ALACHUA ‒ To the casual passerby, Alachua was transformed into a sea of vibrant pink tee-shirts on Saturday morning, May 4, 2024. In a dedicated effort to sustain the natural beauty of the area, the City of Alachua hosted the 2024 Great American Cleanup from 8:30 a.m. to noon. This annual event stands as Alachua County's most extensive community volunteer improvement project of its kind, drawing residents from all walks of life to contribute to the betterment of their surroundings.

Great American CleanUp Flower BedMonths prior to the event, Alachua rallied its residents, calling for volunteers of all ages to participate in the cleanup. The emphasis was on fostering a shared responsibility toward community pride and environmental stewardship. With cleanup and beautification projects of varying difficulty levels, the event provided ample opportunities for individuals, both young and old, to make a tangible impact in just a few hours.

Prior to the event, Rodolfo Valladares, Assistant City Manager and former Public Services Director for the City of Alachua, expressed pride in the city's consistent engagement with the Great American Cleanup. “We are proud to participate each year in the Great American Cleanup, the nation's largest community improvement program,” said Valladares. “It’s a wonderful time for The Good Life Community to showcase one of our core values: neighbors helping neighbors.”  

Projects were designed to enhance the aesthetic appeal of key locations within Alachua. Volunteers descended upon the Alachua Police Department to undertake flower bed cleanup and plant new foliage, while in the Towne Center Area, the focus was on landscaping beautification. In the downtown Community Development District, volunteers rolled up their sleeves to tackle moss removal and Bradford Pear tree trimming, aiming to breathe new life into public spaces and cultivate a renewed sense of pride in the community.

Trash cleanup activities were equally integral to the day's efforts, with volunteers working at Criswell Park and the Mill Creek Wetland Park (Mill Creek Sink), reflecting the City's commitment to environmental sustainability and the preservation of green spaces and community gathering spots.

In total, over 60 volunteers joined forces planting over 200 plants, removing moss from 12 Bradford Pear trees and filling 14 bags of trash.

To ensure the comfort and safety of all participants, the City provided breakfast starting at 8 a.m., with lunch available at the conclusion of the event. Essential tools such as trash bags, safety vests, gloves, maps, and instructions were furnished to facilitate the cleanup efforts.

The City of Alachua’s Great American Cleanup is part of the national effort by the same name that is the nation’s largest volunteer community improvement program that motivates individuals to take greater responsibility for the beautification of their community and the collection of litter.

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