Volunteers needed for Great American Cleanup

COVINGTON - Keep Covington/Newton Beautiful needs volunteers to clean up roadside litter during the Great American Cleanup, the nation's largest annual community improvement program. KCNB's kickoff event will be held at 9 a.m. on Saturday, March 24, at Longhorn Steakhouse of Covington.

KCNB will provide volunteers with breakfast, T-shirts, while supplies last, garbage bags and safety vests.

"The Great American Cleanup offers an opportunity to bring awareness to the litter problem, while also working toward a solution. When people work together to clean up our community, they build more pride in it," said Laurie Riley, KCNB director. "This year, we are starting a monthly Front Door Litter Challenge, asking people to commit to clean up all the litter they can see when they look out of the front doors of their homes and businesses. We will start on the day of the Great American Cleanup and every month on the 24th, we will ask everyone to go to their front doors and start again. Everyone may not be ready to take on cleaning up the entire community, but most people can clean up their own front yards."

The idea is that, if each person takes responsibility for litter along the roadways in front of his/her own property, roadside litter will no longer be a problem, Riley said. Removing litter is shown to be an effective strategy in preventing more litter, Riley said. KCNB will provide trash bags, gloves, and vests upon request for anyone who participates in the challenge.

According to research done through Keep America Beautiful, litter cleanup efforts cost the U. S. nearly $11.5 billion each year. In addition, KAB's research indicates that litter affects communities' quality of life.

According to www.kab.org, "The presence of litter in a community takes a toll on quality of life, property values, and housing prices.KAB's 2009 National Visible Litter Survey and Litter Cost Study found that litter in a community decreases property values 7 percent."

KCNB continues to offer educational programs about litter prevention to children through public schools and also to other audiences upon request, recognizing that prevention is much more desirable than cleanups. The organization is seeking volunteers to help with educational programs.

KCNB encourages individuals, families, and civic clubs and business, church, neighborhood, school, and other groups to organize volunteers for projects at their individual sites and along local roadways. Suggested activities include litter pickup, painting and repairing houses and other buildings, planting flowers and trees, starting recycling programs, and holding litter-free events.

Volunteers for the Great American Cleanup can print out forms by going to www.kcnb.biz. They can fax completed forms to 770-784-2082. Registration is requested by March 15 to reserve t-shirts, which are reserved on a first-registered, first-served basis, but KCNB will take forms up to the event date. If volunteers are unavailable to work on Saturday, March 24, they may participate on another date of their choice.

After groups participate in the Great American Cleanup, KCNB is encouraging them to "Adopt-a-Mile". Groupsthat commit to clean up 4 times per year along 1 mile of road, street, or highway get a sign -- free advertising -- erected recognizing their efforts.

For more information, visit KCNB's website:www.kcnb.biz, send email to newtonclean@co.newton.ga.us, or call 770-784-2015.