Keep Oklahoma Beautiful, Oklahoma City, OK

Located in Edmond, Okla., St. Mary’s Episcopal School’s Beyond the Classroom program offers special morning and afternoon childcare in an effort to provide children with a safe, secure, “home away from home” atmosphere. Beyond the Classroom students (BTC) focused their Great American Cleanup (GAC) efforts on 60 acres of school grounds. The students worked to expand the nesting boxes trail for bluebirds, cut down invasive pears in the native grasses with easy-to-use tools provided by Troy-Bilt. They also installed two outdoor classrooms of stones that are sustainable, low maintenance and will last forever.

Students cleaned up ponds as the water levels dropped, trail litter clean ups each visit, monitored the nesting of birds at St. Mary’s and earned national recognition as Advanced Bird Sanctuary by National Wildfire Federation. Donna Mackiewicz is the Director of Beyond the Classroom at St. Mary’s Episcopal School and is constantly participating in Keep Oklahoma Beautiful’s programs. We appreciate everything she is doing to help students grow. Way to go BTC!

Keep Manatee Beautiful, Bradenton, FL

Keep Manatee Beautiful has partnered with the City of Bradenton and Manatee County Government to expand its Cigarette Litter Prevention Program. The program is designed to educate citizens about the environmental impacts of improper disposal of cigarette litter and to provide cigarette receptacles for proper disposal.

In May 2014, Keep Manatee Beautiful received Keep America Beautiful grants of $7,000 to initiate a Cigarette Litter Prevention Program to install 90 cigarette bins with at Bradenton’s Riverwalk and Main Street, Manatee Public Beach, Bayfront Park and Palma Sola Causeway.

The cigarette bin and portable ashtrays will be available to attendees at the numerous, annual events held at the City of Bradenton’s Riverwalk at Rossi Park and historic Old Main Street. At these events, we will get them directly into the hands of adult smokers through a one-on-one distribution to give them a way to properly dispose of cigarette butts and to inform them of the newly installed cigarette bins.

At Manatee County parks on Anna Maria Island and Palma Sola Causeway, older cigarette bins made of stainless steel will be replaced with a more durable style. The ash receptacle we have chosen is the Glaro 2401 Wall Mounted Indoor Outdoor Ashtray. Completely weatherproof, windproof and fireproof, this cigarette receptacle is made of solid 1/16 thick seamless aluminum and has a large capacity and is easy to empty because of a smartly-designed security locking system. Satin brass models cannot tarnish and, therefore, never need polishing. Permanent-mount and wall-mounted models are complete with all mounting hardware. They conceal odors and prevent the wind from blowing debris.

Before and after the installation, volunteers will conduct a cigarette butt scan of the areas surrounding specific installations to get a before/after count of the cigarette butt litter.

 

Keep Winston-Salem Beautiful (KWSB), N.C.

For the second year in a row the Great American Cleanup (GAC) was part of the Forsyth County Creek Week coordinated by the City’s Storm Water Department, other county municipalities, the Library, Cooperative Extension Service and many other groups including of course KWSB.

March 15-22 events were held each day including creek crawls, fishing demonstrations, movies, book readings, photo contests, educational activities leading up to a large cleanup on March 22. On that final day approximately 1,000 volunteers county wide removed over 16,000 lbs. of trash and recyclables from local waterways, streets, parks and schools. Volunteers were provided Cici’s pizza, Krispy Kreme doughnuts and Pepsi drinks. It was a VERY successful and fun week!

Keep Los Angeles Beautiful, CA

On May 15, more than 4,000 students, teachers and community volunteers gathered on Los Angeles’s Dockweiler State Beach to take part in the 21st annual Kids Ocean Day Adopt-A-Beach Cleanup Day. Throughout the entire school year, the Malibu Foundation for Environmental Education taught students about the impact litter has on the ocean, the shoreline, and marine life. Students ages 8-13 learned about the importance of a clean, healthy environment and the lesson culminated in a fun school-wide cleanup day!

The volunteers spent the morning picking up trash, paper, plastic and cigarette butts from the state beach. They also took part in a long-standing tradition of creating aerial artwork to spell out an environmental design or phrase. This year’s phrase, “Clean Me Up :)” was a text-message-like-design sent from the ocean to raise awareness about the severe marine litter problem. The message reminded local Los Angeles residents to clean up their trash and litter to beautify the beach and sustain the ocean.

The event was an excellent start to the beautiful summer season ahead. Sponsors included the Malibu Foundation for Environmental Education, the California Coastal Commission, the City of Los Angeles, Spectral Q and Keep Los Angeles Beautiful. The participating organizations plan to continue the cleanup day for many years to come because it is a great way to get young students engaged and excited about their environmental impact. Thank you Los Angeles Unified School District for keeping your city’s beaches and oceans beautiful!

Beyond the Classroom, St. Mary’s School, Edmond, OK

Students from St. Mary School’s before- and after-school program — Beyond the Classroom — explore and learn outside in the natural prairie grounds at every chance.

Located at the end of the cross timbers, the children have cleared trash and rubbish, completed litter pick-ups on the school grounds, recycled paper, added more nest boxes to the bluebird trail, added two stone classroom-seating areas, planted gardens, and built forts by clearing undergrowth of Eastern Red Cedars.

Trimming the branches, cutting invasive pears, and planting the gardens was a breeze with a grant provided by Troy-Bilt. Oklahoma Master Naturalists conducted a tool-safety and tree-pruning workshop for the kids and guided their use, as the tools were used to keep Oklahoma (and America) beautiful!

Keep Moore County Beautiful – Carthage, N.C.

On April 24th, 2014 Keep Moore County Beautiful celebrated Earth Day at the Pinehurst Elementary School’s “Earth Day Expo.” Executive Director, Chad Beane, had 500 kids participating in his interactive Recycling Game and was able to distribute recycling and anti-litter stickers and tattoos to the kids from our booth.

Dow Volunteers Help Transform a Playground with Keep Houston Beautiful

In March, 195 young professionals from Dow’s Propel to Excel learning and talent development program transformed a small playground at Gabriela Mistral Early Childhood Education Center in Houston, Texas, into a nature-based outdoor learning center. Community service is a key component of Propel to Excel, which introduces new manufacturing and engineering employees to the Dow culture. The project at Gabriela Mistral Early Childhood Education Center was the perfect way to engage participants in a valuable community project.

Dow volunteers painted a mural, planted trees, and built benches, tables, planters, as well as a puppet theatre. Educators at the school are using the new space to give students a hands-on approach to learning about nature. The event was conducted in partnership with Keep Houston Beautiful, as part of the Great American Cleanup.

As a part of the company’s Contributing to Community Success initiatives, Dow has been a sponsor of the Great American Cleanup since 2008. Dow sites across the U.S. have been collaborating with local organizations and volunteers in cleanup, recycling, beautification, and education events to improve their communities and create a more sustainable future.

“Propel to Excel was thrilled to partner with Gabriel Mistral and Keep America Beautiful to help improve the children’s learning environment,” said Paul Mefford, Dow global operations learning and talent development leader. “This project is one example of how Dow is living out its citizenship commitment, by improving our communities and leaving a positive impact for years to come.”

During the 2014 Great American Cleanup, more than 1,000 Dow employees and their families and friends are expected to volunteer at upwards of 60 beautification events across the county.

Watch this short video to see how the Dow volunteers transformed the playground in a just a few hours.

Keep Jonesborough Beautiful, Jonesborough, TN

Keep Jonesborough Beautiful decided for our first of many events to host a litter and e-waste collection event. Both events were very successful! The volunteers were amazing, the local resources were more than gracious, the event was enjoyable and we accomplished our goal of cleaning up our community. We collected more than 2,500 lbs. of e-waste and 185 lbs. of trash. That may not sound like a lot, but for our community its more than enough. Our goal was to inform the community and engage the community to take pride in where they live.