Arlingtonians for a Clean Environment (ACE) was founded in 1978 by the Arlington County Department of Public Works as a Clean Community member of Keep America Beautiful. During the 1980s, ACE started to address environmental issues beyond litter and began focusing its efforts on recycling. During the 1990’s, ACE disaffiliated from Keep America Beautiful but continued to focus on litter and worked comfortably with the local business community.
Today, ACE remains a volunteer organization focusing on local environmental issues including green living, litter, and invasive plants, with additional programs in the areas of watershed resources and schoolyard education. Find ACE volunteer opportunities or support ACE.
ACE Honors and Accomplishments
ACE has received numerous awards and accolades, including:
- the Energy Masters program was awarded the Best Affordable Housing Energy Conservation Effort by the Virginia Governors Housing Conference (2016)
- the Energy Masters program was awarded third place in the Low-Income category for 2016 Virginia Energy Efficiency Leadership award
- selection for the Combined Federal Campaign of the National Capital Area
- recognition as one of the best small charities in the greater Washington area by the DC Catalogue for Philanthropy (2007-2008 and 2011-2012)
- certification as a community wildlife habitat by the National Wildlife Federation
- the AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC) 2005 Sponsor Innovation Award
- the 2002 Walter L. Mess award from the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority
- and the 1998 Virginia Environmental Stewardship award.
ACE is credited with launching Arlington’s Green Living Challenge program in 2007 with 25 fun and easy ways to make Arlington County cleaner and greener. The program challenges residents to examine their homes and lifestyles to consider greening them with the ultimate objective of making Arlington a healthier, more sustainable community. The competition has also inspired others. With inspiration from ACE’s program, the Virginia Municipal League has created Go Green Virginia, a competition for member municipalities.