Volunteers needed for cleanup event to beautify northern Illinois

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BDN file photo Hardworking volunteers collect trash around northern Illinois during a past Great American Cleanup. The initiative is hosted locally by Keep Northern Illinois Beautiful every year. This year's cleanup is set for April 27.

ROCKFORD - Cleaning and beautifying northern Illinois is what volunteers will do as part of the Great American Cleanup.

Keep Northern Illinois Beautiful is hosting the clean up across the northern portion of the state from 9 a.m. - noon on April 27.

Beverly Broyles, Keep Northern Illinois Beautiful director of development and communications, said the organization has as many as 1,500 volunteers across the area cleaning that day. She said residents are encouraged to gather friends, family and co-workers to register online to participate in the event. By registering, groups will be able to obtain gloves, safety vest, pickers and yellow bags at designated locations. Groups can choose their own area to clean, or they can be assigned to a specific area.

There are eight supply sites in Rockford, along with Loves Park, New Milford and the City of Belvidere. Local Winnebago County sites include Rockton's Village Green Park, 100 E. Chapel St., Roscoe's Public Works Building, 5402 Swanson Road, and the South Beloit Fire Station, 429 Gardner St. At the South Beloit site, volunteers will be treated to lunch after the cleanup.

All volunteers must be registered, and all ages are welcome. Broyles said the organization is attempting to get as many youth on board as possible.

"Event partners, such as Keep Northern Illinois Beautiful, execute nationwide Great American Cleanup programs designed to end littering, improve recycling and beautify our communities," Broyles said.

Team leaders or individuals can pick up supplies from 8-9 a.m. before the cleaning takes place from 9 a.m. to noon on April 27.

Broyles is encouraging neighborhoods to host events after the cleanup to increase the sense of community.

During this event, bright bags filled to about 15-20 pounds may be left on the curbside - but at least 15 feet from an intersection - for later pickup by cooperating trash haulers on Sunday.

The deadline to register is Monday. For more information or to register, go to knib.org, call 815-637-1343 or email roxanne@knib.org.

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