Each year, the Great American Cleanup (GAC), Denton’s largest community cleanup, brings together thousands of volunteers to remove tons of litter from our city’s streets, public spaces, and waterways. Sadly, to protect the health and safety of the community and our volunteers, KDB took precautionary measures and cancelled the 32nd Annual GAC on March 21, 2020. We, at KDB, often share why we think community wide volunteerism is important but wanted to hear directly from a community member. We asked Suzi Rumohr, a member of Bike Denton, an organization that participates in GAC and KDB’s Adopt-A-Spot program, to share why she and Bike Denton participate in the event each year and the value such events bring to our community.
Why does Bike Denton volunteer for the Great American Cleanup?
A primary goal of Bike Denton is to increase the opportunity for people of all ages to enjoy the benefits of bicycling, which includes building community! Not only does the Great American Cleanup present an opportunity to bicycle and to build community, but it is also a perfect partnership for cleaning the rail trail, in particular. Using bicycles and bicycle trailers to clean the trail is more efficient and easier than walking and also demonstrates another way people can complete a task without using a motor vehicle and contributing to air pollution.
What do you like most about the event?
Participating in a large event where everyone is working towards the same goal creates such a great sense of community. It’s fun to see everyone use their individual skills to solve problems. In the case of Bike Denton, the special skill is the ability to pick up and transport litter on the rail trail without a motor vehicle. Most of all, the best thing about this event is seeing how much cleaner the city looks afterwards!
What impact do you think litter cleanups make on our community?
In addition to getting some of the current litter cleaned up, community litter cleanups promote ownership and pride in the community, awareness of the quantity and types of litter in our city and can inspire participants to continue to clean up bits of litter they see every day and also be more careful about the waste they produce themselves.