Hundreds of volunteers fanned out across Forsyth County on Saturday to help keep it clean.
Kevin Smith, outreach specialist with Keep Forsyth County Beautiful, said about 300 volunteers turned out for the Great American Cleanup effort.
“That was about the same as last year,” Smith said. “The national event is a three-month period, but we do our big event on Saturday of Earth Day weekend.”
The volunteers split up into several teams that traveled to different areas to pick up trash, primarily along roadsides.
“We did 23 different sites around the county and that was an increase from years past,” Smith said. “In the past, we did 15 to 17. This year, we did smaller groups at each of the sites so we were able to cover more roads that way.”
For the first time, Smith said, volunteers this year separated out recyclables such as glass and plastics.
After the cleanup, volunteers were encouraged to return to Fowler Park for free food and fun. There were also children’s arts activities focused on Earth Day, which was Monday.
Monica Hennings, one of the volunteers, said she felt a responsibility to help clean up the county.
“We all live here and people can be pretty messy,” she said. “So it’s nice to go out and make the county look pretty.”
Napoleon Foster, another volunteer, said the day was important to share with children.
“One of the things you want to do is make sure you get kids involved at an early age to put a damper on littering itself,” he said. “You got to make them aware what littering costs our environment.”