Clean Your Block Party

Cleanup Materials with text that says Clean Your Block Party | Keep Florida Beautiful Blog
Every spring Floridians participate in the national Great American Cleanup (GAC), sponsored by Keep America Beautiful (KAB) which launches service projects in communities everywhere. Florida KAB affiliates mobilize volunteers to remove litter and debris from roadways and waterways and often plant trees, flowers and gardens to improve a community’s appearance while also emphasizing the importance of behavior change in order to sustain a community. We are fortunate to be able to join forces with the Florida Department of Transportation’s DRIVE IT HOME – Keep Our Paradise Litter-Free campaign which seeks to raise awareness and educate the motoring public on litter prevention. And what better way to do that than to get people out of those cars and invite them to volunteer to pick up the beverage containers, cigarette butts and fast food waste that line our highways and litter our landscapes. Put these two programs together and you have a “Trash-Off” and an ability to get things done.

Last year, a total of 37 Florida affiliates participated in the GAC/Trash-Off, organizing 1,441 events statewide and collecting over 1.7 million pounds of debris. Events ranged from park and neighborhood cleanups, to military appreciation themed cleanups to waterway and shoreline improvement through debris removal.

In the case of Keep Alachua County Beautiful, their efforts to mobilize 500 University of Florida fraternity and sorority members plus another 100 volunteers from the community to clean up a 5-acre former homeless camp by the name of “Tent City” earned them awards on all levels. At the 2016 Keep America Beautiful National Conference last month, this event earned one of two GAC program awards. Similarly, Keep Florida Beautiful recognized this outstanding performance during its 2015 Awards Recognition Ceremony.

Cleanup events happen all during the year and are not limited to the March-May timeframe that typically defines the GAC. But this time of year does call for some special attention and celebrating.

KAB has declared this year’s theme for the GAC to be…”Clean Your Block Party.” We all know that great rewards are possible by having the good will and pride generated by improving an area or neighborhood carry on and be shared so that the effects of a cleanup are long lasting. So if you are looking for a way to make a statement in your community and have some fun at the same time, check out our master calendar and make your plans now to join in an event with your favorite affiliate. If you need more information about GAC/Trash-Off events in your area, let us know…we’re happy to help!

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