In December 2012, Keep Evansville Beautiful (KEB) , along with a number of representatives from the City of Evansville, University of Southern Indiana, United Way, Evansville Vanderburgh School Corporation, Evansville Signature School, YMCA, State Farm, and Republic Services, as well as Evansville Mayor Lloyd Winneke and student representatives from the area high schools, met to discuss how best to celebrate and participate in the 2013 Global Youth Service Day.
Shortly thereafter, the Mayor instituted the Clean Evansville Initiative. KEB and the City of Evansville are partners in this program and conduct a litter cleanup every first Saturday of each month. A neighborhood or section of the city is selected, volunteers are recruited, teams are formed, materials are supplied by KEB, the cleanup is conducted, the litter collected is quantified and KEB reports the results to Keep America Beautiful as part of our GAC activities.
It was the decision of all present that we would conduct a large, multi-neighborhood litter cleanup on April 27, to be patterned after the Clean Evansville Initiative model. The planning and organizing process was conducted from January through April. The volunteer groups carried out this initiative as part of Global Youth Service Day and as part of KEB’s Great American Cleanup.
Other Global Youth Services Day activities were conducted as part of the overall celebration, but the litter cleanup was the focal point. Although the entire community was invited to participate, we focused on our youth from kindergarten age through college-aged students. The University of Southern Indiana coordinated the overall program, but KEB had the responsibility for the litter cleanup and coordinated that entire portion.
KEB recruited volunteers, designated the areas to be cleaned up, created maps, formed teams, trained team leaders, assigned volunteers to the teams, provided supplies, acted as liaison with the rest of the organizations and volunteers, and ensured that the cleanup went as planned. Five neighborhoods and areas of Evansville were designated, 24 teams were formed, the teams each had a USI student co-leader as well as a second adult co-leader, all of the students were recruited along with their adult leaders, volunteers from the entire community and the Mayor of the City of Evansville. The event was a tremendous success.
Over 600 volunteers participated and several hundred bags of litter were collected. Planning has begun for 2014 whereby another large, community-wide litter cleanup will be the prime activity to be conducted by our area youth and others on Global Youth Service Day. All of this is just a portion of the activities that Keep Evansville Beautiful conducts throughout the year in support of the Great American Cleanup, resulting in a better, healthier community in which to live and work.