Cleanup to keep county beautiful

Published: Wednesday, April 2, 2014 at 2:58 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, April 2, 2014 at 2:58 p.m.

Do you want to do your part to keep your neighborhood and/or the Gainesville community free of litter and graffiti?



* What: Volunteer opportunities during the 19th annual Great American Cleanup in Gainesville/Alachua County.

* When: 8 a.m.-noon April 12.

* Where: Albert “Ray” Massey Westside Park, 1001 NW 34th St.

* Information: Call 352-371-9444 or visit

If so, then you may want to volunteer during the 19th annual Great American Cleanup, which is sponsored each year by Keep Alachua County Beautiful, a nonprofit organization and an affiliate of Keep America Beautiful.

But, if the date is not a good one, those interested can choose another date. Either way, supplies will be provided.

The cleanup will be held from 8 a.m.-noon April 12, beginning at 8 a.m. with the distribution of supplies at the Albert "Ray" Massey Westside Park at 1001 NW 34th St.

Gina Hawkins, executive director of Keep Alachua County Beautiful, said residents have an option to volunteer for the main event on April 12 or choose another date and participants can clean up their own neighborhood or be assigned to a site.

To volunteer, visit and click on "pre-register." Hawkins will follow up with a telephone call.

"We're happy to work with people whatever they want to do," Hawkins said. "We want to make it as possible as we can for people to participate."

Other projects during the annual cleanup will include graffiti removal and beautification and garden projects. Hawkins said graffiti removal can be done in both private and public areas.

She said volunteers will be provided with safety vests, gloves, trash bags, first-aid kits and maps, as well as paint and painting supplies, seeds, gardening tools and compost.

If it's inconvenient to get supplies at Westside Park, volunteers can get their supplies at the Keep Alachua County Beautiful Office at 211 SW 4th Ave., Suite 1.

After the cleanup, participants 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 collected must be kept.

"It helps us if they dispose of the trash and recyclable bottles and cans themselves, but we're happy to pick it up if that's not possible," Hawkins said.

Following the cleanup, volunteers will be treated to a "Thank You" party with food, music, speakers, giveaways and socializing, also at Westside Park.

"All volunteers are invited, regardless of which day they complete their project," Hawkins said.

Last year, more than 200 volunteers collected 188 bags of trash, 59 bags of recyclables, and 10 yards of furniture and other miscellaneous items. Residents of Alachua County came to the event and filled a 20-yard container with used tires and the bed of a full-sized pick-up truck with hazardous waste.

Hawkins said there is a huge problem with litter in Gainesville and Alachua County.

"Nearly every street needs help in Gainesville and Alachua County," Hawkins said. "We have a big problem with litter."

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