It's time to tidy your block for the Great American Cleanup

March 31, 2017, 8:37 a.m.
Richmond Virginia Skyline
Photo: Sean Pavone/Shutterstock

If you've been looking for a way to get involved in your community while improving the great outdoors, Keep America Beautiful has just the thing.

The 19th annual Great American Cleanup launched on the first day of spring and will run through the fall. The annual nationwide effort brings millions of people together to improve their communities, parks, trail systems, waterways, and even vacant lots. This year's theme is Clean Your Block Party, which encourages participants to do something on their own blocks to improve the local area and to bring neighbors together.

Some 50,000 events are expected to be held this year — and that's a lot of litter picked up and flowers planted. According to KAB, here's a better breakdown of what they hope to accomplish:

Nationally, the Great American Cleanup annually delivers more than $175 million in measurable economic benefits to communities. The program is led by more than 620 Keep America Beautiful state and community-based affiliates and hundreds of other community, business and government partners who plan community improvement events and experiential education programs that help to:
- Clean and improve 100,000+ miles of local roads, trails, shorelines and waterways;
- Plant millions of flowers, trees, shrubs and community gardens;
- Revitalize and restore acres upon acres of public parks, nature trails and recreation areas as well as vacant lots;
- Collect tons of litter, debris and other items for proper disposal, recycling or reuse.

“It’s inspiring to see millions of volunteers, businesses, public officials and others turn out each year for Great American Cleanup events to ensure that our nation’s vital public spaces – our parks, trails, beaches, oceans, rivers, lakes, roadways, community gateways and more – remain clean, green and beautiful places to live,” said Mike Rosen, senior vice president, marketing & communications, for KAB.

Interested in starting your own Clean Your Block team or hosting an event in your neighborhood? Visit the Great American Cleanup page to find out what's going on in your neighborhood or to get something started.