It’s spring! Get out and help clean up!

Two critical state agencies are seeking volunteers for this year’s Great American Cleanup of Pennsylvania, a campaign of statewide community cleanup activities that runs through May 31.

We’re talking about the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation and Department of Environmental Protection.

Groups participating in PennDOT’s Adopt-A-Highway (AAH) program, which involves volunteers cleaning roadsides year-round, are also encouraged to take part in the campaign.

PennDOT Secretary Leslie S. Richards said the agency is thankful “for the thousands who share our desire to keep Pennsylvania beautiful.”

DEP Secretary Patrick McDonnell agrees.

“Each year communities, volunteer organizations, friends, and co-workers come together for trash cleanup projects that make a tangible difference,” McDonnell said in a release.

“Getting trash off roads and stream banks makes communities more inviting, as well as improving public health and reducing stormwater runoff pollution. I thank the many Pennsylvanians who volunteer and look forward to joining in a cleanup event again this year.”

Volunteering is easy.

People can simply organize their own local event and register it at Great American Cleanup of Pennsylvania, or can register to participate in an already registered event.

Gloves, trash bags, and safety vests for the cleanup campaign will be provided by PennDOT, DEP and GLAD Products Co., a sponsor.

In addition, during Pick It Up, PA Days, April 13 through May 6, registered cleanup events have access to reduced or free disposal at participating landfills through support from DEP and the Pennsylvania Waste Industries’ Association.

During last year’s cleanup, 108,638 volunteers collected over 6.5 million pounds of litter from Pennsylvania’s roads, trails, and shorelines.

Over 5,300 events were held, with every county participating.

PennDOT’s AAH program contributed 25,927 volunteers, who cleaned up nearly 25 percent of the collected litter on 10,076 miles of cleaned-up roadway.

Through PennDOT’s AAH program, volunteers collect litter on a 2-mile section of state highway at least twice a year.

The program currently has over 4,700 participating groups, more than 91,800 volunteers, and 10,244 miles of adopted state-maintained roadways.

PennDOT has created a comprehensive web page that includes all volunteer opportunities available, from the Great American Cleanup of Pa and Adopt-A-Highway to Safety Training, Litter Brigades and more.

Find it at www.PennDOT.gov, Roadside Beautification.

In addition to the department’s clean-up activities, PennDOT is participating in a multi-agency initiative to promote plantings that will benefit Pennsylvania’s pollinators and native species. Volunteers can assist by applying to adopt pollinator habitats.

More information on the department’s new Pollinator Habitat Plan can be found under Adopt and Beautify at www.PennDOT.gov.

The Great American Cleanup of Pennsylvania is sponsored each year by PennDOT, DEP, Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful, and other partners.

(Information for this “Our View” was provided by PennDOT and DEP.)

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