted that “By raising our awareness of the junk around us and our responsibility to pick it up, Bernie exemplifies the SBLT values of making our city beautiful and safe for all inhabitants, both human and wild. He shares the SBLT ideal of maintaining open spaces, wildlife habitat, clean air, water, land, views and agricultural and recreational resources.” To learn more about Bernie’s stories and projects visit his website ( or email him (

In addition to presenting the annual award, SBLT President Sarah Dopp reviewed the work of the year: Green Up Day; participation of members on boards and commissions of the City, including all the Interim Zoning task forces, and as members of the public attending meetings; an SBLT grant to Common Roots; and a successful new member campaign. She noted that over the decade of the land trust’s existence, high points have included the successful effort to save the Calkins Natural Area as a nature park; the part they played in conserving the Leduc Farm (now Bread and Butter Farm); winning the ECHO/BFP Environmental Leadership award; helping organize Green Up Day every year; and providing financial assistance to the City for several natural resource studies.

Treasurer Michael Mittag reviewed their favorable financial position. Two board members were elected to 3-year terms: Karen Ryder and Sarah Dopp.

For more information about South Burlington Land Trust visit their website


SOURCE: Sarah Dopp, President of South Burlington Land Trust