OKC Beautiful

On Saturday, October 25th the OKC Beautiful Teen Board held their fall Service Project made possible by a Lowe’s/KAB Community Improvement Grant. The goal of the project was to revitalize the school grounds of Britton Elementary school. The school is located on the Northwest side of Oklahoma City in a low-income, minority populated area. The school itself suffers from lack of funding and consequently received an “F” Student Performance Grade rating in 2013 based on their Standardized Test results. 100% of the students that attend this school are on the Federal Free/Reduced Lunch Program. Many of the students live in apartment complexes and the only green spaces they regularly interact with are the school grounds. Revitalizing the school grounds not only benefits the students, but impacts the surrounding community who then can be inspired to clean up their own yards. By providing a clean, beautiful and inviting space to the students we are showing them that their community cares about them.

The day of the project the teens cleared away dead plants and trees. They trimmed up existing shrubs and planted new, more sustainable plants such as Crape Myrtles, Vitex and Hollys. The teens also painted playground benches, picnic tables and playground equipment. Volunteers from the Britton PTA and students from the University of Oklahoma joined the teens in the clean-up effort. By the end of the day the school grounds were looking so much better! It is amazing how a little effort can make such a big difference.

Keep Philadelphia Beautiful, Philadelphia, PA

What a difference just a few hours and some amazing volunteers can make.

This past Saturday, Keep America Beautiful and Keep Philadelphia Beautiful, along with the City of Philadelphia, were proud to team up with Dow Chemical’s Propel to Excel training and talent development program to transform the Lonnie Young Recreation Center in the Germantown neighborhood of Northwest Philadelphia. In three short hours, 200 top Dow engineers helped revitalize a community hub that serves hundreds of Philadelphia’s children and families each year. Dow volunteers refreshed the outdoor fencing running the perimeter of Lonnie Young, painted multiple rooms throughout the Center, refurbished outdoor benches, planted new flower beds, and built additional shelving for the Center’s auditorium. Much of the paint used on Saturday was donated by Dow through the Community Paint Donation Program, another partnership with Keep America Beautiful.

Keep America Beautiful and Keep Philadelphia Beautiful work every day to create and sustain vibrant communities, and this past Saturday’s success is a perfect example of how we could not fulfill that mission without the commitment to good citizenship of partners like Dow. We encourage you to find out more about Dow’s Corporate Citizenship work (http://bit.ly/1rjxebx), and to visit Keep Philadelphia Beautiful (www.keepphiladelphiabeautiful.org) online to see how you get involved in helping to keep your community beautiful. We also hope you will take a moment to look through our pictures from Saturday’s big event (http://on.fb.me/1p1WheG), to see the impact we made.

Keep Islip Clean, Islip, New York

Our favorite event was the Earth Day Festival. KIC had a large tent with more than just volunteer sign-up and distribution of literature. We had Recycled T-Shirt tie-dying, Recycled Art Contest, Why We Do Recycle /Don’t Litter post-up board; Bean Bag Toss, Face Painting and a special visit from Spiderman! The tent was manned by KIC Junior Commissioners, who are a representatives from the different hamlets that make up the Town of Islip. The event was very special because this is KIC’s 25th Anniversary year and we were given a Town Proclamation on stage.

Dow volunteers plant 146 trees to create new forest at Chippewa Nature Center in Midland, MI

It’s not an easy task to plant a forest and save one all in a day’s work; however, a group of Dow volunteers made it look simple. As part of Dow’s 2014 Great American Cleanup, volunteers planted 146 trees to create the new forest at Chippewa Nature Center in Midland, MI, on May 14. The group was also busy saving an existing forest by removing garlic mustard seed, an exotic invasive species. In total, 14 different species of trees were planted by 30 volunteers.

The work put in by the volunteers will have a lasting effect on the local environment and the community will be able to enjoy it for years to come.

“The diverse trees planted will allow a place for birds and other wildlife to nest and eat,” said Tom Lenon, director of land and facilities at Chippewa Nature Center. “Plus, it will bring beauty to the region as the season change and the fall colors are in full bloom.”

Community outreach has been an essential element to Dow since its founding in 1897. The Great American Cleanup is a key initiative of Dow’s Contributing to Community Success objective as part of the company’s 2015 Sustainability Goals.

“Giving back is part of who we are at Dow,” said Mike Witt, global leader at Dow. “My team and I are always excited to volunteer, and projects like this allow us to have a lasting effect on our community that generations of people can enjoy.

The tree planting initiative is one of more than 60 Great American Cleanup events that Dow will host across the U.S. this year. A national sponsor of the Great American Cleanup since 2008, employees from Dow sites across the U.S. collaborate with local organizations and volunteers in cleanup, recycling, beautification and education initiatives to improve their communities through sustainable solutions for a cleaner and greener tomorrow.

Cedarville 4-H Club and Girl Scouts, Cedarville, AR

The Cedarville 4-H Club and Girl Scouts hosted “Keep Cedarville Beautiful”, a cleanup to engage and involve Cedarville’s youth in efforts to clear litter in their community while learning about environmental responsibility. Their team of 75 volunteers helped clean 20 miles of roadways and 10 acres of parks around Cedarville! They also cleaned and beautified trails and waterways in their community, planting 4 trees and 34 flowers! Way to go, Cedarville 4-H & Girl Scouts!

University of Central Arkansas – Conway, AR

The University of Central Arkansas (UCA) in Conway, Ark., hosted a “Donate! Don’t Dump!” donation drive with Goodwill Industries of Arkansas and Keep Arkansas Beautiful from April 24 through May 5.

Each of the 11 campus residence halls had donation bins in their lobbies, and one large trailer was in the university apartments’ parking lot. Overall, UCA students donated 6,750 pounds of goods to their local Goodwill store.

In addition to the Goodwill drive, they also collected foods to benefit local food banks. All donations collected at UCA will directly benefit the Conway community. Thank you to the University of Central Arkansas for eliminating waste from landfills!

Keep Philadelphia Beautiful

We spent our morning beautifying the Lawncrest Rec Center in the great Northeast section of Philadelphia with the Travis Manion Foundation and our friends from the City’s Managing Director’s Office, PhillyRising Division – planting, painting, cleaning and having fun with over 100 volunteers (who are now friends of course!). We repainted the front hallway of the Rec Center and the benches outside, planted new flowers and two dogwoods courtesy of our friends at Tree Philly, and laid stones around two memorial plaques that are a focal point for the Center.

None of this would have been possible without a generous paint donation from our friends at The Dow Chemical Company. We also had some awesome Dow volunteers helping out today – so our many, many thanks to Dow for all they do for Philadelphia!

Check out our pictures from the day here: on.fb.me/1lgZsRo. And make sure to spot Philadelphia Managing Director Rich Negrin, who we were so thrilled to have come out and help Keep Lawncrest Beautiful!