In September 2015, Gwinnett Clean & Beautiful and our partners at the Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners kicked off a very special initiative designed to foster a sense of pride and personal responsibility among local citizens, businesses, civic groups and organizations. Touting a memorable acronym that stands for “My Environment,” the first leg of the ME Campaign is focused primarily on the Beaver Ruin Watershed in the heart of Gwinnett County.
The reason for the development of this very special campaign is to meaningfully engage and actively motivate people throughout the community to become stewards of our surrounding environment. In addition to potential environmental impacts, the physical appearance of our public lands can have wide-reaching economic and social impacts. Unfortunately – because many people feel no sense of ownership for public lands – areas of our community such as roadsides, medians and streambanks are frequently littered and used as dumping grounds. Due to an increase in litter along our roadsides and in our waterways in recent years, it is vital that we act now to care for our environment. While many people can see the issue, they don’t act because they believe that these areas are someone else’s responsibility. The ME Campaign is designed to change that by inspiring a sense of ownership, spreading awareness and providing opportunities for Gwinnett residents and businesses to take personal action to care for ‘ME’ because this is our HOME!
The reasons to protect the health and sustainability of our watersheds reach far beyond their impact on the physical beauty of the area. The alarming truth is that everything that happens in and around the watershed – which is all of the area surrounding a lake, stream or pond – can have an impact on nearby waterways. The very same waterways that sustain life for local flora and fauna also serve as a place for fishing, canoeing and kayaking, and sometimes even provide drinking water for our neighbors further downstream. Water from rain and runoff flows downhill from the watershed into the waterway, often carrying with it any cigarette butts, fast food bags, plastic bottles, motor oil, grass clippings, chemical pollution and the like.
The Beaver Ruin Watershed is particularly important to our community because this area drains into Beaver Ruin Creek, where the consequences of littering are becoming an increasing problem. Through the ME Campaign, we won’t merely be asking aspiring environmental stewards to volunteer to help clean up litter – we’re also asking every single individual in Gwinnett to keep “ME” clean by not contributing to the ever-growing litter issue.
Over the course of the coming months, additional areas of concern will be revealed in future phases of this campaign.
WAYS YOU CAN HELP KEEP “ME” CLEAN:
The first – and most important – step is for all of our neighbors to never litter in the first place! Please put trash in a litterbag or trash can.
Gwinnett Clean & Beautiful provides a number of additional ways in which local residents, organizations, civic groups and companies can get involved in “taking care of ME,” including: