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A "Clean and Green" challenge will be held in conjunction with the the 10th annual "Go Green in the City" celebration in April.

The new, countywide event will be hosted by York XL, Downtown Inc and Lincoln Charter School from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, April 21, according to the news release.

More: York City goes green for Earth Day

The challenge will pit teams of 10 participants against each other as they compete to photograph, tag and pick up the most trash. Each participant will download and install the Litterati app, available at www.litterati.org. This app will allow the participants to upload and tag their photos, which will appear on a public map at www.litterati.org, according to the release.

“We hope to capture meaningful data to pinpoint areas most affected by litter and create data-based strategies to change people’s behavior toward the disposal of trash,” York XL founder Sal Galdamez said in the release.

More: EDITORIAL: Healthy Yorkers need healthy environment

Prizes will be given out to individual and team winners. 

Galdamez said he was inspired to create the challenge after listening to a TED Talk given by Litterati founder Jeff Kirschner, who invented the app not only to encourage communities to clean up litter but to collect data while doing so.

However, Galdamez said he realized that it would be far more effective to create groups to go out into the community, pick up the litter and document it with their cell phones.

For Galdamez, it's a way for citizens to become more actively involved in taking care of their communities without relying on a "top-down" approach from city government.

"Here's a problem, and we're going to solve it," he said. 

Galdamez approached Downtown Inc with his idea more than a month ago, and a member suggested they turn it into a team competition. From there, the idea took off, Galdamez said, and he's hoping to have at least 100 people participate in the event.

Galdamez spoke with Kirschner about the event and was told that, nationally, the maximum number of people who have participated in a Litterati-inspired cleanup is 50. If York County reaches its goal, it will break that record, Galdamez said. 

After the challenge, the raw data will be provided by Litterati  to York College, where it will be analyzed for a variety of uses, such as determining where recycling bins should be added or moved in the city, he said.

Students at Lincoln Charter School  have been invited to participate for the inaugural challenge as part of their weeklong "green" activities leading up to the annual city street fair.

“We’re excited to be an inaugural partner for this project. It’s a great next step to activities our students already do on a regular basis, like cleaning up daily the neighborhood around our school, and a good fit for other green activities,” Anne Clark, director of community outreach at Lincoln Charter School, said in the release.

Clark said that each grade will comprise a team, with kindergartners tackling the school and playground and fourth- and fifth-graders venturing out to the streets, although they won't go further than Hope Street. The students won't be participating during the "Go Green" event; rather, they will collect litter all week, she said.

Clark said Lincoln students have unofficially participated in the event each year by cleaning up litter. However, she said she is glad for the opportunity to partner with other local organizations to spread the message about the need to clean areas in the city.

"We need to send the message that kids go to school here," Clark said.

This year, "Go Green in the City" will feature more than 50 vendors, live music, live animals, locally sourced food, children's activities, interactive art and more, according to the release.

The challenge is sponsored by McAllister and Myers Real Estate Services, White Rose Settlement Services and the York Revolution. "Go Green in the City" is sponsored by the White Rose Credit Union and will be held on Beaver Street and surrounding areas in downtown York, according to the news release.

Prospective participants may sign up for the challenge at www.yorkxl.com. 

Anyone interested in sponsoring the challenge may contact York XL at yorkxl2017@gmail.com.

 

 

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