Editor's note: This article was written by a Townsquare Media Northern New England contributor and may contain the individual's views, opinions or personal experiences.

Nothing makes me happier than disconnecting from the world and spending time in the woods, on the trails, or in a swimming hole or pond.

I am not alone. Many of us New Hampshire residents live here because of the access to the ocean, amazing swimming ponds, and nature around us. Well, the more foot traffic ponds and swimming holes get, the more trash and toxic waste is spilled in and around the areas that are meant to be the cleanest: our bodies of water.

Delhi's Yamuna River Polluted By The Overburden Of Population
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The Manchester Urban Pond Restoration Program has been doing something truly incredible for the past 22 years to help keep trash away and ponds safe to play in.

The Manchester Urban Ponds Restoration Program has had 122 cleanup events since 2000, according to a Manchester Ink Link article.

"Over the past 22 years, 1,111 volunteers have spent approximately 33,663 hours collecting 2,501 bags of trash," the Manchester Ink Link reports. "This does not include items illegally “dumped” such as shopping carts (102), tires (444), car batteries, other car parts, construction debris, and other items."

Group of young volunteers picking up trash on the beach
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According to The City of Manchester, "The original goal of the program was to “return the ponds to their historic uses” (such as boating, fishing, and swimming) with the following objectives:

  1. Promote public awareness, education, and stewardship.
  2. Reduce pollutant loading and nutrient inputs to improve water quality.
  3. Maintain or enhance biological diversity.
  4. Provide improved recreational uses at each pond."

Well, this is one tradition that should, and seems to be, continuing for the 23rd year and many years to come.

The first clean-up of the season is right around the corner at Black Brook/Blodget Park (Front Street and Dunbarton Road in Ward 12) on Saturday, April 23, 2022 from 9-11 a.m.

Clean-ups two and three are below:

  • Saturday, April 30, 2022: 9-11 a.m.
    Stevens Pond / Stevens Pond Park (Bridge Street Extension in Ward 4). Meet at kiosk at the boat ramp.
  • Saturday, May 7, 2022: 9-11 a.m.
    Nutts Pond / Precourt Park (Driving Park Road in Ward 9) Meet at kiosk.

If you or a friend are interested in giving back, helping our community, and helping keep our states ponds and natural beauty clean, show up any day with a pair of rubber gloves and a good attitude.

All three trash pick-up days are rain or shine.

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