The First Juju Mt cleanup 1993
Visitors Cleanup Woods

Over the weekend members of New England 4 Wheelers, Inc including Rich Banfield and John Barnes were in the woods hunting abandoned vehicles. The rusted-out vehicles usually dumped illegally, are their most sought-after prey, but if other targets such as washing machines and refrigerators appear - they will take them out too. If they find what they are looking for they will use their four-wheel drive vehicles and handy winches to haul the junk out.

The members do this to help keep the woods clean, as well as to improve the image of people who drive four-wheel drive vehicles in the woods. We have minimal impact Rich Banfield president of the club said. We are a lot like hikers and horseback riders. Often the members spend their days riding old roads and their nights camping at nearby campgrounds. The 4 wheelers search for interesting sights such as old foundations or hilltop views. Some times the beauty is tarnished by rusted out cars and gutted snowmobiles. "When you drive in the woods and expect to see trees and streams, you see junk, that irks me" Banfield said.

New England 4 Wheelers , Inc have completed several cleanups over the past years in other towns. There is no cost to the town, and the old vehicles are taken to a nearby junkyard for recycling. When we use the land we like to give back to it. Banfield said. That message is part of the philosophy behind the club. The group received permission from local selectmen to haul away an old Blue Dodge dart, and other junk from the area. Getting them out is half the fun Banfield said. During a cleanup in another town, they found a red Ford van wedged up on a stump. "I have no idea how it got there" Banfield said. The group had the advantage of a resent snowfall, which made it easier to haul the van five miles out of the woods. "The most fun four-wheelers have", Banfield said is Negotiating rough terrain. "Sometimes it might take us all day to go eight miles".

See Some Land Clean Up Pictures Here

A Cleaner Look for Sturbridge, MA

Pat Charron, the Director of Trails for Baystate Jeepers,Inc would like to share her gratitude to the individuals and the members of five clubs that made this clean up another success story. In a letter to a newspaper editor, she wrote:

"What a good feeling a job well done brings, and that was the experience shared by the volunteers who came to the dirt section of a old road in Sturbridge. on May 3rd. This short portion of the road is not a well traveled area, except maybe by those who over the years chose to make it their own personal dumping site.

All that trash is now where it belongs due to the effort of people whose common tread is their 4x4 vehicles and enjoyment of responsible off-road recreation. They came, made new friends and returned a small piece of land back to its natural rustic state. Members of the following clubs joined individuals not associated with any four-wheeling organizations: Baystate Jeepers, Inc. (BSJI) Connecticut Jeeps (CTJ) Mitsubishi Off-Road Club of North America (MORCNA) New England 4 Wheelers, Inc. (NE4WI) North East Willys Jeep Organization, Inc. (NEWJOI)

Kudos and much appreciation for a great job to: Kelly Clayton; Guy DeWitte (MORCNA); Joe Ostrenga (BSJI) from Sturbridge; Eric Broadbent and his son Daemon; Eric Nash (NE4WI) from North Brookfield; David Fantaroni & Mary Ellen Tretheway; Adam Wickstrom; Chris Livernois from Southbridge; Colin Johannen (MORCNA) from Wakefield; Randy Joyner (CTJ & NEWJO member) from Union, CT; Matt & Tammy Lomme (BSJI) from Holland; Jason Picard and his son Dakota from Northbridge with Norm Picard from Whitinsville (both members of NE4WI); and Jim Sowa (CTJ) from Groton, CT. In addition, a sincere thank you to Mr. George Berry of the Sturbridge Board of Health for his support and use of the Recycle Center and to Mr. William Hull, for his permission to use his property for parking and organizing. The landowners along the newly cleaned section of the Road (whose names will not be mentioned to protect their privacy), but whose support and well wishes were encouraging; to Jen and her crew at the Fiskdale Dunkin Doughnuts for their pleasant, speedy service and donation; to Matt Lomme for ìgetting the word outî; to Bob Burgess and ìMacî McIntire of the Southbridge News for the great local coverage ‚ both before and after the event. And last, but certainly not least, Steve Ross at the recycle center.

That Saturday was a very busy day at the center, but Steve pitched right in and didnít "bat an eye" at the extra work! Thanks Steve, you made our task easier! Thanks again to everyone involved. We can make a difference! Once again, the forces of four-wheelers and individuals that care about our environment have proven that with a little effort, we can make that difference, the difference which someday may lead to our land being enjoyed by all and not by a few who choose to destroy it or limit itís access. (Note: A clean up was done in 1992 By Rich Banfield and The New England 4 Wheelers previously at this site)

Four Wheelers Clean Up

Four-Wheeler club members show love for Environment According to Rich Banfield president of New England 4 Wheelers, Some people have the wrong impression of four-wheel drive vehicles. They think we tear up the environment, but theyíre wrong weíre just like every one else. We like to view the mountaintops, the ponds and lakes. Weíre sympathetic to the Environment too.

To prove his point Banfield ,John Barnes and several other members of the club will be doing their part to clean out an area in Sturbridge ,that has become the site for abandoned cars. Using their special four-wheel drive vehicles with winches, the club members plan on hauling out three abandoned vehicles including a red ford van from the area.

With the equipment we have,we should have no problem getting the van out he said. Although heís not from the area Banfield said that he has visited the area before and felt it was a shame it had become so cluttered. The road is basically accessible only by four-wheel drive vehicles. On Feb 27, Banfield and Barnes and four or five other members will be moving the three abandoned vehicles ‚ The Red Ford van and two cars from the area.

Banfield surmises that those who dumped the cars there- along with a number of tires and old furniture- probably thought that since it was a wooded area, no one would see it. That he said is not quite right. Itís a beautiful area he said there no need for that. Once the vehicles are dragged out of the woods and onto the paved road employees of Curboy's junkyard will haul them away free of charge to their nearby junkyard. Banfield said that other clubs in other states have performed similar cleanups.

<-- Back To Landuse