Blog post written by Amanda Maron, KGPB Coordinator, City of Grand Prairie – Solid Waste and Recycling Division
Keep America Beautiful’s Great American Cleanup is the nation’s largest community improvement program, taking place annually each spring from March through May. Keep Texas Beautiful recently introduced themed months to help inspire events in your community. For the last month of GAC, we’re making May Parks and Trails Month and invite our affiliates to host an event focused on the beautification of our public spaces.
Keep Grand Prairie Beautiful (KGPB) has partnered with the City of Grand Prairie Parks, Arts, and Recreation Department (PARD) to provide a series of four in-person volunteer opportunities as well as a virtual volunteer option to celebrate Parks and Trails Cleanup Month.
KGPB’s first venture into virtual events was #FallSweepGP in October of 2020. Keep Texas Beautiful’s Fall Sweep was coming around the corner and so we asked ourselves, “How can KGPB engage volunteers during COVID-19?”
#FallSweepGP was so successful that the KGPB virtual Parks and Trails Cleanup Month proposal was modeled after the event. KGPB also proposed an in-person volunteer option to the Park, Arts, and Recreation Department Director, Duane Strawn. At the time of the proposal, the City of Grand Prairie was beginning to relax restrictions on in-person events.
Realizing that many people may not be comfortable rejoining group gatherings, PARD and KGPB have continued with both proposals. Here’s what we came up with to hopefully help inspire your future events:
- PARD identified five smaller parks and trails that would benefit from an extra cleanup
- Volunteers pre-register through KGPB’s online portal to adopt a park for the month of May
- KGPB provides cleanup supplies for registered volunteers to pick up before their cleanup
- Volunteers choose a day and time to complete a cleanup at their chosen park in May
- Volunteer groups will be families, individuals, or small groups
- Volunteers submit a post-cleanup report online by 11:59 p.m. on Monday, May 31, 2021, to be entered into the prize drawing
- PARD identified four larger parks, trails, and even a paddling trail that would benefit from an extra cleanup
- Volunteers pre-register for each Saturday event through KGPB’s online portal
- KGPB provides supplies and box lunches for volunteers
- PARD provides full trash bag and large debris removal
- Volunteers participating in either the virtual or in-person events will receive one raffle entry for each cleanup in which they participate
- PARD is providing prizes for the prize drawing which will be announced by 5 p.m. on Friday, June 4, 2021
COVID-19 Guidelines for In-person Events
- Staff are required to mask and maintain social distance due to city policy
- Volunteers are encouraged to mask and maintain social distance
- Hand sanitizer is available at the registration table, the supply table, and the lunch table
- Two KGPB Commissioners are assigned to the registration table
- KGPBC checks off the pre-registered individuals as they arrive
- Groups receive a group sign-in that the group leader maintains, reducing direct contact between KGPBC and many of the volunteers
- Walk-up volunteers receive their registration on a clean clipboard with a clean pen which is then placed in the “used” bin after completion
Keep Grand Prairie Beautiful programming and the KGPB Coordinator are funded through the City of Grand Prairie Solid Waste and Recycling Division. KGPB is a Gold Star affiliate of Keep Texas Beautiful and a President’s Circle affiliate of Keep America Beautiful. The KGPB Coordinator serves on the KTB Program Committee and on the KAB Young Leaders Advisory Council.
Visit the KGPB website to view both the registration and the report pages for Parks and Trails Cleanup Month.
Be sure to share your Parks and Trails Cleanup Month events on the KTB Calendar, or get involved in an event near you by contacting your local affiliate.