The 2011 Great American Cleanup of South Carolina (GACSC) kicked off Saturday at a community makeover event of the Harlem Blue Pond area in Bishopville. At this year’s kickoff, volunteers, city workers and law enforcement partnered with PalmettoPride on a neighborhood cleanup and dedication of a community garden. This event was part of a larger community improvement project in Bishopville that includes razing derelict housing and improving quality of life for the neighborhood residents.

More than 40 volunteers picked up 7.54 tons of trash. PalmettoPride’s staff worked on a beautification spot in the new neighborhood community garden. After a volunteer appreciation lunch, Mayor Boyd dedicated the community garden in Levy Park. to the neighborhood. The city will work with the neighborhood to maintain the garden.

Plants and supplies for the community garden were donated by City Nursery Farm, Inc. and PalmettoPride.

PalmettoPride is the parent company to Keep South Carolina Beautiful (KSCB), the state affiliate of Keep America Beautiful, and administers the GACSC. Every March, one event serves as the state kickoff of the three-month cleanup. This year, KSCB is focusing on the month of April for statewide cleanup events to coincide with the month-long Zero Tolerance for Litter enforcement campaign and Earth Day.

The GACSC is a statewide cleanup and community greening event that takes place every year from March through May. Volunteer groups around the state work with local Keep America Beautiful affiliates or organize their own community event that involves cleaning up litter and beautification events. Last year, 28,640 volunteers removed 3,047,537 pounds of trash and recyclables.

For information on the GACSC, please contact Sarah Lyles at 803-758-6034.