Gear up for the Great Amer­i­can Cleanup

Trash pick-up sched­uled week of Earth Day

The Covington News - - Front Page - By Josh Briggs

If you have ever driven down one of New­ton County’s many roads and felt an­gry at the sight of trash strewn in the col­lec­tion ravines, now’s your chance to do some­thing about it.

Keep Cov­ing­ton/ New­ton Beau­ti­ful, along with the Cov­ing­ton chap­ter of the Ki­wa­nis Club will con­duct the Great Amer­i­can Cleanup on April 19. Those who wish to par­tic­i­pate can choose to meet at one of four lo­ca­tions: Kroger on U. S. High­way 278 or Salem Road, the Wal- Mart Su­per­center or at May­field Ace Hard­ware on the square.

“ Ev­ery­one is en­cour­aged to par­tic­i­pate,” said Ki­wa­nis Cov­ing­ton club pres­i­dent Dave Larimer. “ It’s a great thing to get in­volved with the com­mu­nity in some­thing like this. Any­one who wants to pick up trash is wel­come to join us.”

Busi­nesses are also en­cour­aged to par­tic­i­pate. The New­ton County Cham­ber of Com­merce is hand­ing out large, green bows for lo­cal busi­nesses to dis­play as a sign of sup­port for the pro­gram.

In what is dubbed as the “ Green is the New Red, White and Blue” cam­paign, the Cham­ber is ask­ing for par­tic­i­pat­ing busi­nesses to clean around their build­ings and help with the sur­round­ing com­mon ar­eas.

Keep­ing it beau­ti­ful:

The event kicks off a month­long clean­ing ini­tia­tive through­out the county and falls in con­junc­tion with Ki­wa­nis’ One Day. Vol­un­teers re­ceive T-shirts and a hearty meal be­fore they be­gin work. “We will pro­vide break­fast to get the day started,” said KCNB ed­u­ca­tion pro­gram spe­cial­ist Lau­rie Ri­ley. “We will have trash bags, pro­vide orange safety vests and may even have a few vol­un­teers to help with larger clean-up ar­eas.”

Ki­wa­nis’ One Day is a day an­nu­ally set aside for club mem­bers ac­tively to par­tic­i­pate in their com­mu­ni­ties. This year, Keep Ge­or­gia Beau­ti­ful and the Ge­or­gia Dis­trict Ki­wa­nis have teamed statewide for One Day, and all sur­round­ing ar­eas will get in on the ac­tiv­i­ties.

“I called Dave Larimer, and when I talked to him, he said was about to call me,” said KCNB Di­rec­tor Con­nie Waller. “We had des­ig­nated the 19th for our Great Amer­i­can Cleanup day, and they des­ig­nated the same day as One Day. It works out great. We’re happy to have their sup­port.”

Not only is Larimer plan­ning to at­tend, he says he’s bring­ing a con­tin­gent that has al­ready found an area in need of a good once over.

“We’ve adopted the area around City Pond Road and will be down there,” Larimer said. “I’ve never been so ex­cited about pick­ing up trash.”

Ac­cord­ing to Waller, KCNB board mem­bers will also be on hand to ed­u­cate vol­un­teers on con­ser­va­tion and re­cy­cling.

“We de­cided to put a lit­tle dif­fer­ent spin on things this year,” she said. “The board mem­bers will be at our four lo­ca­tions from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. to give away items such as low-flow shower heads, rain gauges and re­us­able shop­ping bags. Our hope is to ed­u­cate peo­ple on con­ser­va­tion ef­forts.”

Waller says she be­lieves th­ese items will not only help in con­ser­va­tion but can be use­ful in de­ter­min­ing the re­sults of a large-scale ef­fort. KCNB plans to sur­vey vol­un­teers who ac­cept th­ese items in hopes of mea­sur­ing their ef­fec­tive­ness.

In its 25th year, the Great Amer­i­can Cleanup prom­ises to leave a green foot­print. Still, Waller knows she needs as much help as she can get.

“We hope busi­nesses and in­di­vid­u­als get on­board,” she said. “I’m hop­ing the Key Club in the three high schools will par­tic­i­pate as well as the Cir­cle K club from Ox­ford Col­lege. We ap­pre­ci­ate the Cham­ber of Com­merce’s in­volve­ment and ev­ery­one else who plans to par­tic­i­pate.

“We wel­come any­one who wants to help keep New­ton County beau­ti­ful.”

Mandi Singer/The Cov­ing­ton News

East­side High School teacher and Nat­u­ral­ist Club spon­sor Amy Albrit­ton, left, par­tic­i­pate in the Great Amer­i­can Cleanup with Nat­u­ral­ist Club mem­bers Stephen Hin­ton and Mari Sedyame as they pick up lit­ter on the Cov­ing­ton By-Pass near U.S. High­way 278 in a past cleanup.

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