Thompson's Litter League

Villager Article Litter league

THOMPSON — The town of Thompson will be debuting a new community cleanup initiative in 2022 with the formation of a “Litter League” this September. The new event coincides with the 20-year anniversary of Thompson Together, the leaders of an annual April cleanup effort in town and builds on Thompson’s “Nips for Holiday Cheer” pilot program which began in 2020. Thompson’s newest cleanup initiative will see teams compete to see who can contribute the most to keeping Thompson beautiful. Thompson Director of Planning and Development Tyra Penn-Gesek said the Litter League will see local teams take to the streets from September through November to remove litter from roads, trails, and parks in town. Teams will be assigned certain areas to clean on a rotating schedule. The collections will be tallied based on number of bags each month by volunteers of Thompson Together and the Thompson Recreation Department. At the end of the season, the team collecting the most litter off Thompson’s roadways will be announced as the winner. Awards will be presented to kick off the 2023 April Cleanup. “The ongoing success of April Cleanup demonstrates that local citizens are willing to put time and effort into grassroots beautification projects. Participation in the annual event has contributed to civic pride for two decades; but, the problem of roadside litter is continuous, and a bigger nut to crack than can be solved in a single month out of the year,” Penn-Gesek said. “Litter League provides a means by which residents can extend their efforts, tapping into their competitive spirit to clear more debris from Thompson’s roads, trails and waterways than ever before. Sponsored league-branded jerseys will make those efforts visible whenever teams are working on their assigned routes. A hoped-for ‘nudge’ effect would be to make anyone traveling through Thompson think twice before casually dropping food wrappers, beverage containers or vape cartridges out of the car window, after seeing the Litter Leaguers at work. Litter League may also provide a wellness boost through increased outdoor activity, in a manner accessible for all fitness levels.” Penn-Gesek also stressed how this competition will hopefully inspire more volunteerism from the already-active locals in Thompson. The hope is that the Litter League will become yet another clean-up tradition that brings out the best in the Thompson community each year. “The importance of volunteerism and local business sponsors for these grassroots initiatives cannot be overstated. Without the dedication of local residents and business owners, innovations like Litter League would never get beyond the ideas phase. The Nips for Holiday Cheer program saw 45 Thompson residents spending five months clearing those nuisance miniature bottles off local roads in 2020, garnering notice across the State and financial sponsorship from as far away as Fairfield County. We hope to have similar results from Litter League, possibly inspiring other communities to follow suit with their own programs. Who knows, maybe in a few years Connecticut could be home to the first Litter League ‘World Series,’” PennGesek said. Sponsors for the first season of the Thompson Litter League include The Last Green Valley, Bank Hometown, Airbrush Shack, Jezierski Plumbing and Heating, Linda’s House Pediatric Daycare, Lord Thompson Manor and Thompson Wine & Spirits. Participants can sign up as individuals or as a team by contacting the Thompson Recreation Department at 860-923-9440 or emailing