How Operation Green Team is Making Huntsville a Greener and Cleaner City
Huntsville is a city that prides itself on its innovation, technology, and quality of life. But it also cares about its environment and its appearance. That’s why the city has a dedicated volunteer and staff team working tirelessly to keep Huntsville beautiful and sustainable.
The team is called Operation Green Team, and it is part of the city’s Landscape Management department. Operation Green Team was established in 1977 as a Keep America Beautiful affiliate. Since then, it has been involved in various litter prevention initiatives, waste reduction and recycling programs, landscape enhancements, and environmental education and awareness programs.
One of the most visible aspects of Operation Green Team’s work is its annual Spring Plant & Cleanup Supply Giveaway, which takes place every April as part of Earth Month. The event allows residents to drive through and pick up free tomato and cucumber plants and various cleanup supplies such as trash bags, gloves, litter grabbers, and safety vests. The goal is to encourage residents to beautify their properties and neighborhoods and participate in community cleanup events across the city.
Another popular program that Operation Green Team offers is Household Hazardous Waste Collection Day, which happens twice a year in March and October. This program allows residents to safely dispose of items not accepted by regular curbside collection, such as old paint cans, computers, televisions, car batteries, used motor oil, pool chemicals, and more. Properly disposing of these items prevents them from ending up in landfills or waterways, which can harm the environment and public health.
Operation Green Team also manages two natural areas that provide recreational and educational opportunities for residents and visitors: the J.D. & Annie S. Hays Nature Preserve and the Goldsmith-Schiffman Wildlife Sanctuary. These areas offer miles of trails for hiking, biking, and horseback riding, as well as picnic areas, playgrounds, fishing ponds, and wildlife viewing platforms. Operation Green Team also hosts various events and programs at these locations throughout the year, such as nature camps for kids, bird walks, plant sales, art classes, and more.
In addition to these programs and events, Operation Green Team also supports the Huntsville Beautification Board, which recognizes businesses and organizations that make an outstanding effort to improve their landscaping and curb appeal. The board accepts nominations for its annual awards every spring and judges the properties based on design, maintenance, color, and variety criteria.
Operation Green Team relies on the support of volunteers and donors to carry out its mission. The Operation Green Team Foundation is a non-profit organization that helps fund the team’s activities and projects. Anyone can donate online or by mail to support Operation Green Team’s efforts to keep Huntsville a beautiful place to live.
If you want to learn more about Operation Green Team or get involved as a volunteer or sponsor, visit their website at www.huntsvilleal.gov/environment/green-team/ or contact them at 256-532-5326 or Green.Team@huntsvilleal.gov.