This year’s Great American Cleanup theme — “Clean Your Block Party” — encourages people nationwide to participate in a public space Great American Cleanup event by volunteering with one of Keep America Beautiful’s 620+ state and community-based affiliates and to bring the experience home by organizing a cleanup and beautification event on their own block, wherever they live.
You can exercise your green thumb and beautify your community with simple projects, such as planting shrubs, trees and flowers. To get started with a planting project in your neighborhood download Keep America’s Beautiful’s guide with project ideas and how-to’s. For example:
Prior to your planting event, you should:
- Organize a cleanup committee of family, friends and neighbors who share your passion.
- Visit the planting site and determine the areas to be planted.
- Take “before” photos.
- Register your event by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Set goals such as the number of trees you wish to plant.
- Research any trees and plants that you are thinking of planting.
- Consider using plants native to your area; and
- Make sure you have enough space for your plants to grow.
- Draw up your design.
- Prepare with equipment you’ll need and any permissions required. Make volunteers aware of any equipment that will be needed and appropriate clothing for the event.
The day of your community project, you’ll want to:
- Set up an assembly area for volunteers to gather prior to and after the event.
- Ensure you have all materials. (i.e. gardening gloves, tools: large and small shovels, rakes)
- Arrange collection locations for filled litter bags and bulky items.
- Assign volunteers responsibilities.
- Have a first-aid kit on hand.
- Apply any necessary safety parameters (i.e.: signage on roadways to make passing vehicles aware of planting)
- Take “during” photos.
- Record results (i.e. # of trees/plants planted, take “after” photos)
For more tips on executing your event as well as tips for planting, download the full project guide.
Last year, Keep America Beautiful’s network of community-based affiliates, participating organizations and volunteers:
- Collected 62 million pounds of litter and debris.
- Cleaned 100,000+ thousand miles of streets, highways, parks, shorelines and waterways.
- Planted nearly 50,000 trees and 625,000 flowers and bulbs.
- Collected more than 262 million pounds of items for recycling or reuse.
A leading national nonprofit, Keep America Beautiful seeks to inspire and educate people to take action every day to improve and beautiful their community environment by ending littering, improving recycling, and beautifying America’s communities. Donate, volunteer, learn more and take action at kab.org. #cleanYOURblock, Keep America Beautiful, Great American Cleanup