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!”

Gwinnett Clean & Beautiful Honored with Humanitarian Award, Duluth, GA

Earlier this month, Keep America Beautiful affiliate Gwinnett Clean & Beautiful received the D. Scott Hudgens Humanitarian Award the Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce’s 66th Annual Dinner, attended by more than 1,000 local business and community leaders. Presented by Gwinnett Medical Center, the event is designed to highlight Gwinnett’s successes and recognize those who have made a difference in the community in recent years.

“Each year, the D. Scott Hudgens Humanitarian Award is presented to the charitable institution best embodying the spirit of compassion and generosity to which the late Scott Hudgens was so deeply committed,” explains Connie Wiggins, Executive Director of Gwinnett Clean & Beautiful. “It is such an unbelievable honor for our organization to receive an award that signifies that same sense of community and philanthropy for which Scott Hudgens and his family have always been dedicated. At Gwinnett Clean & Beautiful, we do what we do each day in an effort to make Gwinnett County America’s cleanest, greenest and most livable community.  But we could never do that without the tireless conviction and dedication of our board members, volunteers, community partners and staff. This award belongs to us all.”

Over the course of 2013, the community-based, environmentally-focused nonprofit organization accomplished the following feats with the help of its growing network of volunteers, community allies, and corporate partners:

  • Educated more than 111,000 students and trained more than 15,500 teachers to foster a new generation of environmental stewards
  • Raised the awareness and environmental knowledge of nearly 400,000 Gwinnett County residents
  • Cleaned 720 miles and 220 places throughout Gwinnett County
  • Recovered 14 million pounds of recyclables
  • Provided 280,000 volunteer hours for recycling and beautification projects

“We’ve already hit the ground running in 2014,” insists Wiggins. “We recently had the pleasure of honoring environmental stewards and our cherished volunteers during the 34th Annual Awards Dinner. We just hosted one of the largest Christmas tree recycling events where we were responsible for an estimated one out of every five trees recycled in the state of Georgia. And now, we are feverishly planning for what will likely be our biggest event for the year – the Environmental Address on March 6 featuring Governor Nathan Deal.”

Beyond the Address, Gwinnett Clean & Beautiful will also play host to a county-wide Great American Cleanup event – which runs March 1 through May 31, 2014, and the annual America Recycles Day in the Fall. Additional beautification projects and events will be scheduled throughout the year, and citizens who wish to take part are encouraged to check the event calendar regularly for upcoming dates. In addition to events, the organization is hoping to unveil a new website to better communicate its mission to educate, advocate and equip the residents and business owners of Gwinnett County.