NC Marine Debris Symposium, Sneads Ferry, NC

Bronwen Evans, Keep America Beautiful’s director of litter programs, presented at the Second Annual NC Marine Debris Symposium in Sneads Ferry, N.C., last week.

Lisa Rider of Keep Onslow Beautiful and her team did an incredible job organizing the event which included marine debris issues, waste reduction, recycling, litter prevention, clean marinas, and green tourism. Evans’ Cigarette Litter Prevention Program session was very well-received and generated a lot of interest: how to keep cigarette butts off the beach is a hot topic!

Keep America Beautiful staff participated in a couple of cleanups at beautiful Topsail Beach (above), networked with a great group of people, and worked to make the whole event “zero waste.”

Keep Simpson County Beautiful, Mendenhall, MS

McLemore Community Garden – Keep Simpson County Beautiful (KSCB) will establish three community gardens in Braxton, Magee, and Mendenhall, Mississippi. These gardens will be established to bring together neighborhoods for the purpose of sharing fruits and vegetables. KSCB is utilizing the expertise of the Mississippi State Extension Service for advice on plantings and nutrition.
KSCB community gardens

KAB of Anderson County SC

KAB of Anderson County (SC) is looking into a new outreach. There has been a noticeable increase in litter on the county’s horse riding trails. KAB will be encouraging riders to pick up litter on sections of riding trails. This effort will increase the perception that riders should “pack it out if you pack it in.”

Anderson County has the second highest number of horses in the state and is home to many recreational riders. Anderson County horse trails are a beautiful and relaxing part of our area and should be appreciated as the treasure they are! Two riders, Will Smith and Ed Sheriff, discussed their concerns with KAB members and Solid Waste Dept department staff and were picking up litter at Fants Grove on Sept. 22.

Byrd’s Adventure Center, Mulberry River, Arkansas

Thousands of Arkansans have already volunteered to pick up litter along the state’s roadways and waterways during Keep Arkansas Beautiful’s “Great Arkansas Cleanup”. The annual Arkansas fall litter-pickup campaign, the Great Arkansas Cleanup, runs from Sept. 6 through Oct. 31 this year.

Byrd’s Adventure Center, near Cass, hosted their own cleanup event, on Saturday, September 13. Keep Arkansas Beautiful was key in helping organize and publicize the effort, as well as furnishing volunteers with cleanup materials and supplies, such as trash bags, gloves, and safety vests. Organizers felt the need for a fall river cleanup that would complement the Great American Cleanup spring river cleanup organized by Brad Wimberly of Turner Bend.

Event organizers, Courtney King of Byrd’s Adventure Center, Jeff Stepp, of Clarksville Recycling and Sustainability, and Jacob Gould, of GreenSource Recycling noted that nearly 100 volunteers registered to pick up trash along the Mulberry River banks and local highways. Volunteers drove from as far as Russellville and Fayetteville to take part in this year’s cleanup. Group involvement was key to the success of this year’s event, especially with the help of The University of the Ozarks, Cass Job Corps, Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, U.S. Forest Service, Mulberry River Society, and Arkansas Stream Team. A very special thank you to the event host, Pamela Byrd Boulden owner of Byrd’s Adventure Center, for her continuous efforts to protect and preserve the Mulberry River Valley.

Volunteers were not only rewarded with the satisfaction of preserving our natural landscape, but were also rewarded for their efforts with a cookout, live music and door prizes. The food and beverages were all donated from local businesses and restaurants: Steve Outlaw, Ozark IGA, Belle Point Beverages, GreenSource, Ozark Natural Foods, Ozark Natural Breads,Pickle Haus, Hellious Hummus, Jammin Java, Sysco Foods, and Byrd’s Mulberry Riverfront Restaurant. The band Arkansauce from Fayetteville donated their time and talents to entertain the volunteers with their unique style and stringed instruments. Everyone left with a prize for participating, toys for the kids, river gear, and even a kayak was given away as the grand prize!

Event organizers and Byrd’s looks forward to many more fall cleanup events in the years to come. For information on how to find cleanups in your area, visit the Keep Arkansas Beautiful website.

Trash Statistics:
Total= 1,300lbs
Landfill garbage= 500lbs
Plastics= 250lbs
Aluminum= 350lbs
Tires= 8
Total Miles Cleaned= over 25 miles (Caltapa-Turners Bend)

KAB of Anderson County SC

Keep America Beautiful of Anderson County has been a sponsor of the Anderson Downtown Block Party each Thursday evening from 6 until 9 PM as part of the anti-litter, pro-recycling effort of the organization.  Board members have worked to share information with the general public during this event  which features a different band and genre of music each week.  Litter bags, magnets containing recycling information, and coloring books featuring recycling education are just a few of the items made available to the public. Children have been especially fond of the rubber bracelets with a KAB message and of the KAB stickers!  The event will continue through the first week of November.

Affiliates Join Together to Keep Arkansas River Beautiful

Keep America Beautiful affiliates in Arkansas and Oklahoma recently joined together to help keep the Arkansas River beautiful. Together they helped remove over 4 tons of litter from in and around the Arkansas River.

On September 6, Keep Arkansas Beautiful kicked off their annual fall Great Arkansas Cleanup with the third annual Great Arkansas River Cleanup. Eight Arkansas communities, including five local Keep America Beautiful affiliates (Keep Little Rock Beautiful, Keep North Little Rock Beautiful, Keep Ozark Beautiful, Pine Bluff/Jefferson Co. Clean & Beautiful, and Keep Van Buren Beautiful) joined together for one large day of action to help reduce litter in and around the Arkansas River. Keep Oklahoma Beautiful also joined their efforts this year by organizing four cleanup events in Oklahoma communities along the Arkansas River.

Final results are still being compiled, but preliminary results show:
Almost 250 volunteers served more than 750 hours to help keep the Arkansas River beautiful.
Produced a value of at least $16,000.
More than 4 tons of litter removed (more than 8,816 pounds removed—including 374 bags of trash, 38 tires, 2 refrigerators, and 1 toilet!)

The 2015 Great Arkansas Cleanup is scheduled for September 12, 2015. Keep Arkansas Beautiful hopes to recruit affiliates or communities in Colorado and Kansas for next year’s efforts, as well as increasing the number of cleanup events in Arkansas and Oklahoma!

For more information about the Great Arkansas Cleanup, please visit Keep Arkansas Beautiful’s website here: http://keeparkansasbeautiful.com/get-involved/great_arkansas_cleanup/

Keep Chicago Beautiful, Chicago, IL

Vicky Kleros, the principal of Manuel Perez Jr. Elementary School, believed that if she could create a space that was quiet, beautiful and special, her students would be better readers. So Ms. Kleros created a “Reading Garden” on school grounds. She was very successful. However, the funds to increase the scope and shape of the small garden were not available. But with a little help from Keep Chicago Beautiful, the school has increased the size of the garden and filled it with new native plants. The plants were supplied by KCB, but the students served as the gardeners and enjoyed every minute!

Keep Genesee County Beautiful, Flint, Michigan

Even on a Sunday with temperatures hovering just over 50 degrees, volunteers are hard at work improving the playground area in Longway Park. Local volunteers who include a city councilman, a local business owner, and several neighborhood residents, are all members of the Potter Longway Neighborhood Association which proudly participates in KGCB’s Adopt A Park program. Using funds from KGCB’s Lowe’s Community Improvement grant, playgrounds, benches and pavilions in parks throughout Flint are being painted, repaired and improved. If temperatures are too low for painting (50 degrees or lower) volunteers are still in the parks scraping, laying safety mulch, replacing wood on benches and bleachers, and whatever other tasks need to be done. Fall weather is unpredictable in Michigan, but what’s for certain is our volunteers are heating things up thanks to KAB and the Lowe’s Community Improvement program.