Montgomery Clean City Commission, AL

Montgomery Clean City Commission (MCCC) has been busy, busy, busy during the months of October and November working on preparations for the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Voting March. In March 2015, the eyes of the world will be on Montgomery, Ala., as the capital city celebrates this historic event. MCCC is doing everything in its power ensure Montgomery is looking good.

With the help of a KAB/Lowe’s Community Partners Grant, one of our projects was painting and roofing a home along historic Oak Street and providing the Loveless Community Center with a facelift. To further enhance the streetscape of Oak Street, the path the marchers took into Montgomery from the St. Jude’s campsite, 35 red bud trees have been planted along the street, also a component of the Lowe’s/KAB grant.

This work was done with the help of volunteers from all walks of life: students, military, community service workers, City of Montgomery employees, staff from House to House and members of Rebuilding Together. Just as the citizens of Montgomery are pulling together to celebrate this momentous event, the citizens of Montgomery pulled together to realize the dream of beautifying and uplifting this significant neighborhood.

Montgomery Clean City Commission is grateful for the help and inspiration provided by Keep America Beautiful and Lowe’s. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

Keep Tampa Bay Beautiful, Tampa, FL

Every year during our annual Community Appearance Index, the rural farming community of Wimauma has scored as a 4 – which is the highest level of visible litter. Over the last few months, Keep Tampa Bay Beautiful, in partnership with Hillsborough County and other local service organizations, has been working on developing community engagement and assistance programs specifically for this isolated area of the county.

Wimauma has a very serious problem with illegal dumping and is comprised of a low-income, mostly non-English speaking Hispanic population. It has been very challenging for Hillsborough County and Keep Tampa Bay Beautiful to educate the residents on waste and recycle procedures due to the cultural differences and language barrier.

We are beginning to see the start of changing attitudes in the community as we continue developing stronger ties with community leaders and spreading awareness among area residents. Now it is time for action to begin! So, we started with a litter removal/ beautification project around one of the local elementary schools.

Keep Vienna Beautiful, Vienna, GA

Keep Vienna Beautiful (KVB) recently received a $20,000 KAB/Lowe’s Community Partners Grant. The funds were used to refurbish and beautiful George Busbee Park and Ruth Ryner Lay Tennis Court. The grant money was used to replace sod, trees, refurbish the park gazebo, refurbish the playground, and tennis court fence. The goal was to refurbish the existing facilities to entice local citizens as well as travelers to utilize the facilities and enjoy the park located adjacent to downtown Vienna — to make it one of Vienna’s showplaces for all to enjoy.

The playground area really needed the mulch to be upgraded so that children could enjoy the equipment and their parents wouldn’t be worried about them falling on the hard ground. The new PVC piping around the perimeter of this area and the cedar chip mulch make it a much safer area for our children, stated Larista Thompson, Executive Director of KVB.

The gazebo has been rewired so that the facility will be accessible at night for those wanting to have after-dark activities in the park. A new roof was also installed on the gazebo and preservative paint was used on all exposed areas of the gazebo.

This has been a very rewarding project for KVB as well as the City of Vienna. A special thanks to Keep America Beautiful, Lowe’s, Keep Vienna Beautiful, City of Vienna Public Works Department, Mayor and City Council for their contributions to the success of this project.

Pine Bluff/Jefferson County Clean & Beautiful Commission, Pine Bluff, AR

The Pine Bluff/Jefferson County Clean & Beautiful Commission was very honored to have received the KAB/Lowe’s Community Partners Grant for $20,000 to implement the “Safety is Beautiful” project focusing on two large, heavily-trafficked areas in Pine Bluff: 8th Street medians in front of the Convention Center and the main Post Office and also on Harding Avenue.

With the grant award, Clean & Beautiful was able to install four new walkways, trim back hedges, shrubs, and trees, and put in new landscaping for beds that were in disrepair. Even with the crazy and unpredictable weather of Arkansas, we were able to put in the four walkways; replace old, torn, and warped metal edging with stone pavers; level out the brick walks in the turnaround areas; remove dead trees and debris; plant over 1,000 daffodil bulbs, 250 irises, 250 or more day lilies, 10 to 20 azaleas, over 100 hosta, 25 ferns, 20 pencil hollies, 40 boxwood, two large crepe myrtles, 40 ornamental grasses, and the list goes on. These beds were in need of major revitalization and the efforts that Lowe’s afforded us to make were invaluable to the safety of motorists, pedestrians, and surrounding communities who use these areas everyday.

We had around 450 volunteers in total and were able to build new community bridges of communications with organizations who have never been able to work together. We had volunteers of all ages and backgrounds. Our youngest volunteer was Gabriella Ogles, age 4, who is pictured here. Her favorite thing to do was dig holes to plant the bulbs and small plants, although as seen here, she really wanted to be like the big people in helping carry the mulch! She was a true reminder of what these projects help to instill in our community and its youth, when presented with the opportunities! We are thrilled with the success and improvements that this grant was able to make in our community!

Keep Pike County Beautiful, McComb, MS

Thank you for the $10,000 KAB/Lowe’s Community Partners Grant awarded to Keep Pike County Beautiful in McComb, MS! Without it we could not have built our above-ground, organic garden at St. Andrew’s Mission in McComb, which serves Southwest Mississippi through its Food Pantry, Men’s Shelter and Soup Kitchen.

The Garden has also been a teaching model for the Jr. Garden Club, called the Busy Bees, who helped to do the initial planting of our fall/winter crop and helped with the first harvest. Thanks to the Boy Scouts for helping to build it. We are hoping that the Garden will be a model for more to come!

Keep Las Vegas Beautiful, NV

Keep Las Vegas Beautiful (KLVB) team members along with Lowe’s Heroes volunteer employees, teachers and students successfully installed Outdoor Garden Classrooms at three local elementary schools, thanks to a $20,000 KAB/Lowe’s Community Partners Grant awarded to KLVB .

KLVB selected schools in need of garden projects which are qualified Title One schools with at least 90% of the students receiving free or reduced-price lunches. Schools selected for the KLVB Outdoor Garden Classrooms are also located within City of Las Vegas’ Neighborhood Risk Assessment Program areas. This program is a coordinated approach to identifying targeted neighborhoods that can be revitalized based on a strategic and collective focus of resources and programs.

Each school received up to five 8’ x 4’ raised beds with soil, seeds, automatic drip irrigation and a year of maintenance. In addition, the schools will get weekly visits from a local farmer, who will teach students and teachers how to take care of the garden, plant and harvest, as well as a free curricula for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math lessons concurrent with Nevada State Standards, Common Core and Next Generation Science Standards along with free teacher training. The program also organizes visits from local chefs to demonstrate how to cook food from the garden, teaches students how to organize and run a farmers’ market, and offers a Junior Master Gardener’s program.

Keep Tyler Beautiful, Tyler, Texas

Working with urban foresters from the Texas A&M Forestry Service, City of Tyler Parks Maintenance crew members and Lowe’s, Keep Tyler Beautiful (KTyB) has created a community fruit orchard in the City of Tyler’s Woldert Park. Our goals and objectives of this project are to create a source for teaching community members how to grow fruit and nut trees. Once the trees are mature enough to bear fruit, we will invite members of the community to come into the orchard to pick the fruit while learning more about care and selection of fruit trees in their own yards.

Keep Charleston Beautiful, Charleston, SC

Keep Charleston Beautiful was awarded a $5,000 KAB/Lowe’s Community Partners Grant to implement the Adopt-A-Stop: Bus Stop Litter Prevention Program in Charleston, S.C. Adopt-A-Stop (AAS) is a volunteer based litter prevention program geared at stopping litter at Charleston Area Regional Transportation Authority (CARTA) bus stops located in the City of Charleston. In short, volunteers adopt a trash can at a local bus stop and service the can weekly, collecting the trash and cleaning any litter near the stop.

Thanks to the KAB/Lowe’s 2014 grant funds Keep Charleston Beautiful now has 12 stops adopted throughout the City and more under review for adoption. Grant funding provided the trash cans, lids, trash bags, pickup sticks, safety materials, and promotional items needed for this project to become a reality.

Why Adopt-A-Stop?
AAS was created to solve an issue. Litter along local roads with a focus on bus stops. Transition spots and areas where people stop are often hot spots for litter, more so when there are no receptacles for unwanted waste. Unfortunately, simply providing a trash can at such locations is the easy part of the solution. The harder part is servicing the trash cans. A trash can that is not serviced does nothing to solve the litter issue and quickly becomes a problem in and of itself. The AAS program in Charleston aimed to provide serviced trash cans at local bus stops. The catch was we had no budget or staff to service the cans. After testing our volunteers at four stops around the city, the Adopt-A-Stop program formally launched in the summer of 2014. We are continuing to expand and improve the program, but already this year our adopters have conducted 144 bus stop visits, collected 61 bags of trash from stops.

Who Adopts?
Adoption groups range from local real-estate businesses, restaurants, small businesses, individuals, families, nonprofits, schools, and local scouts groups. When thanking a the Charleston’s Boy Scout Pack 79, Den 6 for their adoption of the stop near their meeting place, the young men had a few winsome words to share. When asked how they could help prevent litter an 8-year-old responded, “Put trash in the trash can if there is one near you or just hold onto it until you see a trash can.” When asked what they thought litter was, Romney, a 7-year-old scout answered, “Plastic and tin and other stuff that people just get rid of without thinking.” These young men along with all our other volunteers are stepping up and acting as true stewards in the community.

We also involve local students to help decorate our AAS drum trash cans. The painted cans help draw attention to the cans and provide a fun way for local students to share their ideas on what makes Charleston beautiful. The students are asked to paint the cans with the theme “A Beautiful Charleston.”

KCB is thankful to CARTA, Lowe’s, Keep America Beautiful, and our wonderful Adopters for making AAS possible.