The Beautification Committee encourages gardening to include plants that are native to the Southeast Virginia region. Plants that are native to Hampton Roads have evolved in this specific area, are attractive and relatively easy to acquire and maintain, and offer various benefits to the local wildlife and environment. Our committee can share this information with York citizens, who are dedicated to protecting our beautiful County environment!
Learn how to restore biodiversity and ecosystem function with a Homegrown National Park.
Learn more about Team Up 2 Clean Up, Adopt-A-Spot, and more.
Chesapeake Bay License Plates
The Beautification Committee is a recipient of grant funds generated by the sale of "Friend of the Chesapeake" license plates. The Chesapeake Bay Restoration Fund receives funds for each plate sold or renewed, and provides applicants with opportunities to receive funds in the form of grants. Over $6 million have been awarded to date. Learn more about the license plates and how to purchase them.
Want some ideas on how you can recycle or repurpose over 200 household items? Check out this guide from Personal Creations, an online site specializing in one-of-a-kind personalized gifts. If you have any questions regarding local best practices, please contact the Waste Management/Recycling Facility at (757) 890-3780.
First, what is single-use plastic? It’s plastic that’s intended to be used only once before it’s thrown away. That includes products such as plastic grocery bags, straws and coffee stirrers, most food packaging, Styrofoam to-go containers and much, much more.
When we use single-use plastic products, we’re making a bad problem even worse.
- Did you know that in the next ten years, the plastic in our oceans is expected to triple?
- Did you know that if we don’t change our behaviors NOW, in thirty years our oceans will have more plastic than fish?
- Did you know that right now, there are more microplastics in our waters than there are stars in the Milky Way?
- Did you know that a plastic bag or take-out container can be that harmful? It can. It is.
- Did you know that when you choose to refuse single-use products, you increase the chance that our planet can recover from plastic overuse? Let’s all do our part and, together, we can make a difference.
Challenge yourself to get drastic and refuse to use single-use plastic. Choose a reusable or recyclable product instead.
Clean Business Awards Program
The York County Clean Business Program recognizes County businesses that recycle, and set an example for other businesses as a good environmental steward. Exemplary environmental behavior may include, but is not limited to, keeping an attractive and litter-free storefront, participating in cleanup events with employees and the community, or providing education on native gardening, wildlife, or environmental protection. Once per quarter, the Beautification Committee selects three County businesses to receive the Clean Business award (one business from upper, middle, and lower county). The business receives a letter of thanks from the Beautification Committee and an award sign to display on their property for the quarter.
The York County Beautification Committee collects plastic bags and wraps to participate in the Recycling Challenge, hosted by The Trex Company. The Trex Company has hosted the Recycling Challenge since 2006, with the objective of educating public on the importance of plastic film recycling through school and community recycling programs. Participants collect plastic bags and film with the goal of collecting or exceeding 500 pounds of plastic in a 6-month period. If the goal is met the group is awarded an earth-friendly Trex bench, created from recycled plastic bags and film. This is an ongoing program, and donates the benches to local schools and public county areas.
Plastic bags can be delivered to the Tabb Library, the McReynold's Athletic Complex (MAC) main office, or the dropoff recycling center at 145 Goodwin Neck Road, Monday through Saturday, 7:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. When delivering plastic bags, please make sure they are contained in some way, such as a box or paper/plastic bag.
The following items are being collected (clean, dry and free of food and residue, please):
- Grocery bags
- Bread bags
- Case overwrap
- Dry cleaning bags
- Newspaper sleeves
- Ice bags
- Wood pellet bags (clean of all debris)
- Ziplock and other reclosable bags
- Produce bags
- Bubble wrap
- Salt bags
- Cereal bags
Hampton Roads Green Learning Guides
Green Learning is a free educational guide designed for third grade students. Written according to Virginia Standards of Learning (SOL) guidelines by a team of experts who work in the region’s public works and public utilities departments, this resource connects students to their environment by combining educational information with colorful maps, interesting facts, and interactive activities to teach concepts such as watershed education, pollution prevention, stormwater management, water conservation, and resource management.
An accompanying teacher’s guide has also been developed to enhance the use of Green Learning in the classroom. The teacher’s guide includes suggested resources and additional educational activities, and identifies the SOLs met by each section of Green Learning.
- Elementary School Green Learning Guide (2018) - Written to meet third-grade SOLs but plenty of fun for all elementary-aged students
- Third Grade Teacher’s Guide - Download for more engaging resources, hands-on activities, and fun science experiments
- Middle School Green Learning Guide (2012) - Written to meet sixth-grade SOLs but filled with fun for all middle and high school students
- Sixth Grade Teacher’s Guide - Includes discussion questions that will get your students thinking, interactive online tools, and fun experiments that bring science to life
Green Learning was created by askHRgreen.org, a public education and outreach program that encourages environmental stewardship among all residents here in southeastern Virginia. It is funded by the 17 local governments in Hampton Roads and administered through the Hampton Roads Planning District Commission (HRPDC). Your contacts in York County are listed below. Please feel free to use these individuals
as a resource (or even for a class presentation!) in the future:
Recycling & Beautification: Samantha McNeil
Stormwater Education: Joe Brogan
Fats, Oils, and Grease: Amy Zieman, Randy Estness
Water Awareness: Joe Brogan
We also wanted to let you know about an Environmental Education Mini Grant available to your classrooms. askHRgreen.org offers grants of up to $500 for environmentally-themed projects and may be used to fund a portion of or an entire project. All Hampton Roads school teachers (K-12) are eligible to apply. More information is available at: http://askhrgreen.org/grants/environmental-education-minigrant/.
The BayStar Homes program is sponsored by the Hampton Roads Planning District Commission, better known as askHRgreen.org. This regional organization recognizes homes who pledge to make a conscious effort to conserve and protect water in their homes. BayStar Homes will receive a flag to advertise their commitment to their community, and information from their specific locality.
Like BayStar Homes, the BayStar Business program recognizes businesses who make a similar pledge to protecting the water in their area. Water conservation techniques are adopted by these businesses, and they are provided with the tools to share their education with the business community.
Want to find out how the Williamsburg Area Transit Authority helps our community? Williamsburg Area Transit Authority (WATA) provides a transportation system to citizens and visitors of James City County, the City of Williamsburg, and the Bruton District of York County. WATA operates 8 fixed-routes and 3 specialty routes, including the Williamsburg Trolley, William & Mary Green Line, and Surry Line.