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New director, same cleanups for Keep Hall Beautiful
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Shanda Sexton is the new executive director of Keep Hall Beautiful and is currently organizing volunteers for the 2018 Great American Cleanup. - photo by Scott Rogers

Keep Hall Beautiful wants your help to keep Hall beautiful through five community cleanup events in April.

As part of the 20th anniversary of Keep America Beautiful’s Great American Cleanup, Keep Hall Beautiful has organized five cleanups from Thursday, April 5, to April 25, according to a Wednesday, April 4, announcement.

The Hall County group is one of 600 Keep America Beautiful affiliates in the nation with a mission to clean shorelines and waterways, remove litter and encourage recycling, according to the announcement.

In 2017, Keep Hall Beautiful removed 22 tons of garbage during the annual April cleanup event.

It’s the first cleanup day for Shanda Sexton, the new executive director of Keep Hall Beautiful. Sexton was officially hired in February and previously worked for Hall County Parks and Leisure.

Sexton had been the treasurer of Keep Hall Beautiful for several years and stepped into the director role on an interim basis in August 2017 when the previous executive director, Kelly Norman, left the state. After a search for a new director, Sexton herself took the job.

“I’ve always had a passion about being environmentally friendly,” Sexton told The Times in February soon after she moved into her new role. “I have small children of my own, and I want to ensure and teach them how to be able to live a healthy lifestyle.”

She got her start with Keep Hall Beautiful as a volunteer involved in the Spring Chicken Festival. From there, she learned she “really loved the organization and what it stands for.”

As the new leader, Sexton said she wants to offer more services to the county and the public for recycling and other services. She also hopes to get back into the school systems in the county to offer educational programs around recycling and the environment to students.

For this year’s cleanup event, Keep Hall Beautiful is aiming to encourage local volunteers to clean up their own communities as part of the national Great American Cleanup theme, complete with a hashtag: #cleanYOURblock.

The intent is to get people invested in regular neighborhood cleanups, according to the Wednesday announcement, so that litter control isn’t concentrated on national days of action but instead part of everyday neighborhood life.

Beginning Thursday, Keep Hall Beautiful will sweep through the county for cleanup events. Details will be set closer to the events on the group’s Facebook page. There are five events set for April:

  • Thursday, April 5, North Avenue and Hillcrest Avenue area near the Gainesville square

  • April 14, Flat Creek Road near the garbage trap

  • April 14, Flowery Branch train depot

  • April 14, Oakwood City Park

  • April 25, Gainesville square

The final cleanup in Gainesville is a partnership between Keep Hall Beautiful, Main Street Gainesville and Georgia Cities Week. It’s set for 9 a.m. to noon on April 25, according to Sexton.

Regional events