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Campground Cleanup Gains National Attention

June 27, 2011 by   - () Leave a Comment

Village Green Family Campground owners Les and Meg Twarowski and their children before the June 1 tornado changed their lives.

When a tornado struck Brimfield, Mass., on June 1, it wiped out Village Green Family Campground, a 165-site campground that has been a summer home away from home for hundreds of Massachusetts residents for nearly 40 years.

But with the help of scores of volunteers and donations of food, supplies, money and labor from the local community as well as campground operators from Massachusetts and across the country, Meg and Les Twarowski are rebuilding their family-owned campground – and their lives, according to a news release.

“We’re hoping to reopen at least half of the park by the end of October,” said Meg Twarowski, adding that even longtime campers are helping the park clear out the fallen trees and other rubble left by the tornado.

The tornado destroyed many RVs that had been parked in the campground as well as several campground buildings, including its 3,000-square-foot pavilion, which had been a focal point for special activities and events throughout the camping season.

“All of our trees are gone,” Twarowski said. “Our playground is gone.”

The camp store has also been damaged so severely that it may be condemned. The park is also covered with fallen trees and other debris, but with the help of volunteers, a cleanup effort is well underway.

“We’ve been cutting the trees down that were in the roadway so we have passage through the park now. We’re also removing trees from the trailers so that people can recover the things they need,” Twarowski said, adding that a park operator from Connecticut sent his two sons to her park, armed with chainsaws to help with the cleanup effort.

Community members have also been donating food, bottled water, Gatorade, work gloves, rakes, shovels, brooms and other supplies.

As of late June, about 30% of the cleanup had been completed, Twarowski said, adding that insurance adjusters are frequently coming to the park to assess the damage to privately owned RVs that were there when the tornado hit.

The Massachusetts Association of Campground Owners (MACO) has rallied its members to help the Twarowskis rebuild their park, and park operators from across the country are sending donations to help with the reconstruction effort, said Marcia Galvin, the association’s executive director.

She added that as of late June, MACO had received checks and pledges from about half of the association’s 75 Massachusetts members as well as checks from park operators, associations, and businesses in other states.

MACO has designated July 4th weekend as “Support Village Green Family Campground” weekend. Participating parks are pledging $1 of every site in their park to be donated to the relief fund to help rebuild Village Green.

If you would like to donate food, equipment or supplies to help with campground reconstruction effort, please contact Meg Twarowski at (413) 245-3504 or email her at vilgrncamp@aol.com.

Campground operators can also send donations directly to Marcia Galvin of the Massachusetts Association of Campground Owners at MACO P.O. Box 47 Foxboro, MA 02035. All checks should be payable to Village Green Campground and “relief fund” printed in the memo.

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