Keep Winter Park Beautiful, Winter Park, FL

As Keep Winter Park Beautiful ‘s contribution to the Great American Cleanup, we cleaned up the Lake Virginia areas within the watershed. Groups met at Dinky Dock Park and then were deployed to predetermined, designated locations that were mapped out with the help of the City of Winter Park Lakes Department. Equipment and boats were supplied by the City of Winter Park. Participants included folks from Dayo Scuba who practiced their dive skills while retrieving sunken trash. A SUP club and a canoe and kayak club were on hand to help skim the lake’s shoreline, and multiple Winter Park residents and Rollins College students walked the streets within the watershed. In total, we had 55 volunteers that pitched in to collect approximately 440 lbs of debris, including 18 full garbage bags, a lawn chair, and an old buoy!

Gwinnett Clean & Beautiful, Duluth, GA

Gwinnett Clean & Beautiful Announce the Winners of the Great American Cleanup — Gwinnett Challenge 2015

In March 2015, Gwinnett Clean & Beautiful kicked off its Great American Cleanup – Gwinnett Challenge 2015. Here in our own little corner of the state of Georgia, Keep America affiliate Gwinnett Clean & Beautiful issued a challenge to local citizens, organizations and businesses to register, complete and report the results of volunteer projects that fell into a number of categories targeted largely toward water stewardship. The results were beyond impressive.

During Great American Cleanup – Gwinnett Challenge 2015, which ran from March 1 through May 31, Gwinnett Clean & Beautiful engaged more than 13,000 participants in 256 community improvement projects throughout the county. Over the course of just 92 days, GAC volunteers:
– Collected more than 5.5 million pounds of recyclables – enough recyclables to fill the recycling bins at over 36,000 homes
– Removed 35,771 pounds of litter – enough to fill 1,788 large trash bags that span the length of Sugarloaf Pkwy from the Gwinnett Center to Sugarloaf Mills Mall
– Planted 243 trees, shrubs, flowers and vegetable plants

Motivated by the personal rewards of doing something good for their community – along with a chance to win a $500 cash prize – the following participants snagged top honors in this year’s Great American Cleanup – Gwinnett Challenge:
– Peachtree Corners Green Committee: Winners of the “DO A WATER WALK” award, this team spent 24 total man hours assessing the habitat of Crooked Creek to determine that the stream’s health is rated “good” on Georgia Adopt-a-Stream’s Habitat Survey.
– Brownie Troop 3031: Winners of the “STORM DRAIN STENCILING” award, this group of young ladies stenciled 37 storm drains within 3 different neighborhoods and educated 795 of their neighbors not to dump down the storm drain, where it can lead to the nearby Cardinal Lake.
– Norcross Interact: Winners of the “CLEAN A WATERWAY” award, this team removed 200 lbs. of trash and recyclables, as well as 200 tennis balls, from the area around an unnamed lake that feeds into Crooked Creek.
– United Peachtree Corners Civic Association: Winners of the “ADOPT A ROAD” award, this team picked up 620 lbs. of litter and debris off roadsides in the City of Peachtree Corners.
– Maxwell Pre-K: Winners of the “RECYCLE MORE” award, this group of youngsters gathered 71 cell phones for recycling in an effort to preserve a Gorilla habitat from more mining for rare materials used in small electronics.
– Lanier HS Environmental Club: Winners of the “REUSE A RESOURCE” award, this team of teens collected 506 books that were donated to Honduras Outreach International for reuse.
– Georgia Gwinnett College: Winners of the “PLANT A GARDEN” award, these eco-conscious college students created a new community garden and planted 80 vegetable plants to grow fresh food for the Lawrenceville Cooperative Food Bank.

“On behalf of myself and the rest of the Gwinnett Clean & Beautiful team, I’d like to say thank you to everyone who participated in this year’s Great American Cleanup – Gwinnett Challenge,” said Gwinnett Clean & Beautiful Executive Director Connie Wiggins. “Congratulations to all of our winners!”

Keep Truckee Meadows Beautiful, Reno, NV

Record number of invasive weeds, abandoned cars removed; more than 600 residents turn out to clean up Truckee Meadows

More than 600 Washoe County residents came out Saturday to clean up illegal dump sites and invasive weeds at 18 sites during Keep Truckee Meadows Beautiful’s Great Community Cleanup. Volunteers removed 74 tons of trash, 33 tons of invasive weeds and almost 600 tires for a cleanup total of 123 tons. Volunteers also removed graffiti, painted and wrapped trees.

“We had perfect weather this year,” said Jaime Souza, program manager of Keep Truckee Meadows Beautiful (KTMB). “Our volunteers pulled and dug a record number of invasive weeds – great news in this dry year.”

Those weeds will be composted for the first time this year, and next week – during International Compost Awareness Week, KTMB staff will be collecting compost and delivering it to schools and other area garden projects. This addition to KTMB’s Great Community Cleanup is made possible by a Keep America Beautiful/Waste Management Think Green grant and a partnership with RT Donovan.

Another record was set this year: The Nevada National Guard removed 18 abandoned cars from the Hunter and Alum creek areas.

“The number of cars just kept increasing,” Souza said. “We started with 15, were up to 17 this morning, and then the helicopter crews found another while they were doing their training. The ground crews did a little scrambling and managed to get the extra one as well. They were so well prepared, and really wanted to do a thorough job. We were so glad to help with the project, and couldn’t be happier with the outcome.”

Here are the stats for KTMB’s Great Community Cleanup. Trash: 74.47 tons; Weeds: 33.4 tons; Cars: 18; Tires: 595

KTMB volunteers are individuals, families and groups from all over the community, including the event sponsor, Intuit, and all the event partners like the Truckee River Fund, Barrick Gold Corporation, NV Energy Foundation, OrangeTree Productions, REI, Truckee Meadows Water Authority, Waste Management, cities of Reno and Sparks, Sun Valley General Improvement District, Washoe County, Washoe County Health District, and the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office.

KTMB’s Great Community Cleanup began in 2006 as a part of a community-based effort to preserve the natural beauty of local recreation areas and remove the dangers to people and wildlife associated with illegal dump sites and invasive weeds. For a map of 2015 cleanup sites, before and after photos, video and more, visit ktmb.org/events/ktmbs-great-community-cleanup/.

All KTMB programs are geared toward educating the public about the economic and health hazards of litter and illegal dumping; reducing our waste; eliminating trash from our parks, roadways and open spaces; making our community a beautiful and safe place to live; and giving opportunities for residents and businesses to take pride and ownership in their home. Residents can get involved by visiting ktmb.org.

Keep Cass County Beautiful, Louisville, NE

These Louisville girl scouts are plenty busy! Besides winning the Girl Scouts’ “Spirit of Nebraska – Bling Your Cookie Booth” top award, the girls from Troop 20564 volunteered their time to help plant flowers. At their last meeting of the spring, 25 Girl Scouts and their leaders helped plant about 600 annual flowers at the Louisville Senior Center and the Louisville City Park as part of a Great American Cleanup and service project. Great Job, girls!

Keep Winston-Salem Beautiful, Inc., Winston-Salem, NC

As part of the annual Forsyth County Creek Week, over 800 volunteers participated in the Great American Cleanup with Keep Winston-Salem Beautiful. They removed 14,000 lbs. of trash and recyclables from local streets, streams, parks and schools. Shown here is a group of students from Winston-Salem State University at their cleanup location at 2nd Street. Local sponsors included Waste Management, Pepsi, Krsipy Kreme, Lowes Foods, Trader Joe’s and the Winston-Salem Journal.

Grand Island Area Clean Community System, Grand Island NE

Residents at a local shelter took time on Earth Day to clean up a neighboring park. These women take part in a class at the shelter that educates them on giving back to their community. Case Manager Shannon thought cleaning up a park where some of them spend their time away from the shelter would be a great idea. These women picked up one full bag of litter and one pound of cigarette litter!