Registration under way for April 26 Great American Cleanup

Staff Report

LOVES PARK, Ill. — Coordinating agency Keep Northern Illinois Beautiful’s (KNIB) Executive Director Lori Gummow has announced that the 26th Annual Great American Cleanup will be Saturday, April 26, in northern Illinois. Volunteer registration is now open for both Winnebago County and Boone County collection routes with a choice of 20 equipment pickup locations.

The Great American Cleanup is the region-wide litter collection involving more than 1,000 citizens from all municipalities, agencies and service organizations in Winnebago and Boone counties. Individuals and teams from businesses, civic groups, churches, youth or neighborhood organizations can select specific routes or be assigned to a targeted area.

KNIB and its partners provide safety and litter-collecting equipment at strategic staging sites the day of the event, which is to be returned at the end of the collection. The bags of litter are retrieved within the next week by participating contractors.

Last year, we had more than 1,200 volunteers clearing more than 300 miles of roadside,” said Frank Manzullo, KNIB Great American Cleanup coordinator. “We hope to attract even more volunteers this year. Now that the snow has melted, we need to improve the image of our neighborhoods and event venues. As the stateline welcomes visitors to its spring and summer events, we want them to know that we take pride in our community.”

Preregistration for the event is required. Volunteers should register by Friday, April 18. Saturday, April 26, a designated team coordinator may pick up supplies at one of the 20 distribution sites between 8 and 9 a.m. and bring them to their assigned team cleanup location. The sites are listed at Team members meet at the start of the route, receive their supplies, and pick up litter between 9 a.m. and noon. Complimentary water and snacks, courtesy of event sponsors, are also provided to the volunteers.

The Great American Cleanup, a nationally-organized anti-littering campaign, was originated by Keep America Beautiful in 1985. The effort has been endorsed by the U.S. Conference of Mayors. It has grown into a catalyst for change, becoming the nation’s single largest volunteer community improvement program. Removing litter and debris ensures resident safety and gives best impressions during the rest of the year.

Cooperating partners and local sponsors of this year’s Great American Cleanup in northern Illinois include KNIB; Burger King; the City of Rockford; Don Carter Lanes; Frito-Lay; McDonald’s; Mid-West Family Broadcasting; Pepsi Cola of Rockford; RK Dixon; The Rock River Times; Rock River Trail; Rock Valley Culligan; Winnebago County; the Winnebago County Highway Department; the Winnebago County Sheriff’s Department; and 23 WIFR Gray Television Inc.

Organizations, groups or individuals interested in participating in the 2014 Great American Cleanup may call Manzullo at KNIB at (815) 637-1343 or register at

From the April 9-15, 2014 issue

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