Gwinnett Volunteers Show Their Community Pride by Tackling a Number of Stewardship Projects Throughout the County
Duluth, Ga., June 25 – In March 2015, Gwinnett Clean & Beautiful kicked off its Great American Cleanup – Gwinnett Challenge 2015. A national initiative launched by Keep America Beautiful (KAB) in 1999, Great American Cleanup (GAC) has grown to become the nation’s largest community improvement program. It is designed to motivate countless volunteers all across the country to help clean-up, fix-up, paint-up and green-up their local communities. Here in its own little corner of the state of Georgia, KAB-affiliate Gwinnett Clean & Beautiful issued a challenge to local citizens, organizations and businesses to register, complete and report the results of volunteer projects that fell into a number of categories targeted largely toward water stewardship. The results were beyond impressive.
During Great American Cleanup – Gwinnett Challenge 2015, which ran from March 1 through May 31, Gwinnett Clean & Beautiful engaged more than 13,000 participants in 256 community improvement projects throughout the county. Over the course of just 92 days, GAC volunteers:
- Collected more than 5.5 million pounds of recyclables – enough recyclables to fill the recycling bins at over 36,000 homes
- Cleaned and beautified 503 miles of roadway
- Removed 35,771 pounds of litter – enough to fill 1,788 large trash bags that span the length of Sugarloaf Pkwy from the Gwinnett Center to Sugarloaf Mills Mall
- Collected 506 books to donate to charity
- Planted 243 trees, shrubs, flowers and vegetable plants
“Needless to say, we practice what we preach at Gwinnett Clean & Beautiful,” explained Connie Wiggins, Executive Director of Gwinnett Clean & Beautiful. “As part of Great American Cleanup, we kicked off our Great Gwinnett Wetlands initiative with our partners at Gwinnett County Department of Water Resources. During that event, we were joined by 120 volunteers on the banks of Bromolow Creek in Duluth to remove 1,300 invading plants, gather 80 large garbage bags worth of litter, plant 100 native shrubs and so much more – all in the name of water stewardship. Just as we try to set a good example for others to follow, I always look forward to the results of the Great American Cleanup – Gwinnett Challenge, when many of our local citizens inspire me and other members of the Gwinnett Clean & Beautiful team to do more. This is particularly true of our youth. Gwinnett is truly blessed with an incredible up-and-coming generation of dedicated environmental stewards.”
Motivated by the personal rewards of doing something good for their community – along with a chance to win a $500 cash prize – the following participants snagged top honors in this year’s Great American Cleanup – Gwinnett Challenge:
- Peachtree Corners Green Committee: Winners of the “DO A WATER WALK” award, this team spent 24 total man hours assessing the habitat of Crooked Creek to determine that the stream’s health is rated “good” on Georgia Adopt-a-Stream’s Habitat Survey.
- Brownie Troop 3031: Winners of the “STORM DRAIN STENCILING” award, this group of young ladies stenciled 37 storm drains within 3 different neighborhoods and educated 795 of their neighbors not to dump down the storm drain, where it can lead to the nearby Cardinal Lake.
- Norcross Interact: Winners of the “CLEAN A WATERWAY” award, this team removed 200 lbs. of trash and recyclables, as well as 200 tennis balls, from the area around an unnamed lake that feeds into Crooked Creek.
- United Peachtree Corners Civic Association: Winners of the “ADOPT A ROAD” award, this team picked-up 620 lbs. of litter and debris off roadsides in the City of Peachtree Corners.
- Maxwell Pre-K: Winners of the “RECYCLE MORE” award, this group of youngsters gathered 71 cell phones for recycling in an effort to preserve a Gorilla habitat from more mining for rare materials used in small electronics.
- Lanier HS Environmental Club: Winners of the “REUSE A RESOURCE” award, this team of teens collected 506 books that were donated to Honduras Outreach International for reuse.
- Georgia Gwinnett College: Winners of the “PLANT A GARDEN” award, these eco-conscious college students created a new community garden and planted 80 vegetable plants to grow fresh food for the Lawrenceville Cooperative Food Bank.
In addition to the winners listed above, Gwinnett Clean & Beautiful also awarded four lucky winners $50 each through a random drawing of people who accepted the nonprofit, environmentally-focused organizations challenge to “Take the Pledge” to become better environmental stewards of their local community.
“On behalf of myself and the rest of the Gwinnett Clean & Beautiful team, I’d like to say thank you to everyone who participated in this year’s Great American Cleanup – Gwinnett Challenge,” said Wiggins. “Congratulations to all of our winners!”
About Gwinnett Clean & Beautiful: Gwinnett Clean & Beautiful Services, Inc. (GCB) is a Keep America Beautiful affiliate and award-winning 501(c)(3) charitable organization. It boasts an expansive community-based network dedicated to finding long-term solutions to environmental and quality of life issues through individual action. The organization is guided by a 55-member Citizens Advisory Board that represents all sectors of the Gwinnett County community. A nationally recognized leader in creating cleaner, greener and more livable communities throughout Gwinnett, GCB involves more than 100,000 volunteers annually to clean and restore public places, recycle more, protect our watersheds and develop the next generation of environmental stewards. To learn more about Gwinnett Clean & Beautiful and its programs, aspiring environmental stewards are invited to visit www.GwinnettCB.org.