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Beautiful Idea Drives Nonprofit

Mary Hull has a vision on the best way to keep Greenwich's streets, beaches and parks up to par. "You try to get other people to buy into the theory that if you make something beautiful people will not throw their garbage on it. They will respect it," she said.

Hull is executive director of Greenwich Green and Clean, which was begun in 1986 because there was no funding for cleanups in the town. Hull said back then there wasn't a single trash receptacle in Greenwich. The Chamber of Commerce worked to create a group, funded by donations from corporations and residents, to clean up trash and beautify neighborhoods.

In 1987, Hull was brought on to do public relations for the new environmentally minded nonprofit. The next thing she knew, she was the executive director, a position she has held ever since.

A bubbly personality, Hull's cheery outlook extends to the work the organization does. "A cheerful, really uplifting environment makes your life attitude better, you feel better about the future and it's really been proven that if you live in a morbid environment without any beauty, you get depressed," she said. "I think that Greenwich is a community where, of all places, we should have beauty."

Maintained primarily as a volunteer organization, Greenwich Green and Clean relies on people from businesses, schools and those required to perform community service to pitch in. "It's very important that we get to utilize people who break the law," said Hull. "Often it's something minor, but we put them to work for their community service hours and quite often they come back long after their hours are done."

Hull said when she drives through town she's able to see the results of work the group has done over the years, from hanging baskets along Greenwich Avenue to trash bins throughout parks and clean beaches. In neighborhoods, she says, people often get together and plant daffodils. "It's a way, in a New England community where people tend to go their own way, to get to know their neighbors on a joint project," she said. "They meet and enjoy working together."

Greenwich Green and Clean is located at 113 Pemberwick Road in Greenwich. For more information, visit their Web site .

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