George Stilphen, the executive director of Keep Winston-Salem Beautiful and the coordinator of the Forsyth County Big Sweep, this week received an outstanding community involvement award from N.C. Big Sweep to recognize the record number of volunteers who participated in the 2009 Big Sweep.
The 4,086 volunteers in Forsyth County who participated in the 2009 fall North Carolina Big Sweep is the most Big Sweep volunteers any county has ever had. The previous record, also set by Forsyth County, was 3,817 volunteers in 2007.
"George does a phenomenal job getting the community involved in Big Sweep," said Judy Bolin, the president of N.C. Big Sweep. "He continually leads the way for other county coordinators. I’m hoping 2011 will be another record-breaking year."
Big Sweep and other litter clean-up campaigns are important, because litter can last hundreds of years in our environment. Litter can hurt a local economy. Businesses refuse to locate to an area if it is too trashy. Tourists won’t linger in trashy areas, reducing the money they might spend, and they won’t return with their friends.
Litter is also a health hazard when it contaminates waterways as it decomposes. It’s deadly to wildlife that eat or become entangled in litter.
Keep Winston-Salem Beautiful is an affiliate of Keep America Beautiful that initiates, plans, and coordinates programs to control litter and beautify Winston-Salem. Annual events include Big Sweep, the Great Winston-Salem Clean-up, and Community Roots Day. Keep Winston-Salem Beautiful also oversees such programs as Adopt-a-Street, Adopt-a-Park and Adopt-a-Flower Bed. N.C.
Big Sweep was founded in 1987 as Beach Sweep, a coastal cleanup with 1,000 volunteers. That cleanup expanded inland and was renamed in 1989 to become North Carolina Big Sweep, the nation’s first statewide waterway cleanup. During its 24-year history, more than 300,000 volunteers have retrieved more than 10 million pounds of debris. Find out more about Big Sweep.
Learn more or volunteer for a KWSB program.