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The E.L.K. Initiative

The E.L.K. Initiative believes in taking action to better our community.  Please join us by supporting our efforts to make a measurable difference in Kannapolis or wherever you live and play.  Our namesake is an acronym to eliminate litter in Kannapolis.  We pick up and properly disposing of litter and look forward to expanding community cleanliness efforts with education, prevention, and other community improvement endeavors.  You can join us at our monthly (during the spring and fall) E.L.K. events or take initiative by picking up litter in a place of need.  Please take before and after pictures and submit them to E.L.K. for public viewing.

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The Fall season starts in September 2024. Stay tuned...

We take July and August off and will resume in September.

Please note:  All volunteers must sign a waiver.  Volunteers under 18 years old must be accompanied by a parent/guardian who must sign waiver for the minor. If you are not able to sign a waiver beforehand, we have blank waivers at every event.

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Come Prepared

When you volunteer with Elk you are volunteering two hours of your time.  Elk, through partnerships with the City of Kannapolis and NCDOT, will provide you with a safety vest, a pair of gloves, bags, and litter pick up tool for the event.  We will also supply light refreshments after clean up.  You can prepare by coming hydrated, wearing appropriate clothes, and sunscreen and/or protective hat.  Please keep in mind you will be walking in the grass, so old tennis shoes with high socks or boots are recommended.  Some volunteers use insect repellent spray.  Please dress in comfortable clothes that you do not mind getting dirty.

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Fellow K-town citizens

Here at E.L.K. Initiative, we are driven by a single goal; to do our part to care for this area we call home.  We strive to keep property values high and taxes low, leave a legacy for future generations, and maintain an environment that refreshes the soul.  You can pick up litter on your own near you or you can join us. 

If you would like to combat litter on your own you can start with a small investment into a safety vest, gloves, and a litter pick up tool.  It is best to have a partner or small group.  Choose your area of clean up wisely.  Be mindful of traffic and weather conditions.  Do not over do it.  Safety first.

You can email us at for more info.

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Our Projects

The Focus of Our Efforts

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West 8th St

We adopted West 8th street through the Kannapolis adopt-a-street program and clean it quarterly.

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Education & Outreach

We plan volunteer group litter pick up events in the months of March through June and September through December.  Our first priority is to maintain our adopted street but we also visit and clean problem streets.  In addition, we work to educate regarding the city of Kannapolis' adopt-a-street program and the NCDOT's adopt-a-highway program and litter sweep campaigns.  Our hope is to have every street and highway in Kannapolis adopted, so that we can shift gears to focus on prevention.

Interested in joining our cause?

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Partner Against Litter

Your business or church can host an event by announcing the volunteer opportunity to members, employees, and clients.  Elk volunteers will partner in picking up litter near your church or business with your group, arrange for supplies to be provided, and schedule collected litter to be removed.  Volunteers can meet in your parking lot to receive supplies for the day.

Your neighborhood or street can also be a P.A.L.  With your neighbors involvement Elk will partner as described above.  Please keep in mind that a central meeting place is needed to receive supplies and for volunteers to park.

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Bringing Change

Fundraising Opportunities

We work with the City of Kannapolis and the NC DOT to provide safety vests, litter pickup tools, bags, and gloves for each event. Elk provides light refreshments for volunteers after our group litter pick up. We hope to raise funds for refreshments (such as: water, Gatorade, Little Debbie Snacks, and chips). Sponsors should keep in mind there are about thirty volunteers each month. We also hope to raise funds for more litter pickup tools as the City of Kannapolis manages the tools for the entire Adopt-a-Street program.

Volunteer Opportunities

We have monthly group events in the fall and spring.  Each event is two hours and supplies are provided.  We would love to help empower our volunteers and community to go beyond the group events.  We encourage our volunteers to invest in their own supplies so that they can continue to pick up litter in areas of need throughout the month.  Volunteers can also help by finding businesses and/or churches and/or communities to host events or become a P.A.L.


Litter is a big problem that needs a big response.  Fortunately, there are programs already in place.  You can familiarize yourself with the opportunities available through the Adopt-a-Street program and the litter sweeps through the NCDOT.  Then you can educate your neighbors and initiate litter clean up where you live, work, worship, and play.

Home: What We Do
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The E.L.K. Initiative began on Saturday, Feb 13, 2021.  Twelve volunteers celebrated their love of the land through cold and rain.

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"Initiative is doing the right thing without being told."

Victor Hugo

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Ways We Help

The Focus of Our Efforts


Kannapolis Adopt-a-Street Program

The City of Kannapolis

If you are interested in adopting-a-street please contact the city of Kannapolis at 704-920-4444.


NCDOT Litter Sweep

Nicole Austin

The NCDOT has both a spring and fall litter sweep.  Nicole is the state's point of contact.  If you are interested in participating in a litter sweep, please contact Nicole at 704-983-4360 or


Schedule Events

Non-physical volunteer opportunity

Elk is always looking for schools, churches, or businesses to host events.  If you would like to get involved but are not interested in actual litter pick-up, you can help Elk find hosts for our events.

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Contact E.L.K. Initiative

Thanks for submitting!

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