To engage and unite Virginians to improve our natural and scenic environment.

Grab Your Gloves! It’s the Great American Cleanup!

Though you would never know it with the weather that we’ve been having, it is almost Spring.  That can only mean one thing:

It’s almost time for the Great American Cleanup!Great American Cleanup

The Great American Cleanup is the largest grassroots community project in the United States.  We had a great turn-out last year, and we suppose that Keep America Beautiful heard about our commitment.  This year, they’ve chosen Hampton Roads to be one of the 10 regional kick-off locations in the country!  Way to go Hampton Roads!

The events will begin on Friday, April 27th, and continue on Saturday, April 28th.  The Hampton Roads Cleanup will involve hundreds of volunteers transforming local parks, waterways and recreational areas into cleaner, greener environments.  On the morning of April 27th, corporate and military command teams will join forces with local volunteers to perform cleanup projects at community based sites throughout the region. There will be a “#Green Starts Here” celebration event that evening at the Virginia Zoo in Norfolk.  It will thank all of the state dignitaries, local elected officials, military leaders, volunteer team leaders, community leaders, and corporate sponsors for all they do to keep Hampton Roads beautiful.

On Saturday, April 28th, more volunteer teams will spread out around the region to pitch in with other Cleanup events.

The idea is being coordinated by askHRgreen. They’ve been working with communities in the Hampton Roads area for the past six months, trying to identify “transformational” community improvement projects with an eye toward turning local parks, playgrounds and public spaces into greener, more sustainable places to live, work and play. The idea, according to Regional Project Chairman John Deuel, is to connect Hampton Roads volunteers with projects that will be meaningful to their community. In addition, community and environmental leaders may submit requests for new sites to add to the list.

BeautificationLast year, around 3.8 million people participated in the Great American Cleanup.  There were over 30,000 events in 16,500 communities around the country. Volunteers picked up over 177 million pounds of litter, cleaned 110,000 miles of roadway, and planted 166,000 trees.  Buildings were painted, gardens were planted, and trash was picked up (from cigarette butts to automobiles, and a full sized organ!)  Many of our corporate sponsors are back on board this year, from Waste Management and Pepsi, to LG Electronics and Glad.  We had some great events here in Virginia last year, and thousands of volunteers throughout the Commonwealth, but we’d love to see a bigger turnout this year!

If you want to get involved, or find out about projects close to your community, visit askHRgreen.org.   If your organization or business would like to participate or help sponsor you can contact Mike Baum.  If you need more information, you can reach Keep Virginia Beautiful at (804)665-2908.