It actually felt like spring last week, which means the annual Great American Cleanup is almost here. The GAC is an annual event that Keep America Beautiful started in 1999. Each year, millions of Georgians and residents in other states across the nation come out to improve their communities by picking up litter in parks, waterways and roadways. They plant trees and flowers to beautify public spaces, paint over graffiti, repair buildings and hold recycling drives and environmental education events.
“Green starts here,” the campaign’s rally cry, encourages volunteer groups, community leaders and people of all ages and walks of life to create more sustainable communities through their efforts as volunteers and their daily choices and actions. It also reflects KAB’s legacy of community-improvement activities. Keep America Beautiful was “green” long before it became fashionable.
“Community greening began with the beautification movement of the 1950s and ’60s. Even then, Keep America Beautiful was leading the charge,” said Matthew McKenna, president and CEO of Keep America Beautiful. “Today, we realize that these efforts don’t just create beautiful places, they create a healthier environment. They build stronger communities. They inspire sustainable behaviors and motivate people to volunteer. They improve the quality of life of local citizens. The Great American Cleanup captures the energy and enthusiasm of today’s powerful and growing green movement.”
America’s leading companies and brands support the national campaign. The GAC sponsors are: Dow Chemical Company; Glad Products Company; Nestlé Pure Life Purified Water; o.b.; Pepsi-Cola Company; Scotts Miracle-Gro Company; Solo Cup Company; Troy-Bilt Lawn and Garden Equipment; Waste Management, Inc.; and Wm. Wrigley Jr. Co.
The promotional partners are: Crescent Art and Framing Products and Get Green Racing.
The educational partner is the Rubber Manufacturers Association.
The state sponsors are: Keep Georgia Beautiful, Cross Town Realty, Georgia Power and the Organic Renewable Energy Organization.
Locally, we have a wealth of community partners who help make the Great American Cleanup happen. Last year, more than 80 businesses, schools, churches, neighborhoods and civic groups joined our GAC team, but there is still room for more so consider volunteering.
Here are some upcoming events:
Great American Cleanup dates confirmed so far:
• Neighborhood/community cleanups: March 26 and April 16
• Local city cleanups: March 26, April 16 and April 30
• City of Hinesville: April 23
• Campus cleanups: May 1-14
Read Across Liberty Day, a community reading day in local schools, is April 8.
Liberty County’s annual Earth Day celebration will be from 3-7 p.m. Friday, April 22, at the Liberty County Schools Performing Arts Center. Environmental education will be cleverly disguised as games, arts and crafts, exhibits and entertainment. Volunteers are needed to host activities.
There will be a volunteer appreciation event from 5-7 p.m. Thursday, May 26, at the old Mills House in Hinesville.
Joining in these efforts is one significant way to demonstrate your pride for our community. For information on any of these spring events, call KLB at 880-4888 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Please join us. Green starts here! Green starts with you!