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The National Kickoff of the Great American Cleanup™

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Grab Your Work Gloves and Get Ready Hampton Roads! The Great American CleanupTM is coming April 27-28 to a community near you!

(Hampton Roads, VA., January 30, 2012) –  Grab your work gloves and get ready Hampton Roads! Through the partnership of askHRgreen.org and Keep Virginia Beautiful, Hampton Roads has been selected as one of 10 national kick-off locations for Keep America Beautiful’s 2012 Great American Cleanup—the largest grassroots community involvement program in the United States. The launch of the Hampton Roads cleanup events, April 27-28, represents the only designated kickoff project in Virginia and will involve hundreds of volunteers transforming local parks, waterways and recreational areas into cleaner, greener environments.

“We couldn’t be more excited,” said, Keep Virginia Beautiful Executive Director Mike Baum, whose office worked closely with askHRgreen.org to obtain the designation for the area. “As a result of being named a national Great American Cleanup site, all 16 cities and counties in Hampton Roads will benefit from beautification projects to take place this spring.”

The Hampton Roads cleanup events will begin Friday, April 27 in the morning with corporate and military command teams working side-by-side with local volunteers to perform cleanup projects at community based sites throughout the region. That evening at the Virginia Zoo in Norfolk, event organizers will host a “#Green Starts Here” celebration to thank state dignitaries, local elected officials, military leaders, volunteer team leaders, community leaders, and corporate sponsors for all they do to keep Hampton Roads beautiful. On Saturday, April 28, more volunteer teams will mobilize and disperse to pitch in with cleanup events held throughout the region.

Over the past six months, askHRgreen.org has coordinated with the region’s municipalities to identify “transformational” community improvement projects with an eye toward turning local parks, playgrounds and public spaces into greener, more sustainable places to live, work and play.

The idea, according to Regional Project Chairman John Deuel, is to connect Hampton Roads volunteers with projects that will be meaningful to their community. In addition, community and environmental leaders may submit requests for new sites to add to the list.

“Depending on the cleanup site, we will need 25 or more volunteers per project, for a half day of work,” said Deuel. “If you live in Suffolk, for instance, and wish to volunteer for a project close to your home, you can do that. Hampton Roads corporations and businesses also will be invited to form their own cleanup teams to work on projects as a group.”

Individuals who wish to volunteer their time may visit www.askhrgreen.org/the-great-american-cleanup/ to view the cleanup sites and register to participate with the project of their choice. In addition, businesses and corporations can register to spearhead an employer-led team cleanup project. Corporations and organizations who would like to support the Great American Cleanup as a sponsor may contact Mike Baum, visit www.keepvirginiabeautiful.org or call (804) 665-2908.

Last year, Keep America Beautiful’s national Great American Cleanup promotion drew more than 3.8 million volunteers that participated in 3,600 clean up events in 16,500 communities throughout the United States.

“Just think what we can do here in Hampton Roads,” said Deuel.

For information, visit www.askhrgreen.org/the-great-american-cleanup/

MEDIA INTERVIEWS

The following Great American Cleanup spokespersons are available for media interviews on Monday, Jan. 30 and Tuesday, Jan. 31 at a Hampton Roads cleanup site near you. To schedule an interview, please contact Elizabeth Evans or call (757) 705-7153.

• Mike Baum Keep Virginia Beautiful Executive Director (for telephone interview)
• John Deuel Executive Director, Keep Norfolk Beautiful
Julia B. Hillegass Hampton Roads Planning District Commission Public Information and Community Affairs Administrator
Debbie Blanton Hampton Clean City Commission
Laurie Halperin York County Beautification

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About askHRgreen.org

With a focus on simple steps residents can take to find their “inner green,” askHRgreen.org is a region-wide public awareness campaign of the Hampton Roads Planning District Commission and the 16 cities and counties it serves. The campaign is centered around askHRgreen.org, a central, go-to resource for everything green in Hampton Roads. Site features include pages with easy-to-use green practices to implement in your home, yard, business, community and classroom, an interactive calendar highlighting regional events and the “Let’s Talk Green” blog, written by a team of local experts who work in the region’s municipal utility and environmental divisions.

 

About Keep Virginia Beautiful

The mission at Keep Virginia Beautiful (KVB) is to engage and unite Virginians to improve the natural and scenic environment. KVB’s goals include becoming the leading statewide voice, providing a framework for improved communication and collaboration, cultivating and supporting sustainable programs, and engaging citizens by linking them to volunteer opportunities and information about 5 impact areas: Litter Prevention, Recycling, Waste Reduction, Beautification, and Education. Visit Keep Virginia Beautiful for more information.

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