More than 8,000 volunteers removed over 400 tons of litter from West Virginia’s landscape during spring cleanup programs sponsored by the state Department of Environmental Protection.
Numbers were recently finalized for April’s Make It Shine and Adopt-A-Highway cleanup efforts, which are administered by the WVDEP’s REAP (Rehabilitation Environmental Action Plan) program and focus on beautifying the state’s public lands.
“Our goal is to make West Virginia the cleanest state in the nation,” Gov. Joe Manchin said. “I can’t emphasize enough how important programs such as Make It Shine and Adopt-A-Highway are to achieving that worthy goal. Of course, those programs wouldn’t be successful without the dedication of so many West Virginians, who annually volunteer their time and effort in keeping our state beautiful and protecting the environment.”
The two-week Make It Shine program (April 5-18) attracted 3,111 volunteers statewide. There were close to 125 cleanups scheduled across the Mountain State and at least one in each of West Virginia’s 55 counties. Volunteers picked up 378,697 pounds of litter and cleaned 84 miles of stream, 60 miles of trail, 24 dumpsites and 3,586 acres of public parks. They also collected 3,000 tires.
“Every year, the program gets better,” said Travis Cooper, Make It Shine coordinator for REAP. “It’s remarkable how much West Virginians care about their state.”
The Adopt-A-Highway cleanup occurred on April 24 and was bolstered by 5,184 volunteers from all 55 West Virginia counties, including a state-best 290 from McDowell. Volunteers removed 432,748 pounds of trash from state roadways. The Adopt-A-Highway fall cleanup is scheduled for Sept. 25.