SACRAMENTO — Thousands of Californians took part in more than 600 “Spring into Action” Clean California Community Days events throughout the state during an 11-day period to clean up roadways, local streets and public spaces.
The series of events from March 17-27 were part of the Clean California initiative, Governor Gavin Newsom’s $1.2 billion, multiyear cleanup effort led by Caltrans to remove trash, create thousands of jobs and engage communities to transform public spaces.
“Clean California is empowering communities and restoring pride in our shared spaces up and down the state, and I thank the thousands of Californians who banded together for the Community Days events to beautify and transform their neighborhoods,” said Governor Newsom. “By making a difference at the local level, we are helping create a cleaner, more beautiful California for all.”
Clean California Community Days included:
- Hundreds of local events including: 58 tree planting/gardening events with 363 trees planted; 265 community trash collection events; 202 public community cleanups; 39 educational and entertainment events; and six temporary public art installations.
- 1.64 million pounds of trash collected during the 11-day period – five times the weight of the Statue of Liberty.
- More than 10,500 volunteers participated in community beautification efforts.
“The overwhelming response and participation from Californians throughout the state to transform community spaces demonstrates the power of Clean California,” said Caltrans Director Tony Tavares. “With the support of Governor Newsom and the commitment of our communities, we are reducing litter and making lasting positive change.”
“Californians are looking for ways to engage in their communities to green and beautify neighborhoods, and Clean California is a powerful way for them to take action,” said California Chief Service Officer Josh Fryday.
Clean California will continue to engage communities and raise awareness on the negative impact litter has on natural resources, waterways, public safety and public health, driving a cultural shift of shared responsibility and instilling community pride for the cleanliness of our roadways and public spaces. The recently launched “Zero Litter is the Goal” campaign focuses on volunteerism, community activation and grassroots partnerships to maintain the positive momentum of Clean California Community Days.
To encourage local-level engagement, Caltrans is also developing a program in which communities throughout the state can earn a special Clean California designation by meeting criteria centered around preventing and cleaning up litter, promoting recycling, and greening or beautifying neighborhoods.
To support communities with tools and resources, Caltrans will be providing downloadable public education materials on topics such as litter prevention, volunteer recruitment, and K-12 materials. Additionally, members of the community are encouraged to continue to organize their own cleanup events and can get started by visiting CleanCA.com.
Since launching Clean California in July 2021, Caltrans and local partners have removed 1.45 million cubic yards of litter from state highways – the equivalent of more than 24,400 tons or enough trash to fill the Rose Bowl over 3½ times. Caltrans has hired more than 850 team members as part of Clean California. Clean California grants have funded 231 projects to revitalize and beautify underserved communities, some of which are already complete and now sources of community pride. In February, Governor Newsom announced a new round of $100 million in grants for local beautification projects.