HAMPTON ROADS, Va. – Over 1,000 volunteers teamed up to help clean Hampton Roads during the Great American Cleanup Kickoff, removing nearly 15 tons of litter.
The event was May 3 – 4. The event organizers and Keep Virginia Beautiful, worked months in advance to coordinate with local volunteers, military commands and local businesses across 13 municipalities to bring the two-day clean-up event to Hampton Roads.
Volunteers removed around 15 tons of litter from parks and neighborhood streets and also tended to community gardens, improved shorelines with wetlands grasses and planted new trees.
In all, Hampton Roads volunteers improved 71 public spaces in 13 cities and counties spanning from Williamsburg and Gloucester to Portsmouth and Virginia Beach. They pulled nearly 15 tons of litter out of the environment, about the same weight equivalent as eight automobiles. Items found included the expected, such as cigarette butts, food wrappers, and drink bottles and cans.
Some of the more unexpected items were appliances, TVs, couches and over 150 tires. In community gardens, weeds were pulled, beds were mulched and new plants were added, including blueberry bushes at East Suffolk Recreation Center and Plymouth Park in Chesapeake. The HRSD Boater Education Program also got involved with the Great American Cleanup, pumping out 150 gallons of boater waste and distributing educational materials about cigarette litter and scooping the poop.
“We are thrilled with the impact of this year’s Great American Cleanup Kickoff,” said, Keep Virginia Beautiful Executive Director Mike Baum. “The region is better off today thanks to all the volunteers who gave their time and energy to make Hampton Roads a more beautiful place to live.”
An annual Keep America Beautiful initiative, the Great American Cleanup is the nation’s largest community improvement program designed to end littering, improve recycling and beautify America’s communities.
The Hampton Roads region has now joined community groups across the country to transform the land and water of the communities they serve.
The next major cleanup coming to Hampton Roads is Clean the Bay Day on Saturday, June 1.
Learn how to get involved and other upcoming volunteer opportunities on this event calendar.