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Keep Suffolk Beautiful receives grant

Keep Suffolk Beautiful recently received a $500 grant to help with its litter prevention programs.

Every year, Keep Virginia Beautiful gives away a grant every day of June for its “30 in 30 Green Grants.” Different government, civic, nonprofit and service organizations from Virginia apply for these grants by describing how they would plan to undertake an environmental issue in their community. This year, Suffolk was one of the recipients.

Due to COVID-19, social distancing measures make it harder for usual groups to do litter pick-up events. With this grant money, Keep Suffolk Beautiful will make clean-up kits to give to families to do on their own.

“These are kits that they can keep as a family to clean up where they can,” said Wayne Jones, Litter Control Coordinator. “I think this is something we can continue, even when social distancing isn’t required.”

The grant will fund about 16 kits. Each kit will contain gloves, vests, trash bags and litter grabbers. Families can apply to receive a kit and report all cleanups and trash bags to the Litter Control Office.

Keep Suffolk Beautiful last received this grant two years ago. They used the money to make similar litter pick-up kits to keep at the library. According to Jones, they have won three out of the past five years.

Keep Suffolk Beautiful is an organization to promote public interest in the general improvement of the environment and coordinates programs for litter control. This organization provided many opportunities to do so.

“We do other programs like Adopt a Street,” said Jones. “This is usually a bigger group, like the Boy Scouts, that gets together to clean a larger strip of road.”

Three times a year, there are river cleanups. These provide a hands-on approach to teach the how-to and the importance of keeping the community clean.

Keep Suffolk Beautiful is also rescheduling its Recycling Drive & Tire Amnesty Day. It was planned for May but could be rescheduled this summer.

“We just want to do what we can to pick up as much trash as we can on the side of the street,” said Jones.