During the instructional planning stages, the teacher may wish to read About the Watershed: Instructional Framework, especially parts VI. Conservation, Restoration, and Stewardship of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed, and VII. Chesapeake Bay Watershed Issues and Trends: Alternatives and Consequences.
Understanding the Project
Many streets and other land sites are more litter-free now than they were 20 years ago. People have been conducting more cleanups, but areas remain that need to be cleaned. Cleanups remove litter from our land and dispose of it properly. Some litter should be put in the dump, and some should be recycled. This project description offers some suggestions for planning a safe, successful cleanup.
Choosing a Site
An outdoor cleanup usually is a big job, requiring lots of help. Some trashy areas or other polluted places can be dangerous. Make sure that any area the group chooses to work in is free of hazards and that you have appropriate plans to protect the health and safety of students before beginning the project. This is one type of project where you might be wise to work with an experienced, qualified organization.
If students decide to clean up a section of a road, contact the Virginia Department of Transportation "Adopt-a-Highway" program for assistance. If students have decided to clean up a specific spot, contact local city or county offices to inquire about "Adopt-a-Spot" programs. The group may find other local programs to work with, such as spring or beach cleanups.
If students will not be working with an established program, help them identify a site on the school grounds or in the community that needs to be cleaned up. Make a list of all potential sites. Consider the size of each site and how dirty each is. Also consider whether the site is convenient enough. If the students pick a site that has little trash, they may not notice much difference after the cleanup day. But this kind of site might be a good choice for cleaning up an area regularly, perhaps every month. If they pick a site that is too large, they may be frustrated by not having enough people or time to clean it up very well.