Citywide effort promotes litter pickup, community improvement

    11:07 AM, Mar 10, 2012   |    comments
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    LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (March 6, 2012) - Keep Little Rock Beautiful (KLRB), a certified local affiliate of Keep America Beautiful, will host its third annual Citywide Cleanup Saturday, March 10, to promote litter pickup, recycling, beautification and community improvement in the capital city.

    The Citywide Cleanup in Little Rock is part of the largest community improvement effort in the nation, the Great American Cleanup, which takes place annually from March 1 through May 31 and involves an estimated 3 million volunteers nationwide.

    The 2012 Citywide Cleanup will kick off at historic Central High School in Little Rock at 8 a.m. on Saturday. Little Rock Mayor Mark Stodola will issue a proclamation about the citywide cleanup and highlight the work of the Central High Neighborhood Association and Central High School student volunteers, who continue to lead successful cleanup initiatives in the historic neighborhood.

    There will also be a recycling trailer on the Central High campus during the Cleanup for volunteers to recycle plastic and aluminum and to help raise awareness about the recycling services offered by the City of Little Rock.

    In addition, neighborhoods all over the city are encouraged to organize clean-up activities. Those neighborhood groups who register their events with KLRB will receive assistance in the form of supplies, volunteer t-shirts and other support. During the 2011 Cleanup, 28 neighborhood groups and associations participated.

    KLRB will also work in conjunction with the City of Little Rock Parks & Recreation Department to host organized cleanups in four city parks on March 10: Reservoir Park (8321 Reservoir Rd.), Brodie Creek Park (5001 Stagecoach Rd.), Boyle Park (2000 Boyle Park Rd.) and the city's newest park, Conner Park (13100 block of Cantrell Road).

    In 2011, the Citywide Cleanup achieved the following results:

    • 996 Volunteers contributed 1,958 hours
    • 44.48 tons or 88,960 pounds of litter and trash were collected
    • Approximately 664 city blocks were cleaned
    • 29 City parks were cleaned
    • 4 miles of waterways were cleaned
    • 7 sites were beautified

    KLRB is working to expand this year's effort to include more than 1000 volunteers and dozens of neighborhoods by teaming with City of Little Rock Neighborhood Alert Centers, neighborhood associations, community organizations and volunteers.

    KLRB was one of only six community affiliates honored with an Arkansas Shine Award from Keep Arkansas Beautiful in 2011, an honor that recognizes communities that are making significant strides in providing programs and instituting policies to create sustainability. In 2011, by involving a broad range of community partners, the city was able to create and coordinate a variety of community events, including Little Rock Bike-to-Work Day, the Little Rock School District (LRSD) "i Matter March," the LRSD Paper Recycling Program and the Citywide Cleanup in Little Rock.

    The City of Little Rock earned another prestigious ranking in 2011. Forbes magazine listed Little Rock as the second cleanest city among the nation's 80 largest Metropolitan Statistical Areas. Criteria for this honor include decent air and water quality, small amounts of toxins created and disposed of by companies in the area, and a lack of Superfund sites.

    "It is recognition like this that encourages Keep Little Rock Beautiful to continue on our mission," said Suzanne Hirrel, a KLRB board member and Citywide Cleanup co-chair. "Our goal is to empower and energize Little Rock residents to take action. Just look around your own neighborhood and see what can be done to improve it. Would planting flowers or trees enhance it? Is a litter pickup needed? Do your neighbors fill and place their recycling bins curbside? Is there a site that could use a coat of paint? Does a neighborhood park need to be spruced up?"

    To learn more about organizing a litter-pickup event in your neighborhood or to volunteer with an existing event, please visit KeepLittleRockBeautiful.com, e-mail info@klrb.org or call 501-765-3530.

    All Little Rock neighborhood organizations, churches, civic groups, schools, youth organizations, businesses and other groups are encouraged to get involved in this citywide effort.

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