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Cleanup focuses on neighborhood pride

LAWRENCEVILLE - More than 300 volunteers have already signed up for Saturday's Great Neighborhood Cleanup, the first time the focus for such an event has been on neighborhood pride.

Connie Wiggins, the director of Gwinnett Clean and Beautiful, said the group has participated in the Great American Cleanup for a decade, but it wanted to make this weekend's events more local.

Two projects - on Mitchell Street in Norcross and Oakdale Road in Lawrenceville - will be held from 9 a.m. to noon.

At the Mitchell Street site, volunteers will pick up litter, remove graffiti and landscape to beautify the area and control access to fences that are often tagged, Wiggins said. Volunteers on Oakdale Road will pick up trash and help stencil storm drains.

Wiggins said the stenciled messages will remind people not to throw cigarette butts and other garbage down the drains.

"It harms fish and critters in the streams, it hurts our water quality," she said. "We're taking preventive measures."

Wiggins said she hopes people who participate use the projects to galvanize them to care for their neighborhoods and communities.

"We don't want it to be a one-day event," she said. "They're activities we hope people can continue throughout the year."

To sign up for the cleanups or for more information, see www.gwinnettcb.org.

Participants must be at least 12 years old.