More Than 24,000 Pounds of Litter Already Collected from Maryland Roadsides This Spring; Local Volunteers Begin Nationwide Trek with Funding Support from Chesapeake Bay Trust
(April 29, 2010) – Today, representatives of MDOT’s State Highway Administration and the Chesapeake Bay Trust met with the “pick up artists” of Pick Up America to express appreciation for their commitment and community service to the State of Maryland. Joined by members of Pick Up America, SHA Administrator Neil J. Pedersen and Chesapeake Bay Trust Executive Director Dr. Allen Hance recognized the organization for its commendable efforts in Maryland.
The mission of Pick Up America is to remove trash from highways and byways as the group makes its way across America and inspire transition to a zero waste economy. The “pick up artists” began their quest in mid-March at Assateague State Park, hosting numerous events along the way.
As of April 27, Pick Up America and community volunteers collected 804 bags equivalent to 24,092 pounds of litter and debris - enough to fill at least 16 State highway dump trucks. Their community efforts have saved Maryland taxpayers a total of $24,102.00. Volunteers worked along state and county routes including US 50 on the eastern Shore, MD 450, MD 2 and MD 650.
“SHA appreciates the diligence and efforts of volunteers to preserve the beauty of Maryland roads,” said SHA Administrator Neil J. Pedersen. “Helping to keep Maryland litter-free requires one idea and the efforts of many. The community service of these young men and women is an exemplary example of how one or two people can have a great impact on our environment.”
Along with daily litter cleanups, Pick Up America hosted events at area schools and community centers and provided educational workshops in various counties across the State. Funding to support this effort in Maryland was provided through a $2,415 grant from the Chesapeake Bay Trust . The Trust is a Maryland-based grant-making organization that believes a heightened ethic of individual and community stewardship is essential to restoring and protecting the Chesapeake Bay.
“The Chesapeake Bay Trust believes in the power of examples to inspire and heighten the practice of stewardship,” said Allen Hance, Executive Director, Chesapeake Bay Trust. “Pick Up America is about youth leadership and grassroots environmental action and we’re proud to be supporting their great work.”
“A lot of people think we are out of our minds for starting this adventure,” said Pick Up America member Davey Rogner. “It is our hope that our efforts will transcend what defines our present culture to create a greater potential for Americans."
For more information, log onto www.pickupamerica.org
to learn more about the group’s efforts as they head into the District of Columbia and then continue toward California. This supports the efforts of the Smart, Green and Growing initiative introduced by Governor Martin O’Malley in 2008 to strengthen the state’s leadership role in fostering smarter, more sustainable growth and inspiring action among all Marylanders to achieve a more sustainable future. The initiative brings together state agencies, local governments, businesses and citizens to create more livable communities, improve transportation options, reduce the state’s carbon footprint, support resource based industry, invest in green technologies, preserve valuable resource lands and restore the health of the Chesapeake Bay.
About the Chesapeake Bay Trust: The Chesapeake Bay Trust is an independent, nonprofit, foundation. Funding provided by the Trust sparks on-the-ground change in communities throughout Maryland and works to cultivate a new generation of Bay stewards. Since its inception in 1985, the Trust has awarded more than $30 million and engaged hundreds of thousands of Marylanders in projects that have a measurable impact on the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries. The Trust is supported by the sale of the Maryland Treasure the Chesapeake license plate, donations to the Chesapeake Bay and Endangered Species Fund on the Maryland State income tax form, donations from individuals and corporations, and partnerships with private foundations and federal and state agencies. Fully 90 percent of the Trust’s expenditures are directed to its Chesapeake Bay restoration and education programs. For more information on the Chesapeake Bay Trust, visit www.cbtrust.org
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