TCPalm: Plenty of things to do during the Great American Cleanup

Posted on March 1, 2017

By Tiffany Smith, for TCPalm

PALM CITY — What do hazardous waste recycling, water conservation and revitalization of a historic cemetery all have in common? From March 1 through the end of April, these activities are considered part of Martin County’s 2017 Great American Cleanup.

The national initiative, coordinated locally by nonprofit Keep Martin Beautiful, mobilizes volunteers throughout the county to pick up litter and marine debris, create community gardens, beautify neighborhoods, recycle household hazardous waste properly and become more educated about environmental protection and water conservation.

Entering its 19th year, the Great American Cleanup is the country's largest annual community improvement program that takes place in more than 20,000 communities across the nation.

“People from all walks of life join together to participate in our local Great American Cleanup activities, from civic clubs and schools groups, to businesses and homeowner associations to families and retirees,” explained Keep Martin Beautiful President Craig Ahal. “Our goal is to give volunteers many different opportunities to take action, create positive change, and have a lasting impact in their own neighborhoods.”

This year, one of KMB’s signature Great American Cleanup community improvement events is the revitalization of the historic Gomez Cemetery in Hobe Sound. Keep Martin Beautiful is partnering with Allen Temple A.M.E. Church to revitalize the cemetery, which is in critical need of attention.

KMB volunteers and church volunteers will work together to refurbish the cemetery — the first phase, taking place on March 11 beginning at 10 a.m. will be to remove the debris and excessive vegetative waste. The second phase will entail repairing grave markers, laying new mulch, and planting flowers and adding other landscaping features. Volunteers will enjoy an appreciation lunch sponsored by the Allen Temple A.M.E. Church following the cleanup. To register, contact Jordan at 772-781-1222 or email

In addition, Keep Martin Beautiful encourages Martin County residents to coordinate a cleanup of their own as a part of the "Clean Your Block Party" national initiative. Any cleanup project that occurs from March 1 through the end of April can receive recognition as part of the Great American Cleanup. Volunteers will be provided with trash bags, gloves and water (while supplies last).

For more information and a list of other Great American Cleanup events, call Keep Martin Beautiful at 772-781-1222, email, visit or message us on Facebook at

Keep Martin Beautiful appreciates the generous sponsors and community supporters of the 2017 Great American Cleanup, which include Bowman Consulting; Captec Engineering; City of Stuart; Cook Electric Inc.; Ecological Associates Inc.; The Firefly Group; FDOT; Jenkins Landscape; Martin County; The MilCor Group Inc.; Sailor’s Return; Wallace Nissan; and Whiticar Boat Works.


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