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.

KAB of Anderson County (SC)

Many people in Anderson County are concerned about the amount of litter on our roads and parks. The Anderson Co. Solid Waste Dept. and Keep America Beautiful of Anderson County are partnering to help improve the litter levels. Adopt-a-Spot is a program which allows citizens to “adopt” a stretch of county roadway and promise to pick up litter on that section a minimum of four times a year. The Solid Waste Dept. will provide safety vests, gloves, pick up sticks, and trash bags as well as provide guidance and training. On Sept. 4, 2014, citizens in Williamston were taking part in a clean-up effort at the Spring Water Park during the Farmers Market opening. Jeffrey Knight of Pelzer, Jean Taylor of Williamston, her grandson Todd Taylor and her sister Joan Black of Williamston took time to pick up litter around the park. A county-wide litter eradication event is planned for October 18, and is called “The Great Anderson County Clean-Up.”

Photo Left to right: Jeffrey Knight of Pelzer, Joan Black of Williamston, Jean Taylor of Williamston, and Todd Taylor, student at Palmetto High School collecting litter in Williamston’s Springwater Park on Sept 4, 2015.

Keep Philadelphia Beautiful, Philadelphia, PA

Philadelphia’s waterfront (Penn’s Landing) is experiencing a renaissance – from development plans never closer to being realized, to the amazing pop-up Spruce Street Harbor Park (http://bit.ly/1jmWDuz) and the new Fringe Arts headquarters and performance space (www.fringearts.com). That is why Keep Philadelphia Beautiful was so proud to team up with the Delaware River Waterfront Corporation (www.delawareriverwaterfront.com) to implement Keep America Beautiful’s Cigarette Litter Prevention Program right in the heart of Penn’s Landing.

Together, Keep Philadelphia Beautiful and the Delaware River Waterfront Corporation ahve installed thirty new cigarette trash receptacles along the Waterfront, and will be embarking on outreach and education focused on the environmental damage caused by cigarette litter. We’re already seeing the impact, too!

Check out pictures of our new receptacles here (http://on.fb.me/1tyZAgT) and read all about the KAB Cigarette Litter Prevention program here (www.preventcigarettelitter.org). And the next time you’re in Philly, go visit the waterfront! We promise you’ll fall in love with it, and be as passionate as we are about keeping it beautiful!

Keep Genesee County Beautiful, Flint, MI

Keep Genesee County Beautiful’s volunteer activity is attracting even more volunteers. Each day as they continue their painting and improvements in Sarginson Park, the Adopt a Park sponsors from West Flint Community Watch are being approached by neighborhood residents who want to join in and help complete the process.

Mary Severn, who co-chairs the Sarginson Park adoption team, was approached today while buying coffee and donuts for the hard-working volunteers in the park. A gentleman in line behind her asked a few questions and decided he wanted to volunteer as well. Whenever there are even two or three people interested in heading over to do some painting, Mary is willing to get them started with supplies and little direction. Scraping and painting begin at Delaware and Longway parks on September 13-14. Here’s to the volunteer spirit!

Keep Genesee County Beautiful, Michigan

Thanks to our KAB/Lowe’s Community Improvement Grant Keep Genesee County Beautiful continues to work with volunteers in its Adopt a Park program to prep and paint aged playground equipment, pavilions and benches. The local Lowe’s team came out again Saturday for a second Prep and Painting Training session at Mott Park. Tracy from Lowe’s Flint Township store displays the paint color palette being used while discussing how to prepare metal for effective paint coverage.

Fifteen volunteers were present for the training and then continued to work tirelessly on scraping and painting the entire playground area. The next step will be to measure, cut, drill and install new wood for benches and picnic tables with more help from the Lowe’s team.

Keep Genesee County Beautiful, Flint, Michigan

The scraping and prepping is complete and painting has begun at Sarginson Park. Devin Shroeder from the Lowe’s store in Burton, Michigan  stopped by to answer questions and encourage the volunteers from the West Flint Community Watch as they started the multi-day painting process. Just a week earlier, 18 community volunteers came out to finish scraping and prepping the park’s pavilion, benches, safety rails and playground equipment. This Saturday, the local Lowe’s team will conduct its second Scrape, Prep and Paint Training session at Mott Park where volunteers will spend the day applying what they learn.