Based on Local Health Guidelines, Annual Great American Cleanup Volunteer Events Slated to Resume June 1-Oct. 18
STAMFORD, Conn. (June 1, 2020) – Keep America Beautiful®, the national nonprofit committed to improving and beautifying our communities, today announced the annual Great American Cleanup® is resuming and will run through Oct. 18.
The Great American Cleanup, the nation’s largest community improvement program in its 22nd year, normally runs during the spring months (March 19-June 20). This year, the program was suspended because of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic as government and public health officials called on the public to avoid large gatherings and events to avoid the spread of the virus.
“At Keep America Beautiful, we have always believed that everyone has a right to live in a clean, green, and beautiful community – and this remains true in the face of the coronavirus pandemic,” said Keep America Beautiful President and CEO Helen Lowman. “As the country begins to reopen, Keep America Beautiful and our community-based affiliates are prepared to get back out in cities and towns across America, but we must do so responsibly and with the utmost care for the health and safety of our volunteers.”
The Great American Cleanup offers structured service projects to measure changes in littering behavior and heighten awareness about the benefits of caring for the environment through organized volunteer events, employee engagement opportunities, and experiential education in more than 15,000 communities across America.
Keep America Beautiful affiliates and other event organizers have been provided clear guidance to ensure that volunteer health and safety is the priority for any public event. Keep America Beautiful advises that all cleanups adhere to guidelines from federal, state, and local public health officials so timely and accurate information can lead to safe and appropriate activities in each location. Since the intensity of an outbreak may differ according to geographic location, local health officials should be relied upon to issue guidance specific to their community.
Volunteers are being asked to register if they wish to be contacted as individual events are rescheduled in their area. Keep America Beautiful is also providing “Litter Cleanup in a COVID-19 Environment” guidelines here.
For those not feeling comfortable volunteering for a group activity or seeking an alternative to an actual cleanup in places that are not yet deemed safe, they can participate in the Great American Cleanup Virtual Experience, a “virtual park” that one can interact with and beautify. As participants earn points through completing online activities, walking, or fundraising, the virtual park will be cleaned and beautified. Ultimately, they will help identify where a Keep America Beautiful community beautification project will take place when the fundraising target is reached.
In 2019, Keep America Beautiful affiliates and more than 500,000 volunteers improved 13,489 public spaces; collected 42 million pounds of litter, debris, and recyclables; cleaned and improved more than 30,000 miles of roadways and shorelines; and completed 168,000 plantings over 132,000 acres.
In support of Earth Day’s 50th anniversary, the Great American Cleanup was poised to serve as the single largest contributor of volunteers in the U.S. for the Great Global Cleanup, Pending safe conditions, the partnership will continue with a focus on September 2020 and beyond.
National Sponsors for the 2020 Great American Cleanup include: Altria, Better Natured™, Diageo, Dow, The Glad Products Company, Igloo®, Niagara Bottling, Northrop Grumman Corporation, and Santa Fe Natural Tobacco Company.
About Keep America Beautiful
Keep America Beautiful, the nation’s iconic community improvement nonprofit organization, inspires and educates people to take action every day to improve and beautify their community environment. Established in 1953, Keep America Beautiful strives to End Littering, Improve Recycling, and Beautify America’s Communities. We believe everyone has a right to live in a clean, green, and beautiful community, and shares a responsibility to contribute to that vision.
Behavior change steeped in education, research, and behavioral science – is the cornerstone of Keep America Beautiful. We empower generations of community and environmental stewards with volunteer programs, hands-on experiences, educational curricula, practical advice, and other resources. The organization is driven by the work and passion of more than 650 Keep America Beautiful affiliates, millions of volunteers, and the collaborative support of corporate partners, social and civic service organizations, academia, municipalities, elected officials, and individuals. Join us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube. Donate and take action at kab.org.