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2016 Great American Cleanup

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Clean Your Block for the 2016 Great American Cleanup
Restore and Renew Hampton Roads One Block at a Time

(Hampton Roads, Va., March 17, 2016) – Hampton Roads volunteers will soon be out in full force working across the region to pick up roadside litter, clean up beaches and shorelines, improve community parks and more. The 2016 Great American Cleanup™ is underway, now through June, and residents can find a list of planned community projects, or find out how to start their own, by visiting

“Cared for communities tend to be safe, desirable places with great curb appeal,” said Julia B. Hillegass, team leader. “But participating in Great American Cleanup events is about so much more than protecting neighborhood property values. It’s also important for protecting our region’s rich natural resources, booming tourism industry and overall quality of life.” 

Spearheaded by Keep America Beautiful, the Great American Cleanup is the country’s largest community improvement program. Litter cleanups and recycling events typically top the list of activities led by local Keep America Beautiful affiliates, but this year’s focus is on neighborhoods. The “Clean Your Block” theme promotes not only clean communities, but also community engagement, pride and stewardship – behaviors that lead to lasting, positive block-by-block impacts nationwide. This year, citizens are encouraged to organize a beautification or cleanup project in their neighborhood and celebrate their hard work with a block party once that project is completed.

“It’s a great way to see neighbors, meet new friends and understand how we’re all connected to the region,” said Hillegass.

And while neighbors are bonding and strengthening their sense of community pride, the region’s natural resources are gaining the long-term benefits of cleaner communities. Among the many Hampton Roads cleanup projects, a group of Virginia Master Naturalists will install fishing line recycling bins in popular Suffolk fishing spots. The effort, part of a nationwide fishing line recycling program offered by the Boat US Foundation, will keep fishing line, hooks, lures and bobbers out of the environment for years to come. In Norfolk, volunteers will plant 5,000 grass plugs to stabilize the wetlands at River Point Park, off Granby Street.

Getting involved to clean up our communities is the perfect way to create safer, more beautiful spaces for both man and animal. Get involved and learn how to organize your own “Clean Your Block” project for the Great American Cleanup by visiting

About is your go-to resource for all things green in Hampton Roads— from recycling tips and pointers for keeping local waterways clean to water-saving ideas and simple steps to make local living easy on the environment. Launched in 2011, the region-wide public awareness and education campaign is administered through the Hampton Roads Planning District Commission and powered by the following members: The cities of Chesapeake, Franklin, Hampton, Newport News, Norfolk, Poquoson, Portsmouth, Suffolk, Virginia Beach, and Williamsburg; the counties of Gloucester, Isle of Wight, James City, Southampton, Surry and York; the Town of Smithfield; and HRSD. Like on Facebook, follow on Twitter, tune in to YouTube and catch the “Let’s Talk Green” blog, written by a team of local experts. 


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