Hundreds of volunteers across Hampton Roads teamed up to clean up their communities as part of the Hampton Roads Great American Cleanup in September. Organized by askHRgreen.org and in partnership with Keep Virginia Beautiful, the annual community improvement initiative was rescheduled from March when the emergence of COVID-19 forced everything to a halt. The reimagined Great American Cleanup relied heavily upon the dedication of individual volunteers in Hampton Roads. Residents were encouraged to organize their own cleanup or beautification project by gathering a small group of friends, family members or coworkers for a socially-distanced project in a littered location of their community. Projects ranged from well-coordinated workplace service days to the simple act of grabbing a trash bag to collect litter while out for a family walk.
Nearly 650 volunteers stepped up to organize and/or participate in a community cleanup on September 18-19. In typical 2020 fashion, the scheduled cleanup dates were hit with rain and flooding from the remnants of Hurricane Sally and some had to be postponed, but volunteers persevered and completed their cleanups throughout the end of September. The end result was over 13,500 pounds of litter removed from city streets, rural routes, neighborhood parks, and shorelines.
The Great American Cleanup would not have been possible without the strong commitment to environmental quality from our Hampton Roads residents and business community. We are especially appreciative of our partners at Huntington Ingalls Newport News Shipbuilding who provided four teams totaling 50 volunteers to assist with the cleanup effort.
Thank you, Hampton Roads, for making the reimagined Great American Cleanup event a success! For more information and resources on how you can organize a community cleanup any time of year, visit https://askhrgreen.org/programs/team-up-2-clean-up/.