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Longmeadow Volunteers cleaning one field at at time

Bill Morey
By Courtney Llewellyn

Reminder Assistant Editor

LONGMEADOW Landscaping work is not a walk in the park. It's strenuous, dirty, hard labor, but when it's finished, it allows one to enjoy a walk in the park.

Or a run up and down a soccer field. Or around a baseball diamond.

Bill Morey, head of the Longmeadow Volunteers and a town resident since 1980, has been putting in a lot of work making sure the fields around Glenbrook Middle School are in good shape for returning students this fall, removing vines, trimming hedges, felling dead trees and raking leaves.

"You've seen our athletic fields. They're overgrown and worn out," Morey told Reminder Publications. "[My work] started out with the [baseball] backstops at Glenbrook, removing vines that [spread] 10 feet wide."

Morey said he contacted town officials to see what work he could do on his own and was put in contact with Department of Public Works (DPW) Director Mike Wrabel. He said Wrabel liked what he was doing and soon, some of Morey's friends were joining him in his efforts.

Once the backstops were cleared, they moved onto the chain link fence around the school. This weekend, his group of volunteers worked at finishing clearing detritus from the area around the soccer fields.

"I tell the DPW what I destroy and they clean it up," Morey joked.

He added that the schools have let him know they appreciate the work he's doing and that he's hoping to get more people interested in helping out.

"A lot of people talk a big game," he said. "They say they plan to help and they're still planning. Most of us volunteers are grandfathers, with one family with a child at Glenbrook. We're trying to get other kids involved."

While the Longmeadow Volunteers -- who Morey said will someday have a snappier name -- do get to borrow some DPW equipment, most of the work they do is done with items they own themselves. He has a wish list of equipment and tools that he hopes will be donated by willing businesses or residents or to be purchase through monetary donations. Morey is also aiming to have T-shirts created for his fellow volunteers.

And, once his work is done with the schools, Morey aims to clean up the rest of Longmeadow.

Anyone interested in becoming involved with the Longmeadow Volunteers should contact Morey by calling 567-9151 or e-mailing