County cleanup planned in April

Cleanup is Saturday in Melton Manor and Robinson Heights

Published: Wednesday, March 13, 2013 at 2:34 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, March 13, 2013 at 2:34 p.m.

Residents equipped with gloves, safety vests and trash bags will be scouring Alachua County to pick up litter and trash during the 18th annual Great American Cleanup.



What: The 18th annual Great American Cleanup in Gainesville/Alachua County.
When: 8 a.m.-noon April 6.
Where: Albert “Ray” Massey Westside Park, 1001 NW 34th St.
Information: Call 352-371-9444.

And you can do your part to make Alachua County beautiful by donating a few hours of your time.

Volunteers are needed for the Great American Cleanup, which will begin at 8 a.m. April 6 with the distribution of supplies at Albert “Ray” Massey Westside Park at 1001 NW 34th St.

Other projects during the annual cleanup will include graffiti removal and beautification and garden projects. Free document destruction by Recycling Services of America also will be available.

After the cleanup, volunteers can choose to dispose of the trash they collected or they can bring it to Westside Park, but a tally of how many bags of litter and trash were collected must be kept. Following the cleanup, volunteers will be treated to a “Thank You” party with food, giveaways and socializing, also at Westside Park.

The cleanup is sponsored each year by Keep Alachua County Beautiful, a non-profit organization and an affiliate of Keep America Beautiful.

If the April 6 date is inconvenient, Gina Hawkins, executive director of Keep Alachua County Beautiful, said residents can choose another date by calling 352-371-9444.

“We’re able to accommodate people,” Hawkins said. “Volunteers can suggest another date.”

In fact, Hawkins said, North Lincoln Heights, Melton Manor and Robinson Heights, all located in the area of SE 15th Street, are looking for volunteers for their clean-up day, which is Saturday in Melton Manor and Robinson Heights and March 30 in North Lincoln Heights, located north of Williams Elementary School.

On Saturday, neighbors in Melton Manor and Robinson Heights will meet at 8 a.m. at 1610 SE 39th Place. For more information, call 352-264-6745.

Neighbors in North Lincoln Heights will meet at 8 a.m. March 30 at SE 14th Street and 4th Avenue. For more information, call 352-376-6691.

Elsewhere in east Gainesville, Hawkins said volunteers are needed for clean-up projects in Duval Heights, Highland Court Manor, an area that borders NE 15th Street and N. Main Street from NE 23rd Avenue to NE 39th Avenue, and also Powers Park at Newnan’s Lake off Hawthorne Road.

Hawkins also said volunteers can choose their own project, such as in their neighborhood or on their street.

However, she said it is easier on Keep Alachua County Beautiful when everyone does the cleanup on April 6 because everything the volunteers will need is already in place, including the “Thank You” party.

She said volunteers are also needed to paint messages to alert residents not to put trash in storm drains because “what they put in their storm drain gets into our waterways and/or drinking water recharge.” A stencil for the message and paint will be provided.

Hawkins said volunteers also will be provided with gloves, vests, trash bags, shovels and rakes, and some planting materials. Maps will be provided, too.

Hawkins said participation can vary each year. In 2010, 1,424 volunteers cleaned up 305,380 pounds of litter and other trash.

“There is a sense of community with everybody working together to make our community better,” Hawkins said.

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