Cleanup effort needs volunteers

Photo by Howard Reed

Photo by Howard Reed

COVINGTON -- It's time to clean up the community. Volunteers are being sought for the Great American Cleanup. The local kickoff event, hosted by Keep Covington-Newton Beautiful, will take place at 9 a.m. Saturday, March 26, at Kroger on U.S. Highway 278.

Volunteers will gather to pick up garbage bags and safety vests and then hit the streets to pick up litter. Free T-shirts will be provided while supplies last.

Participation is more important than ever due to budget cuts that are affecting the ability of government agencies to provide resources to combat litter, said Laurie Riley, Newton County Stormwater Program specialist. Keep Covington-Newton Beautiful encourages local organizations to participate in the Adopt-a-Mile program and take personal responsibility for cleaning up local roadways. Groups that commit to clean up a mile of roadway four times per year get a sign erected in their honor, which amounts to free advertising, Riley said.

"The Great American Clean-Up and Adopt-a-Mile offer great opportunities for the citizens of Newton County to help beautify and foster pride in our community," Riley said. "As they work alongside their friends and neighbors and get to know others with similar concerns, they are also helping us remove litter that might otherwise rest along county roadsides for weeks or even months. Also, when it rains, some of the litter washes down storm drains and into our waterways. Removing litter as soon as possible helps prevent this problem."

Those who can't participate March 26 can plan their own projects. Suggested activities include litter pickup, painting and repairing houses, planting flowers and trees and starting recycling programs. Registration forms for the Great American Cleanup are available at www.kcnb.biz or by calling 770-784-2015.

Local sponsors of the event are: Burge Plantation, Friends of Connie Walle, Friends of Newton Parks, Keep Covington/Newton Beautiful, Kroger, Longhorn Steakhouse of Covington, Main Street Covington and the Covington Service Guild.