Remember the legacy of Briggs Baugh

FI-Letter-to-the-EditorTo the Editor

In 1970, America celebrated its very first Earth Day.

Briggs Baugh, then a member of the Greenwich Conservation Commission, told friends that this occasion convinced him that he must galvanize environmentally conscious volunteers to commit to the protection of our earth, and he was the lead force behind the first-ever Greenwich Earth Day that same year.

Briggs died recently, but his legacy of awareness of the protection and preservation of our natural resources lives on. He saw the pitfalls of society’s throwaway habits at a time when many had little interest in caring for our environment. So he joined forces with others to promote recycling by organizing drop-off sites to keep cans, bottles and newspapers out of the trash.

In the mid 70s, with a grant from the state and an appropriation from the town, a full-time recycling center was opened at what was once our “town dump.” Briggs acted on a major problem and accomplished the impossible.

Earth Day just passed on April 22 and we would like to remember and to celebrate the pioneering spirit of Briggs Baugh. He was the catalyst whose vision, unbelievable energy and endless enthusiasm led to the success of our recycling program, which has made the town a leader and model for other communities.

Let’s continue to follow in Briggs’ footsteps by taking up the challenge to make a difference. Earth Day is our annual reminder to consider how our actions affect the environment and what we should do to conserve natural resources. How can we change our behaviors to lessen our impact on our fragile planet? A good start is having less to discard in the first place.

Take the pledge to reduce, reuse, recycle — and rethink.


Sally Davies and Mary Hull


The authors are members of the Greenwich Recycling Advisory Board.

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