In 2016, Trash Free Maryland was awarded funding to help address urban litter issues within the City of Baltimore. This funding has supported myriad initiatives, including research, the formation of our Trash Free Baltimore Collaborative, and more recently gave rise to a new idea centered on bringing together unique partners to broaden the conversation on litter.
We specifically saw the potential to partner with local breweries, who not only relied on clean waterways for their business model, but who served as community hubs and were forward-thinking about their local and global impacts on communities and the environment. We also wanted more ways to engage with constituents on the ground, so we could educate and empower people to think differently about prevention and their civic opportunities to drive lasting change.
Our goals for the initiative were:
- Host a large-scale event that makes a visible dent in litter city-wide, and connects residents to Trash Free Maryland’s mission.
- Gather metrics to inform and support ongoing advocacy efforts.
- Deepen relationships with non-profit and for profit partners through a unique event that can grow overtime.
- Broaden our network of volunteers and advocates, through collaboration with well regarded businesses in Baltimore.
- Improve engagement with the “Trash Free Baltimore” effort by using an event as an education and impact platform.
This became “Cheers to Clean Water,” with the inaugural event kicking off September 8, 2018.
Throughout the spring and early summer, Trash Free Maryland recruited non-profit and brewery partners, with an intent to galvanize support among a variety of stakeholders for cleaning up Baltimore City in a way that drives long-term litter prevention. With interest and excitement about this type of partnership growing within the local brewing community, we endeavored to team up with other leaders within the craft beer and clean water spheres: the Brewers Association of Maryland and Blue Water Baltimore. Outreach to Baltimore breweries brought Monument City Brewing Company, Waverly Brewing Company, UNION Craft Brewing, Charm City Meadworks, The Brewer’s Art, Oliver Brewing Company, Checkerspot Brewing Company and Peabody Heights Brewery, LLC on board to come together in a unique collaboration. The event is also supported by Baltimore City’s Department of Public Works and the Baltimore Community ToolBank.
We hope to grow this event both within and beyond Baltimore, to be a lasting collaboration that drives awareness, action and advocacy throughout Maryland. Cheers!
For volunteers, site maps can be found here.
Stay tuned for details on the results from the 2018 cleanup! If you are a Maryland brewery who wants to learn more or discuss partnership, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.