Inside your county gov­ern­ment

Com­mu­nity Cleanups: Keep­ing Charles County beau­ti­ful

Maryland Independent - - Community Forum -

April is here, and the out­doors will soon be filled with bloom­ing flow­ers and bud­ding trees. This month we cel­e­brate not only na­ture’s beauty, but also Charles County Beau­ti­fi­ca­tion Month. We in­vite you to help main­tain our county’s beauty and make a dif­fer­ence by join­ing or or­ga­niz­ing a com­mu­nity cleanup. Res­i­dents, busi­nesses, civic groups, non­prof­its, schools, churches, adopt-a-road groups, and vol­un­teer or­ga­ni­za­tions can get in­volved, lead, and/or help to spread the word about com­mu­nity cleanups. This is a great op­por­tu­nity for stu­dents and scouts to earn com­mu­nity ser­vice hours.

Your county gov­ern­ment is ded­i­cated to en­sur­ing Charles County re­mains a clean and liv­able com­mu­nity. Keep Charles County Beau­ti­ful, a pro­gram run by the Depart­ment of Pub­lic Works, En­vi­ron­men­tal Re­sources Divi­sion, is work­ing to­ward the mis­sion of beau­ti­fy­ing and creat­ing a sense of pride in Charles County by ac­tively en­cour­ag­ing a lit­ter-free en­vi­ron­ment through ed­u­ca­tion, com­mu­nity im­prove­ments, en­force­ment, and sup­port. Pro­gram ac­tiv­i­ties in­clude lit­ter en­force­ment in res­i­den­tial and com­mer­cial ar­eas, adopt-a-road and adopt-a-high­way ini­tia­tives, cap­i­tal im­prove­ment projects, wa­ter­shed cleanup days, and com­mu­nity cleanups.

Cleanups ben­e­fit the com­mu­nity at large by im­prov­ing the ap­pear­ance and func­tion­al­ity of pub­lic ar­eas, in­clud­ing parks, shore­lines, school­yards, side­walks, and play­grounds. Gather your friends, fam­i­lies, co-work­ers, and neigh­bors today. To­gether you can help clean and im­prove ne­glected, van­dal­ized, or mis­used pub­lic spa­ces.

Safety is an­other ben­e­fit of com­mu­nity cleanups. Crime is less likely to oc­cur when a neigh­bor­hood is clean, well­lit, and used fre­quently by res­i­dents. By re­claim­ing an aban­doned park or play­ground, elim­i­nat­ing tall weeds and de­bris, or spruc­ing up side­walks, ar­eas are less at­trac­tive to crim­i­nals and more at­trac­tive to res­i­dents.

Re­mem­ber, we are here to help you. As a part of the Beau­ti­fi­ca­tion Month ini­tia­tive, the Depart­ment of Pub­lic Works has iden­ti­fied 12 or­ga­nized cleanup events to re­ceive sup­plies, such as trash re­cep­ta­cles, mulch de­liv­ery, gloves, and trash bags. To join a com­mu­nity cleanup near you or for in­for­ma­tion on how to get in­volved, con­tact the En­vi­ron­men­tal Re­sources Divi­sion at 301-9323599, or visit www.CharlesCoun­tyMD.gov/Lit­terBug.

We want to see your cleanup team in ac­tion. Doc­u­ment your group’s cleanup ef­forts with be­fore and af­ter photos, and sub­mit them via email to Press­Room@CharlesCoun­tyMD.gov for the chance to be fea­tured on the Charles County Gov­ern­ment Face­book and Twit­ter pages.

Beau­ti­fi­ca­tion Month ends in April, but clean­ing the com­mu­nity is a year-round ef­fort. The suc­cess of this ef­fort de­pends on your in­volve­ment. Roll up your sleeves, and put on gar­den gloves and sun­screen, as we clean our com­mu­nity, im­prove our county’s water­ways, and com­bat lit­ter to­gether. Thank you in ad­vance to our part­ner agen­cies, and all of the in­di­vid­u­als and group vol­un­teers work­ing with us to “Keep Charles County Beau­ti­ful.” We ap­pre­ci­ate you ded­i­cat­ing your time and ef­fort to­wards keep­ing our com­mu­nity a clean and safe place to live, work, and play.

Bill Shreve is the Charles County di­rec­tor of Pub­lic Works.

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