Colorado Springs residents are being encouraged to grab gloves, plastic bags and shovels, and help give the City a much needed facelift this weekend.

The Great American Cleanup is an annual nationwide event and call to action to invite citizens to keep their corner of the world healthy and beautiful. Conducted by Keep America Beautiful affiliates and participating organizations, this year’s event will start at 9 a.m., Saturday at Bear Creek Nature Center, 245 Bear Creek Road.

Bear Creek and Fountain Creek nature centers staff will lead cleanups at Bear Creek, downtown Colorado Springs, Fountain Creek Regional Park and the Rock Island Trail in Falcon. Volunteers will pick up trash and debris left along open spaces, parks, trails and waterways.

Last year approximately 400 volunteers collected refuse at area creeks, parks, roads, trails and town centers, and that number continues to grow. More than 450 volunteers are expected to participate in the cleanup,

“Past event numbers have ranged from 400 to 700 plus volunteers,” said Bryan Welding, environmental technician with El Paso County Community Services, who is in charge of the Great American Cleanup of the Pikes Peak Partners. “Current registration number as of April 16 is approximately 465.”

Volunteers are asked to bring gloves, reusable water bottles and sunscreen, and wear comfortable clothing and sturdy work boots. Bags and safety vests will be provided by Keep America Beautiful. Volunteers may work as long as they wish and are encouraged to work safely.

“Safety vests and trash bags will be provided, but participants should plan ahead by wearing durable shoes or boots and work gloves,” Welding said.

People gravitate to the cleanup because it provides an opportunity to get outside and make a difference in the community, Welding said. “(It’s) a great opportunity to spend some time outdoors and create a positive impact on the local environment.”

Now in its 21st year, The Great American Cleanup each year, on average, engages more than 3.4 million volunteers and participants to create a positive and lasting impact. The event offers an opportunity for people of all ages to come together and celebrate the beauty of the Pikes Peak Region by making a positive difference in keeping it beautiful and healthy.

“We are encouraging civic organizations, churches, scout groups, school groups and individuals to participate as we give the Pikes Peak region a ‘spring cleaning,’” Welding said.

In 2016, EPC teamed up with the City of Colorado Springs, Colorado Springs Utilities, the City of Fountain, The City of Manitou Springs, the Town of Monument, and UpaDowna to form “Tackle the Trash Event.” The event partnered with the Great American Cleanup organization through the local affiliate Keep Colorado Springs Beautiful. The event has grown ever since.

Welding said The Great American Cleanup benefits the community because “citizens volunteer their time to keep our community beautiful.”

Volunteers can select from 20 sites throughout the Pikes Peak region to clean parks, trails and waterways. Each site can accommodate a certain number of participants. Each jurisdiction will be responsible for disposing of debris collected by volunteers, Welding said.

Site Coordinators will contact registrants prior to the event with site specific meeting location instructions. Participants under age 16 must be supervised by an adult.

To learn more, visit event sites and to register, visit gacppp.com.

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