(Hampton Roads, Va.) - Hampton Roads volunteers will soon be out in full force working across the region to pick up roadside litter, clean up beaches and shorelines,
improve community parks and more. The 2016 Great American Cleanup(tm) is underway,
now through June, and residents can find a list of planned community projects, or
find out how to start their own, by visiting askHRgreen.org.
"Cared for communities tend to be safe, desirable places with great
curb appeal," said Julia B. Hillegass, askHRgreen.org team leader. "But
participating in Great American Cleanup events is about so much more
than protecting neighborhood property values. It's also important for
protecting our region's rich natural resources, booming tourism
industry and overall quality of life."
Spearheaded by Keep America Beautiful, the Great American
Cleanup is the country's largest community improvement program.
Litter cleanups and recycling events typically top the list of activities led by
local Keep America Beautiful affiliates, but this year's focus is on neighborhoods.
The "Clean Your Block" theme promotes not only clean communities, but also community
engagement, pride and stewardship - behaviors that lead to lasting, positive
block-by-block impacts nationwide. This year, citizens are encouraged to organize a
beautification or cleanup project in their neighborhood and celebrate their hard
work with a block party once that project is completed.
"It's a great way to see neighbors, meet new friends and understand how we're all
connected to the region," said Hillegass.
And while neighbors are bonding and strengthening their sense of community pride,
the region's natural resources are gaining the long-term benefits of cleaner
communities. Among the many Hampton Roads cleanup projects, a group of Virginia
Master Naturalists will install fishing line recycling bins in popular Suffolk
fishing spots. The effort, part of a nationwide fishing line recycling program
offered by the Boat US Foundation, will keep fishing line, hooks, lures and bobbers
out of the environment for years to come. In Norfolk, volunteers will plant 5,000
grass plugs to stabilize the wetlands at River Point Park, off Granby Street.
Getting involved to clean up our communities is the perfect way to create safer,
more beautiful spaces for both man and animal. Get involved and learn how to
organize your own "Clean Your Block" project for the Great American Cleanup by