Register for the Hampton Roads part of the Great American Cleanup April 27-28.

Register for the Hampton Roads part of the Great American Cleanup April 27-28. (Courtesy Keep Virginia Beautiful)

From Poquoson to Portsmouth and Newport News to Norfolk, more than 40 regional cleanup projects are planned throughout Hampton Roads next month as part of Keep America Beautiful’s Great American Cleanup National Action Days, April 27-28. Project partners, and Keep Virginia Beautiful, are encouraging volunteers to pick a project and register now (and no later than April 6) to be a part of this landmark cleanup and green up campaign.

 “We need at least 1,500 volunteers to make this a successful event, and I’m pleased to report that we’re more than half way there,” said Regional Project Chairman John Deuel. “This speaks so well to the region’s commitment to volunteerism, and I know Hampton roads residents are ready to step up and make a difference here at home.”

According to Deuel, more than 1,000 volunteers have registered to date, including a huge showing of crew members of the Norfolk-based U.S.S. Harry S. Truman, the first to sign on to the Great American Cleanup’s “Corporate and Military Challenge.” The command of the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier will send between 850 and 1,000 sailors to lend a hand with cleanup projects throughout the region that weekend while the ship is docked for maintenance. 

“The U.S.S. Harry S. Truman’s participation in the Great American Cleanup speaks volumes about the military’s commitment to being a good community partner,” said Deuel. “We are delighted to have them on board, and we hope other commands will do the same. In addition, we invite corporations and businesses to urge their employees to work on a cleanup project as a team, which can be a great morale booster.”  

 Cleanup projects for most every community 

Earlier this year, Keep America Beautiful selected Hampton Roads as one of 10 national sites to host National Action Days events the last weekend in April, with an eye toward transforming regional parks, public lands, playgrounds and trails into cleaner, greener landscapes. Working with local municipalities in most of the 16 cities and counties, leaders helped to coordinate a wide variety of half-day projects from which volunteers could choose.

Norfolk, Portsmouth and Virginia Beach are organizing city-wide cleanups of neighborhoods, parks and recreation areas. Chesapeake has planned a gateway beautification project at Bainbridge Blvd. and Freeman Ave., and Hampton volunteers will convene for an “Interchange Change,” picking up litter along the intersection at LaSalle Ave. and Mercury Blvd.

A few miles away in Poquoson, Evie Insley is organizing three projects on behalf of the city:  a citywide “Adopt-a-Spot” roadways cleanup, a refurbishing of Pocket Park and a cleanup along the city’s “blueway trail” between Messick Point and Amory Wharf that will require the aide of local fishermen. 

“We’ll be cleaning up both the shoreline and the waterway,” said Insley, who is the administrative support technician for the city of Poquoson. “We thought if we had shallow draw boats on the water, it would work. We’re also asking volunteers to wear their ‘bubba boots’ for cleaning up debris along the shoreline.”

In addition to the cleanup and beautification projects, several organized collection events are planned for the Great American Cleanup. In Isle of Wight County, volunteers will host a reusable bag exchange and plastic bag recycling event, April 27. In Newport News, the city will collect electronics and household hazardous waste materials such as oil and latex paints, stains, car batteries, insecticides, household batteries and compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs), April 27. 

A complete listing of Great American Cleanup projects is available at, and volunteers can pick a project and register online. The deadline to register is April 6.

Giving back to one’s community by cleaning up the environment is something that everyone should do, said Deuel. 

“It’s a great way for people to see their neighbors, meet new friends and understand how we’re all connected to the region,” Deuel said. “And, it’s a lot of fun.”

 Join one of these Great American Cleanup events:


Bainbridge Blvd. & Freeman Ave. Gateway Beautification



Interchange Change!