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Great Arkansas Cleanup set to kick off Sept. 6

Great Arkansas Cleanup set to kick off Sept. 6

Annual effort promotes litter pickup throughout the state

LITTLE ROCK (Aug. 15, 2014) – This year’s fall litter-pickup campaign will run fromSept. 6 ­­through Oct. 31. Thousands of Arkansans will volunteer to pick up litter along the state’s roadways and waterways during Keep Arkansas Beautiful’s Great Arkansas Cleanup (GAC).

All Arkansas communities are encouraged to get involved in this annual cleanup effort. Those who would like to learn more about organizing a litter-pickup event in their community or to volunteer with a local event can visit KeepArkansasBeautiful.com, email info@keeparkansasbeautiful.com or call toll-free888-742-8701.

Last year, more than 24,000 Arkansans picked up 415,320 pounds of litter from roughly 1,300 miles of roadway and shoreline. The volunteer effort provided the state and participating communities a cost-saving value estimated at more than $850,000.

The Great Arkansas Cleanup grew out of an effort that began more than 40 years ago as the Greers Ferry Lake and Little Red River Cleanup led by environmentalist Carl Garner. Until his death in July 2014, the “Father of Greers Ferry Lake” devoted his life to the mission of Keep Arkansas Beautiful (KAB). This year’s Great Arkansas Cleanup is being held in his honor.

“We expect this year to be the most successful Great Arkansas Cleanup ever,” said Robert Phelps, director of KAB. “Carl’s vision for a litter-free state will live on through the impact we make during the Great Arkansas Cleanup. By working together, we can build and sustain vibrant communities across Arkansas.”

Once a community registers a Great Arkansas Cleanup event, Keep Arkansas Beautiful will help organize and publicize the effort. KAB can furnish local volunteers with cleanup materials and supplies, such as trash bags, gloves and safety vests. Other available promotional items and incentives include T-shirts and an opportunity to win a Troy-Bilt® trimmer/blower.

In addition to its own GAC publicity efforts, KAB also provides local coordinators with customizable promotion materials, including posters, public service announcements and news releases, which can be found on the KAB website.

The Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality, the Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department, Keep Arkansas Beautiful Foundation and Keep America Beautiful Inc. sponsor the Great Arkansas Cleanup by providing needed cleanup supplies and support for GAC participants.

About the Great Arkansas Cleanup

The Great Arkansas Cleanup grew out of an effort that began more than 40 years ago as the Greers Ferry Lake and Little Red River Cleanup. In 1985, U.S. Sen. Dale Bumpers guided legislation requiring an annual pickup event during the weekend after Labor Day on all federal lands. This law, the Carl Garner Federal Lands Cleanup Act, honors the founder of the event. Mr. Garner continued his advocacy for a clean and litter-free environment as a member of the Keep Arkansas Beautiful Foundation board of directors until his death in July 2014; this year’s Great Arkansas Cleanup is being held in his honor. KAB organized the first statewide GAC in 1989.

About Keep Arkansas Beautiful

As a certified state affiliate of Keep America Beautiful Inc., the Keep Arkansas Beautiful Commission (KAB) works to inspire and educate individuals to reduce litter, recycle and keep Arkansas beautiful. A division of the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism, its programs are managed by a three-person professional staff and a nine-member advisory board appointed by the governor. KAB is funded by 1 percent of the eighth-cent Conservation Tax and, by mobilizing volunteers, returns to the state a cost benefit of more than $6 in community service for each program dollar spent. For more information about KAB, visit KeepArkansasBeautiful.com or stay connected on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

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