Great Arkansas River Cleanup collects nearly 7,700 pounds of litter

Volunteers participating in the Great Arkansas River Cleanup, a Great Arkansas Cleanup (GAC) event, removed approximately 7,700 pounds of litter from the Arkansas River during the fourth annual event held earlier in Septmeber.

The cleanup involved more than 200 volunteers at eight locations along the Arkansas River who contributed a combined 767 hours toward litter pickup.

The Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) partnered with the Keep Arkansas Beautiful Commission (KAB) to provide cleanup supplies and support for volunteers. Cleanup events were organized by community leaders in Fort Smith, Van Buren, Ozark, Russellville, Little Rock and North Little Rock.

Keep North Little Rock Beautiful organized the first Great Arkansas River Cleanup in 2012.

“I’m thrilled to declare this year’s Great Arkansas River Cleanup a huge success,” said Randy Naylor, of the Keep North Little Rock Beautiful board of directors. “We’re gratified to see what began as a small effort to improve our community develop into a statewide initiative.”

Each year, hundreds of Arkansans donate their time to improving the quality of life in their communities by being a part the GAC.

The Great Arkansas River Cleanup is one of many events taking place across the state during the GAC. With one week left in the statewide cleanup, all communities are encouraged to continue registering events before the fall campaign ends. Any group or organization in Arkansas can register a cleanup event for their community.

Once a community registers a GAC event, Keep Arkansas Beautiful will help organize and publicize the effort.

“We appreciate the hard work and dedication of our volunteers at the Great Arkansas River Cleanup,” said Bob Phelps, executive director of Keep Arkansas Beautiful. “I encourage everyone to join the Clean and Green Team by participating in a local cleanup.”

KAB provides local volunteers with cleanup materials and supplies such as trash bags, gloves and safety vests. Participants will also receive T-shirts.

Those interested in organizing a GAC event or volunteering at a local event can visit KeepArkansasBeautiful.com, email elizabeth.philpott@arkansas.gov or call 888-742-8701 toll-free for more information.

About the Great Arkansas Cleanup

The Great Arkansas Cleanup grew out of an effort that began 45 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 2014. 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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