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Upcoming cleanup long overdue

A cleanup activity is scheduled to keep Hampton Roads beautiful and safe.

The Great American Cleanup hosted by askHRgreen.org and Keep Virginia Beautiful is coming to Hampton Roads Sept. 18 and 19.

Small groups or neighborhoods are encouraged to pick a spot to do a community cleanup project. Projects can include litter pick up, planting plants, restoring trails and recycling unwanted items to clean up yards.

“Due to social distancing guidelines, we are encouraging volunteers to lead neighborhood cleanups with smaller groups in a spot of their choosing,” said Mike Baum, Keep Virginia Beautiful executive director. “Maybe it’s a neighborhood entrance that could use a little sprucing up or a community park that needs weeding. The choice is community-driven.”

This event is usually held in the spring but was rescheduled and revamped due to COVID-19. Other cleanup events that generally occur during the spring and summer have also been canceled or postponed due to the pandemic. With the lack of cleanups and extra litter — including masks, wipes and gloves — a cleanup is long overdue.

“It is as simple as grabbing a trash bag and walking to pick up trash,” said Rebekah Eastep, askHRgreen.org team leader. “You can go to your favorite beach or park. Just grab a bag and clean up.”

For those who need it, limited supplies are available, including green volunteer vests, trash bags, litter grabbers and work gloves. The supplies will be coordinated through the sign-up process online.

Volunteers can register on the askHRgreen.com website. There you can locate a place to clean up, get supplies and touch base after the cleanup.

“Participants can share their pictures from the day by posting them with #TeamUp2CleanUp,” said Eastep.

For years, according to a press release, Hampton Roads has had a strong presence in the Great American Cleanup. Last year’s regional collaboration resulted in more than 1,000 volunteers removing nearly 15 tons of litter from the local landscape.

“Social distancing won’t let us come together, but that doesn’t mean we still can’t make a big difference,” said Eastep.

To find out more about the events, and to register online, visit askhrgreen.org/cleanup.