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Keep America Beautiful Launches Nationwide Community Improvement Program with Major Los Angeles Event

Submitted by: Keep America Beautiful

Categories: Environment

Posted: Mar 01, 2007 – 08:00 AM EST


2007 Great American Cleanup™: Taking Care of Tomorrow Today

Mar. 01 /CSRwire/ - STAMFORD, CT- March 1, 2007 – The City of Los Angeles will play host to a major volunteer effort celebrating the launch of Keep America Beautiful’s 2007 Great American Cleanup, the nation’s largest community improvement program. Now in its 23rd year, the Great American Cleanup is held annually from March 1 through May 31, mobilizing millions of volunteers in over 15,000 communities to take action for a cleaner, greener tomorrow.

The 2007 Great American Cleanup kickoff celebration will begin at 8:00 a.m. (PST) on Saturday, March 3, 2007, on the steps of Los Angeles City Hall, located at 200 North Spring Street. The event coincides with the launch of new Keep America Beautiful affiliate, Keep Los Angeles Beautiful, which has been formed under the leadership of the City of Los Angeles' Board of Public Works. Keep Los Angeles Beautiful will coordinate local volunteer efforts to prevent litter, remove graffiti, and beautify the City of Los Angeles.

"The Great American Cleanup continues to make a lasting impact by creating a cleaner, safer and more beautiful environment," said G. Raymond Empson, president of Keep America Beautiful. "Through education and hands-on stewardship, we will be making a difference in Los Angeles and across the nation."

The kickoff event will commence with the Los Angeles Police Department's Color Guard, which will lead LA Veterans; and various performances including the 300-member Los Angeles Unified School District All-District High School Honor Band; LA's Best 68th Street Singers; and the Stoner Elementary African Dance Group. Los Angeles Mayor Antonio R. Villaraigosa will be presenting recycling awards to 10 Los Angeles schools; and Federal Environmental Executive Edwin Pinero will present the President's Call to Service Award to Andy Lipkis, president and founder of TreePeople, an internationally-recognized, Los Angeles-based nonprofit organization. Also addressing the crowd will be Keep America Beautiful President G. Raymond Empson; Keep America Beautiful Senior Vice President and Managing Director of the Great American Cleanup, Gail Cunningham; and Cynthia M. Ruiz, president of the Los Angeles Board of Public Works.

At the opening ceremonies, an anticipated 5,000 volunteers will take a hands-on approach to community improvement by participating in clean-up and beautification activities at four different zones in downtown Los Angeles and Hollywood. Zone One will include tree plantings supporting Mayor Villaraigosa’s Million Trees Los Angeles Initiative, a pledge to plant 1 million trees in the city within the next several years. With the help of TreePeople and the L.A. Department of Recreation and Parks, more than 50,000 trees have been planted on nearly 16,000 acres of parkland since the initiative's launch in fall 2006.

Zone Two will include graffiti removal along the Los Angeles River, while Zone Three will rally volunteers to clean up areas around downtown Los Angeles, including the grounds surrounding the convention center, the Los Angeles River and Echo Park. Zone Four will focus on beautifying areas around homeless shelters, schools and senior centers.

"To make Los Angeles the greenest and cleanest big city in the country, we all need to roll up our sleeves and work together," said Mayor Villaraigosa. "Whether you plant a tree or garden, pick up litter, remove graffiti, or recycle, we can all be a part of the effort to keep Los Angeles beautiful, protect the environment, and take pride in our neighborhoods."

"Keep Los Angeles Beautiful represents the people of Los Angeles in action to clean and green their communities and surrounding environments," said City of Los Angeles Board of Public Works President Cynthia M. Ruiz. "Across the geography and diversity of our great city, we encourage everyone, from little children to seniors, to take pride and be a constant part of the solution to extend quality of life and protect the environment."

Nationwide, this year's Great American Cleanup activities are expected to involve more than 2 million people, volunteering in 30,000 events that touch all 50 states. Activities will include beautifying parks and recreation areas, cleaning seashores and waterways, handling recycling collections, removing graffiti, picking up litter and removing scrap tires, planting trees and flowers, remediation of illegal dump sites, and conducting educational programs and events.

The 2006 Great American Cleanup produced record-breaking results with over 228 million pounds of litter and debris collected; more than 2.5 million scrap tires and 37 million plastic (PET) bottles recycled and removed from the waste stream; 10,000 illegal dump sites cleaned; 38.5 million pounds of aluminum and steel recycled; over 100,000 trees planted and more than 6,000 miles of rivers, lakes and shorelines cleaned.

Additionally in 2006, Keep America Beautiful and its Gulf Coast affiliates mobilized hundreds of volunteers to clean up, fix up and beautify the City of Biloxi as part of a Hurricane Katrina restoration project during the Great American Cleanup. The 2007 Great American Cleanup will continue that effort with clean-up initiatives in Gulfport, Miss., where volunteers will plant trees, remove debris, and revitalize several public spaces including parks, beaches and schoolyards.

Many of America’s leading companies are dedicated to supporting and sponsoring the efforts for the 2007 Great American Cleanup and are providing in-kind donations and grants to aid in community improvement events. The national sponsors are: American Honda Motor Co., Inc., Firestone Complete Auto Care and TiresPlus, GLAD ForceFlex Trash Bags from The Glad Products Company, Pepsi-Cola Company, Sam’s Club, The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company, Sparkle Paper Towels from Georgia-Pacific Corporation, Sprint Foundation, Troy-Bilt, Waste Management, Inc., and the Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company. Educational Partners: Rubber Manufacturers Association and The Wireless Alliance.

For the fifth consecutive year, President George W. Bush will serve as Honorary Chair of the Great American Cleanup. Mrs. Laura Bush will also be joining him for the third consecutive year as Honorary Chair.

About Keep America Beautiful, Inc.

Keep America Beautiful, Inc., established in 1953, is the nation’s largest volunteer-based community action and education organization. This national nonprofit forms public-private partnerships and programs that engage individuals to take greater responsibility for improving their community’s environment. The Great American Cleanup™ is the organization’s signature program that mobilizes millions of volunteers to improve their communities through hands-on participation. For more information, visit www.kab.org.

About Keep Los Angeles Beautiful

Keep Los Angeles Beautiful, commencing in 2007, is a citywide public awareness, education and beautification campaign led by the City of Los Angeles Department of Public Works. This campaign, affiliated with Keep American Beautiful, engages residents, businesses and governments in programs that prevent litter, promote the reduction of waste through reuse and recycling and beautification projects. Through public-private partnerships and strategic alliances, Keep Los Angeles Beautiful mobilizes thousands of volunteers to clean up, beautify and improve their neighborhoods, extending quality of life and protecting community environments. For more information, visit www.laocb.org.

About City of Los Angeles Board of Public Works

The five-member Board of Public Works manages the activities of the Department of Public Works, the third largest municipal agency in Los Angeles. The Department of Public Works is responsible for construction, renovation and operation of public facilities and infrastructure ranging from curbside collection and graffiti removal to maintenance of sidewalks, bridges, sewers and streetlights, and from maintenance of wastewater treatment plants to design of public buildings. For more information, visit www.lacity.org/bpw.

For more information, please contact:

Josette Robinson Cubitt Jacobs Prosek
Phone: 917.748.7794
Phone 2: 212.279.3115 ext. 212
Robert Wallace Keep America Beautiful
Phone: 203.313.4937
Phone 2: 203.323.8987, ext. 817
Website: www.kab.org

For more from this organization:

Keep America Beautiful


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