Valdese Trees4Trash clean up.

Trees4Trash program challenge encourages residents to help wildlife, waterways and habitats by removing trash from their neighborhoods 

The North Carolina Wildlife Federation (NCWF) is hosting a statewide Trees4Trash (T4T) volunteer cleanup effort May 11-17, to help protect wildlife from trash ingestion, strangulation and entrapment. Click here to register for the Trees4Trash Neighborhood Challenge.

“With COVID-19 and social isolation orders in place, many of us are looking for safe ways to help our communities,” said Tim Gestwicki, CEO of the North Carolina Wildlife Federation. “We’ve all seen online videos showing heroic people saving wildlife from being entangled, impaled and strangled by plastic bags, six-pack rings, straws and other trash.”

The cleanup effort is a way for residents to practice safe social distancing while removing trash from their neighborhoods and preventing it from hurting wildlife, littering communities and flowing into waterways.

NCWF encourages residents to safely pick up trash with a grabber while wearing gloves and a mask as they walk outdoors in their local communities. Each bag collected is estimated to hold 25 pounds of trash and will contribute towards the organization’s goal of collecting 5000 pounds during the challenge. For every 25 pounds of trash collected and reported to NCWF, the organization will plant a tree.

“We’re asking volunteers to document their efforts by taking photos of themselves with collected trash, and noting where they found the trash and the estimated pounds collected,” Gestwicki said. “The week-long Trees4Trash event is a way for conservation-minded individuals from all over the state to care for and take action on behalf of wildlife and habitats in their own neighborhoods, while sticking close to home.”

NCWF also has a fundraising goal of $25,000 for the campaign and encourages volunteers to ask friends and family to sponsor their cleanup efforts. An anonymous donor will match the amount raised up to $25,000. The Duke Energy Foundation is a proud sponsor of the Trees4Trash program, an ongoing effort by NCWF in partnership with the Plastic Ocean Project.

Participants can post their photos and tag NCWF on Facebook (@NCWildlifeFederation), Instagram (@NCWildlifeFed), Twitter (@NCWF) or send them by email to tara@ncwf.org. Learn more about Trees4Trash or register for the event.

Contact:
Tara Moore (tara@ncwf.org)
NCWF Director of Conservation Partnerships