Saturday’s cleanup, sponsored by Friends of the Eastern Promenade and Fetch Pet Supply, marked the 19th year of April Stools Day. The event was started by Diane Davison, Munjoy Hill resident and president of Friends of the Eastern Promenade, long before the majority of dog owners carried bags and picked up after their pets.
"The early years were truly disgusting, and we collected primarily dog waste,” Davison said. “The good news/bad news is that we now find way more litter, bottles and cigarette butts than dog waste during our cleanup efforts in all locations."
Davison continues the April Stools Day tradition today in collaboration with Kathy Palmer of Fetch. Together they are the creative genius behind the Golden Turd, an artistic replica of doggy doo-doo hidden in each cleanup area.
Andrew Black was the Iucky finder of the prized Golden Turd, earning a gift certificate from Fetch. Andrew and Jake Ham volunteered for the park cleanup as part of their sixth grade social studies class, which requires 20 hours of community service.
Eastern Promenade volunteers cleaned up the park from end to end, including areas along the Eastern Prom Trail, Cutter Street, the entrance to East End Beach, and the Fort Allen and Loring Memorial trails. Additional Portland locations included Fort Sumner Park, Evergreen Cemetery and Reiche School. The cities of Belfast, Lewiston and Auburn also sponsor their own April Stools Day cleanups events.