More than 600 Citizens Meet Challenge to Clean Downtown Atlanta for Earth Day

April 24,2012

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, EPA’s Region 4 Administrator Gwen Keyes Fleming and more than 600 citizens rolled up their sleeves together with Sustainable Atlanta and Central Atlanta Progress, to cleanup Downtown Atlanta in observance of the 43rd anniversary of Earth Day.

“Earth Day reminds us that we all need to play a part in making our environment more sustainable, and I am proud of our efforts today to highlight the work we are doing,” said Mayor Kasim Reed. “Today, we pause as environmental stewards, but we must work every single day to conserve our precious natural resources. Everyone can play a part by cleaning up a park, turning off lights and conserving water. I am grateful for our many dedicated partners who have made Atlanta a cleaner place for residents and visitors to enjoy.”

“On the first Earth Day in 1970, 20 million Americans stood up to demand better environmental safeguards, and vast improvements have been made since to reduce pollution in the air we breathe, the water we use and the communities we live in,” said EPA Region 4 Administrator Fleming. “We can all make a difference, and together we can make a really big difference.”

Individuals and teams from interested corporations, colleges, organizations and community groups were invited to register for the first Downtown Atlanta Earth Day Cleanup Challenge — along with federal, state and city agencies. Participants picked up litter and also tackled some of Atlanta’s in-town communities’ wish lists of beautification projects (tree planting, invasive species clearing, landscaping, etc.) Individuals and teams were also able to come up with their own cleanup or beautification projects.

Participants were recognized during a public rally immediately following the cleanup in the Centennial Park Pavilion this morning at a ceremony emceed by Ovie Mughelli of the Atlanta Falcons. The rally also featured performances from Marist High School students and included the announcement of the 2011 Southeast Presidential Youth Award Winner Andrew Day. The achievements of these young people embody EPA Region 4’s Earth Day 2012 theme, “No Act Too Small, No One Too Small to Act.”