Spring-cleaning time for environment

Published 9:02 pm Monday, March 31, 2014

It’s spring-cleaning time, and that includes more than just the junk in your closet and the dust on your coffee table.

The environment needs cleaning up, too, and the city has activities set for later this month to celebrate Earth Day and the Great American Cleanup.

On April 19 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Bennett’s Creek Park, environment-centric organizations such as the Suffolk Master Gardeners, Suffolk Mosquito Control, the Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge, Tidewater Bee Keepers Association and Nansemond River Preservation Alliance will be on hand to provide information and give demonstrations.

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The Amy Ferebee Duo will provide family folk music, and food and Earth Day activities for children will be offered.

In addition, a recycling drive and tire amnesty day will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in celebration of the Great American Cleanup. Old tires, electronics, alkaline batteries and other recyclables such as glass, aluminum cans, Nos. 1 and 2 plastics and more can be recycled at Bennett’s Creek Park. Bring unwanted clothing and home goods for donation.

“Each city and county in the region participates in some way, whether they have recycling events or cleanups or beautification projects,” said Katie Cullipher of the Hampton Roads Planning District commission. “The Great American Cleanup is kind of like a season. It runs March through May every year.”

The recycling drive and Earth Day celebration are the only official events going on in Suffolk, but there’s still time to plan an event. Almost anything goes, Cullipher said — anything from cleaning up a park and painting benches to graffiti removal and placing medallions on storm drains to remind folks they drain to the bay is a good start.

“The sky’s the limit,” Cullipher said. “Anything that’s transformational, really, because there’s a clear before and after, and the community sees the end result.”

People who want to organize an event are asked to register it and report the end result so the impact of the events can be tracked on a national level.

For more information, visit www.askhrgreen.org or contact Crystal Boyd at 514-7604 or cboyd@suffolkva.us.