The spring cleanup in Drew County and the city of Monticello has been postponed until April 27 due to the wet roadsides and impending rain. Volunteers will meet at 8 a.m. on April 27 at the mini-park in front of the Drew County Detention Center. County volunteers may sign up at Drew County Judge Robert Akin’s office and city volunteers may sign up at the at the Monticello Economic Development Commission office.
Everyone in Drew County is encouraged to participate. Civic and service organizations, church and youth groups, school groups and clubs, scouts, individuals, families, neighborhoods and businesses can organize a volunteer crew and pitch in.
The event is held in conjunction with the Great American Cleanup in Arkansas, the nationwide community improvement effort presented annually by Keep America Beautiful and coordinated and promoted statewide each spring by the Keep Arkansas Beautiful Commission (KAB), a certified state affiliate of Keep America Beautiful.
“When individuals step up to participate in the Great American Cleanup in Arkansas, they are taking ownership of and pride in their hometown,” said Elizabeth Philpott, volunteer services coordinator at KAB. “Simple actions such as picking up litter, planting flowers or sprucing up old buildings can bring people together and make a community more attractive.”
Nearly 10,000 Arkansans picked up more than 1.3 million pounds of litter during last year’s Great American Cleanup in Arkansas. The spring community improvement effort involved 136 events and more than 32,000 volunteer hours in communities across the state.
Volunteers also restored 81 playgrounds; removed 6,804 tires and 2,987 batteries; recycled 207,220 pounds of aluminum, 634,191 pounds of newspapers and 282,677 pounds of electronics; and collected 990 pounds of clothing for reuse. In addition to the many community improvement activities, volunteers picked up litter from 1,707 miles of roadway, trails and shoreline and 1,047 acres of parks, and closed 36 illegal dumping sites.
The volunteer-driven Great American Cleanup in Arkansas also provided the state and participating communities a substantial cost savings, as the value of donated materials and volunteer labor exceeded $850,000.
Nationally, this year’s Great American Cleanup is expected to involve an estimated 4 million people volunteering more than 5 million hours to clean, beautify and improve 16,500 communities during more than 30,000 events from coast to coast. Activities will include beautifying parks and recreation areas, collecting recyclables, picking up litter, planting trees and flowers, and conducting educational programs and litter-free events.
As a certified state affiliate of Keep America Beautiful Inc., Keep Arkansas Beautiful works to inspire and educate individuals to reduce litter, recycle and keep Arkansas beautiful. It operates as a division of the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism and is overseen by a nine-member commission appointed by the governor. KAB is funded by 1 percent of the eighth-cent conservation tax and, by utilizing volunteers, returns to the state a cost benefit of more than $6 in community service for each program dollar spent.