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 Martin Beautiful, Port Salerno, FL

Extreme Martin Makeover revitalizes 25 homes in Port Salerno

The New Monrovia neighborhood of Port Salerno, Florida, has a fresh new look after 25 homes received extreme facelifts. Habitat Angel, in partnership with Keep Martin Beautiful, worked to paint, landscape, and repair homes in desperate need of restoration. This huge undertaking was accomplished with the help of more than 350 volunteers from 14 different groups.

Despite a work delay due to inclement weather, the dedicated volunteers came together on weekends from Feb. 7 through April 18 to finish the job. After devoting over 1,500 hours to the project, volunteers painted 25 houses, repaired the roofs of three homes, and made minor exterior repairs to several homes at no charge to the occupants.

“An event like this requires a tremendous amount of coordination and Habitat Angel has been leading this effort for seven years,” said Jim Dragseth, president of Keep Martin Beautiful. “KMB helps provide supplies, promotion of the event and some additional volunteer resources, but Extreme Martin Makeover would not be the success it is without the dedication and passion of Habitat Angel and its ability to mobilize such a significant amount of people to make real and lasting improvements in these communities.”

“Our volunteers and the community really came together and put their hearts into fixing up these homes,” said Hank Meira of Habitat Angel. “It’s so gratifying to see the fruits of our labors and the smiles on the residents’ faces.”

One beneficiary of the Extreme Martin Makeover was Barbara Kerstein, a New Monrovia resident and single grandmother living with three grandchildren and a 3-year-old great granddaughter. This year, volunteers donated time and materials to paint the exterior of her home, make repairs to her roof as well as an interior wall that was collapsing.

“It brought tears to my eyes to have the community come together with Habitat Angel and make a real difference in our neighborhood and to my home,” said Barbara. “Without the volunteers’ help we would have never been able to get all of these repairs done.

“My grandkids will be joining in Extreme Martin Makeover as volunteers next year,” added Barbara. “Even my 3-year-old great granddaughter grabbed a paintbrush to help!”

Valspar paint, in association with Habitat for Humanity’s “A Brush of Kindness” program, donated about 400 gallons of paint for the exterior of the 25 homes. Other sponsors included: Keep Martin Beautiful; Capps Roofing Inc.; Remax of Stuart; Martin County; Mighty Mattress; Tidy Coast Event Services; Redeemer Lutheran; Waste Management; Habitat for Humanity; Tent Logix; the Ciferri Group; Lowe’s; St. Mary’s Episcopal; Jimmy Smith’s BBQ, Christ Fellowship Church, Victory Garden International, City Church, Peter’s Hardware, JBHS Basketball, Port Salerno Church of God, Florida Power and Light, Coastal Life Church, The Firefly Group, Iglesia Cristiana Nueva Vi.

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.

Keep Blount Beautiful, Alcoa, Tenn.

As part of the Great American Cleanup, Keep Blount Beautiful (KBB) in Alcoa, Tenn., hosted WaterFest on May 8, 2015. The event took place at KBB’s EcoCenter, an educational facility on the property of local sponsor Denso Manufacturing. Every year, WaterFest is a huge success and this year was no exception. 260 students came out, along with some parents and teachers, to learn about water quality through games and hands-on activities.

Keep Sevier Beautiful, TN

Smoky Mountain Young Life partnered with Keep Sevier Beautiful to clean up an illegal dumpsite on the last day of the Great American Cleanup.

The youth group participated as a fundraiser, Trash Dash, to raise money for camp. The kids solicited sponsors to donate money per bag of litter removed along the roadway. However, this year the youth group agreed to help clean up an illegal dumpsite – meaning versus counting bags, they counted tons!

The site was a cul-de-sac from a development that was abandoned; leaving the perfect space for people to drive in, dump trash off the side of the mountain and drive away. The site had everything from household garbage, a large toy box, mattresses, tvs, linens, tires to construction demolition.

The kids raised enough money to go to camp — and cleaned up 31,500 lbs of debris and 153 tires. “This is a great partnership for both KSB and Young Life,” said Laura Howard, Executive Director for Keep Sevier Beautiful. “Residents sponsor kids to improve our community, the kids are getting an opportunity to go to camp and they’re learning firsthand the problems illegal dumps present to our community.”

The program is part of Project Restore – a program to clean up blighted private properties and restore them to their original beauty.

Keep Collier Beautiful’s Great American Cleanup – Naples, FL

Earlier this spring, the Great American Cleanup was conducted in Collier County with this video reflecting the work done at several sites, starting with Wiggins State Park. Ranger Donna Young organized and helped the volunteers. The Collier County Master Gardeners participated at the Naples Sailing & Yacht Club. And LWT pitched in at the Naples Pier. The last site featured on the video is Lowdermilk Park. Thanks to all of the volunteers.

This video shows how three Troops 243 ,255 and 469 worked with Keep Collier Beautiful to clean three different beaches. Starting with Naples Pier, Vanderbilt Beach and Wiggins State Park everyone did their part and made a major contribution for the Collier County “Bay Days.” Thanks to all the sponsors who provided water, gloves and trash bags to make the cleanup a success.

Keep Collier Beautiful joined with the Collier County Code Enforcement at the Golden Gate Green Canal. This team was led by Robert Capizzi, Jeff Wright and Kaydee Tuff. Another Collier County Code Enforcement Group led by Jeff Letourneau addressed work done at Naples Manor. Look at their results in this video. Thanks to Collier County Code Enforcement.

Fourteen members of the Naples Cruise Club volunteered to beautify Key Island by cutting up and removing an old wood sign up. When they were done, they loaded the refuse on a boat and headed to LMI to help clean up a supply shed and tool shed, load up one of the old generators, and distribute loads of garbage among the other boats that participated in the event. This video shows the great work done by the Naples Cruise Club.

 

Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful – Great American Cleanup of PA

Pennsylvania has some awesome and very devoted volunteers! If you go to our website for the Great American Cleanup of PA, you’ll see many of the photos that they sent us. This picture was taken in Luzerne County by the Community Pride group. Our Facebook page has many photos of our volunteers as well.

Keep Guntersville Beautiful, AL

Keep Guntersville Beautiful partnered with the Mountain Valley Arts Council to host a photography exhibit called “Guntersville EXPOSED: Images of Our Dirty Little Secret”. The exhibit featured images made by local professional and amateur photographers and public officials. It showcased both the community’s scenic wonders contrasted with unsightly pictures documenting the harmful impact of litter. The exhibit had 350 in-person guests and almost 800 visitors to the on-line gallery. It was so well-received that our local schools adopted the exhibit as a virtual field trip for E-learning Day. This exhibit is credited with significantly raising public awareness about litter and bringing out record of numbers of volunteers for our Great American Cleanup and beautification events.