Keep Winston-Salem Beautiful, Winston-Salem, NC

On October 26, 2013 a record number of volunteers, over 550, from virtually every socio-economic background from across the city came together to plant over 400 trees in the Castle Heights neighborhood in southeastern Winston-Salem as part of the annual Community Roots Day event. This was the 21st year this event has been conducted with approximately 10,000 trees being planted over those years. All volunteers received t-shirts, hats and plenty of donated food and drink. Nearly 40 corporate and individual sponsors provided monetary or in-kind support to make this event happen. This event helps to instill a sense of pride in the community, improves property values, stabilizes the soil and helps prevent erosion. Some have said that planting the trees creates a “shield” to “protect the neighborhood from forces that threaten to overwhelm it – crime, decay and a sense that no one cares.”

Keep Chicago Beautiful- Bud Light Do Good. Have Fun. Event

On Saturday, May 31, about 100 volunteers participated in the Bud Light Do Good. Have Fun. event at Calumet Park in Chicago. Calumet Park is a historic park of nearly 200 acres, including a beach, numerous playing fields, a basketball court, and a running track. Through the coordination of the Chicago Park District, Keep Chicago Beautiful and Keep America Beautiful, volunteers showed up ready and willing to make this project a success. The basketball court was re-striped, the standards and backboards were painted, and new nets were hung. At the same time, volunteers raked tons of limestone screenings onto the running track, transforming it from a narrow cinder path into a seven-foot-wide running path. Bags of winter debris were gathered up. It was a nice surprise to the volunteers when they were able to partake in free throw contests with prizes ranging from coolers to concert tickets. After the work was done, volunteers celebrated their efforts together with some refreshing Bud Light. The weather was perfect, the volunteers were enthusiastic, and the park looked spectacular—another successful Keep Chicago Beautiful event!

A huge thank you to Bud Light for their generous support of Keep Chicago Beautiful and to the Calumet Park community for providing a welcome transformation that will sustain the Calumet Park community for many years to come.

South Miami Dade Beautiful

Nearly 75 volunteers joined Bud Light, Keep South Miami Dade Beautiful and Keep America Beautiful at Henry’s Dry Cleaners to build and beautify a Community Garden as well as have some fun.

As part of Bud Light’s “Do Good. Have Fun.” Summer program, the volunteers descended upon the donated green space cheering for the Miami Heat and were then brought in for a quick group briefing and a snack before the day’s work began. Volunteers worked in small groups — some worked together to rejuvenate some of the garden beds while other built brand new ones. A portion of the volunteers planted seedlings, bulbs and trees. The rest of them cleaned up the surrounding area and removed weeds and soil. The volunteers worked extremely efficiently and the tangible results at the end were awe-inspiring. Two thousand pounds of litter was collected of throughout the project site and a total of nine community gardens were successfully planted.

Volunteers worked long and hard to get the job done. One of the day’s biggest surprises were the Miami Heat t-shirts given away by the local Bud Light distributor after the event. After the project was complete volunteers sat back and celebrated their hard work with some refreshing Bud Light.

Check out http://on.fb.me/1kN69eC to see photos from all of the Do Good. Have Fun. events. Check out http://www.budlight.com/do-good-have-fun.html to see if an event is taking place in a community near you this summer!

Make Every Day Earth Day!

Today’s celebration of Earth Day is a reminder to all Americans that while our environmental challenges might be great, if we treat every day as if it’s Earth Day our small, daily actions can result in significant and positive change.

Throughout April and the rest of spring, Keep America Beautiful’s network of community-based affiliates are conducting Great American Cleanup events that celebrate the shared responsibility we all have to improve our communities and protect our planet. We invite you to participate in an event close to home or create your own. Be a part of our movement to build and sustain vibrant communities across our nation.

We all can be local change-makers. For example, Keep Virginia Beautiful Executive Director Mike Baum launched KVB’s campaign, “Give 60,” with the simple idea that an individual volunteering for just 60 minutes can help make Virginia a more beautiful place.

At Keep America Beautiful, we share that sentiment. Keep America Beautiful thanks the millions of Americans who are volunteering their 60 minutes (and much more) during the Great American Cleanup to help beautify parks, trails and recreation areas; clean roads, highways, shorelines and waterways; reduce waste and increase recycling; remove litter and debris; plant trees and build community gardens, among  many other community service projects.

We encourage you to treat every day as if it’s Earth Day. You’ll be glad you did!

Delta County Colorado Residents Keep Recycling Program Up and Running

Three years ago, the North Fork Recycling Center in Delta County, Colorado started out as just a test. Residents had to prove that recycling was a priority in order to keep the recycling center running, and with the volume of recycling continuing to grow and more than doubling in 2013, it is clear they have passed with flying colors.

According to Rachel Leonard, Manager of Double J Disposal that services the recycling center, “We were collecting recycling … every other week in early 2013, and now they fill up and need to be emptied at least once every week to prevent overflow.” In fact, last year, Delta County residents recycled a total of 307 tons of recyclables at the North Fork Recycling Center.

But recycling wasn’t the only way residents of Delta County showed their support for the program. Around one hundred of them, from school children to business owners, made sure their voice was heard by writing to the County Commission about the success of the program in honor America Recycles Day 2013.

“By Keeping recycling local, we’re supporting local companies and keeping jobs in the County.” wrote Nathan Sponseller, President of the Hotchkiss Chamber of Commerce “While Recycling options in Delta County are limited, they are headed in the right direction due, in large part, to the hard work of concerned citizens.”

Businesses and schools are also helping to make recycling the norm. As of April, four schools in Delta County and two libraries have launched curbside recycling pickup programs, and two prominent businesses in the region recently expanded their recycling programs.

Joanna Calabrese, member of a local recycling committee, notes that the success has been due to the entire community’s effort “Over the past year countless residents and businesses have called about joining our Volunteer Recycling Committee…Recycling is already a strong value in Western Colorado.”

Keep Philadelphia Beautiful

Keep Philadelphia Beautiful had a great day this past Saturday at 7th Annual Philly Spring Cleanup!

We partnered with the Eagles Youth Partnership, The Dow Chemical Company, and our friends at Keep America Beautiful to paint, remove graffiti, and clean up five vacant lots around Gideon School in the Strawberry Mansion neighborhood. (Check out pictures: http://on.fb.me/1lJfK7m!) Gideon took part in the Eagles Youth Partnership’s Playground Build Program ten years ago, and we were thrilled to be a part of keeping the playground clean and green.

Our many, many thanks to the Eagles Youth Partnership, Gideon School, Keep America Beautiful, and the Philadelphia Streets Department – and to Mayor Michael Nutter for starting his day with us!

We also want to extend our many, many thanks to Dow Chemical and McCormick Paints for their generous donation of 1000 gallons of paint to the Philly Spring Cleanup effort!

Keep Philadelphia Beautiful

Keep Philadelphia Beautiful was so thrilled to be highlighted at this year’s press conference formally announcing the seventh annual Philly Spring Cleanup, a one day, City-wide cleanup spearheaded by Mayor Michael A. Nutter and the Philadelphia Streets Department. The press event took place at the West Philadelphia urban farm at the center of our community composting program, funded generously through Keep America Beautiful and Waste Management’s Think Green Grant program.

And if that wasn’t enough, Dow Chemical announced that they will again be donating 1,000 gallons of paint to this year’s Spring Cleanup effort!

Check out pictures from the press event here and here – and, as we say in Philly, Keep Up the Sweep Up!

Virginia Tech

Virginia Tech won Keep America Beautiful’s 2014 RecycleMania “I Recycle” pledge drive! Virginia Tech’s sustainability team teamed up with various campus organizations to collect more than 500 pledges and will receive a recycled-content plastic park bench from Plastic Recyclers of Iowa falls!

How did they do it?

- Eleven interns tabled two days during prime-time lunch hours in the busiest dining hall
- Social media posts that were then shared by other campus organizations
- Sustainability team emailed a pledge invitation to staff “Green Represenative” staff list as well as faculty, staff, and student Enegery and Sustainability Committee, who in turn shared it with their own email lists

Go Hoakies!

Overall, more than 60 colleges participated in the RecycleMania pledge drive, resulting in over 3,000 pledges taken to recycle more during the three week pledge drive contest.

Below is a listing of the top 15 schools (including two ties!) that participated in the pledge drive.
Congrats to all!

Rank School Pledges
1 Virginia Tech
2 Wright State University
3 St. Bonaventure University
4 Weber State University
5 Wheelock College
6 SUNY at Brockport
7 Towson University
8 University of North Texas
9 St. Louis University
10 Chatham University and Elizabeth City State University
11 UC Riverside and Lewis and Clark Community College
12 Wesleyan College
13 Missouri State University

Thank you to all who participated!