NCWF Neighborhood Cleanup Challenge: May 8th – 16th

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North Carolina Wildlife Federation will host a statewide Neighborhood Cleanup Challenge to encourage residents to help wildlife, waterways, and habitats by removing trash from NC neighborhoods. This volunteer cleanup effort will help protect wildlife from trash ingestion, strangulation, and entrapment.

“We’ve all seen videos of heroic people saving wildlife from being entangled, impaled, and strangled by plastic bags, six-pack rings, straws, and other trash, not to mention the countless pieces of plastic ingested by fish, whales, sea turtles, birds, and other wildlife,” said Tim Gestwicki, CEO of the North Carolina Wildlife Federation. “The NCWF Neighborhood Cleanup Challenge is a way to make a difference in your very own community. Last year, more than 400 volunteers participated in cleaning up 15,000 pounds of plastic and other litter.”

The cleanup effort is a way for residents to spend time outdoors and have a positive impact on the environment by removing trash from local landscapes and neighborhoods, preventing it from harming wildlife, flowing into waterways, and compromising the natural beauty of North Carolina communities.

NCWF encourages residents to safely pick up trash with a trash grabber while wearing gloves and a mask when they are walking outdoors in their local communities. Each trash bag holds an estimated 15 pounds of trash and will contribute towards the organization’s goal of collecting 25,000 pounds during the Challenge and more than 70,000 pounds for the year. For every 25 pounds of trash collected and reported to NCWF, the organization will plant a native tree.

“We’re asking volunteers to document their efforts by sharing photos of themselves with their collected trash, noting where they found the trash, and how much they collected,” said Tara Moore, NCWF Director of Conservation Partnerships.

To encourage folks to pick up as much litter as they can, NCWF will celebrate the group or individual who removes the most litter (by estimated weight) and recognize their efforts with a “golden trash grabber.”

“The Neighborhood Cleanup Challenge is a way for people from all over the state to care for and take action on behalf of wildlife and habitats near their homes by removing litter,” Moore said. “Humor is good for the soul and what better way to bring a smile to someone’s face for their effort than to award them with a gold trash grabber?”

NCWF also has a Neighborhood Cleanup Challenge fundraising goal of $10,000 to help pay for the 1,000 trees to be planted from this effort and encourages volunteers to ask friends and family to sponsor their clean-up efforts. A donation of $50 plants one 5 gallon, 6-foot native tree. The Duke Energy Foundation is a proud sponsor of NCWF habitat restoration work and Trees4Trash, an ongoing partnership program of NCWF and Plastic Ocean Project.

Participants can share their photos by posting them on social media and tagging NCWF on Facebook (@NCWildlifeFederation), Instagram (@NCWildlifeFed), Twitter (@NCWF) or by emailing them directly NCWF Director of Conservation Partnerships Tara Moore at [email protected] Those who want to participate can register for the free event using the online registration form.

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