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Keep America Beautiful’s Director of Special Projects Sue Smith was invited by the United States Department of State to participate in Guyana Shines: Keep Guyana Beautiful’s first civil society workshop in Georgetown, Guyana. The workshop aimed to share best practices of promoting environmental stewardship and equipping civil society organizations with knowledge and information about recycling, composting, and other grassroots actions civil society organizations can take on the environment. The workshop was officially opened by United States Embassy Chargé d’Affaires Bryan Hunt and facilitated by Smith, Dr. Rosh Khan of SocialRank Media and Steve Douglas of Bravo Arts. The Mayor of Georgetown, His Worship Hamilton Green, was also in attendance.  Smith shared ideas and strategies on how to apply KAB’s five-step process to combat littering. Smith’s visit was made possible by the U.S. Department of State Speaker Program. The workshop was attended by staff members of various nonprofit organizations such as Youths for Guyana, Georgetown Stabroek Leo Club, Caribbean Youth Environmental Network - Guyana, U.S. Embassy's Youth Action Network, Enmore Youth Development Group, Global Shapers Georgetown Hub, Bravo Arts, Rotaract Club, University of Guyana, Linden Shines, Berbice Shines, Everything Makes Craft, and the Georgetown Mayor and City Council. Formally launched on June 1, 2014, the Guyana Shines: Keep Guyana Beautiful project will continue until June 2015 with focused messaging on the environment through “education” and “action” elements.  These will include a series of environmental workshops for civil society and private sector partners, training and collaboration with schools and environmental clubs, radio and TV public service announcements; the creation of protected green spaces, and weekly cleanups. The Guyana Shines: Keep Guyana Beautiful project is implemented by Youths for Guyana and receives financial support from the U.S. Department of State as well as corporate donors including ExxonMobil, Caribbean Containers Inc., the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and Republic Bank.

Guyana Shines: Keep Guyana Beautiful Hosts First Civil Society Workshop

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Bronwen Evans, Keep America Beautiful's director of litter programs, presented at the Second Annual NC Marine Debris Symposium in Sneads Ferry, N.C., last week. Lisa Rider of Keep Onslow Beautiful and her team did an incredible job organizing the event which included marine debris issues, waste reduction, recycling, litter prevention, clean marinas, and green tourism. Evans' Cigarette Litter Prevention Program session was very well-received and generated a lot of interest: how to keep cigarette butts off the beach is a hot topic! Keep America Beautiful staff participated in a couple of cleanups at beautiful Topsail Beach (above), networked with a great group of people, and worked to make the whole event “zero waste.”

NC Marine Debris Symposium, Sneads Ferry, NC

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Thousands of Arkansans have already volunteered to pick up litter along the state’s roadways and waterways during Keep Arkansas Beautiful’s “Great Arkansas Cleanup". The annual Arkansas fall litter-pickup campaign, the Great Arkansas Cleanup, runs from Sept. 6 through Oct. 31 this year. Byrd’s Adventure Center, near Cass, hosted their own cleanup event, on Saturday, September 13. Keep Arkansas Beautiful was key in helping organize and publicize the effort, as well as furnishing volunteers with cleanup materials and supplies, such as trash bags, gloves, and safety vests. Organizers felt the need for a fall river cleanup that would complement the Great American Cleanup spring river cleanup organized by Brad Wimberly of Turner Bend. Event organizers, Courtney King of Byrd’s Adventure Center, Jeff Stepp, of Clarksville Recycling and Sustainability, and Jacob Gould, of GreenSource Recycling noted that nearly 100 volunteers registered to pick up trash along the Mulberry River banks and local highways. Volunteers drove from as far as Russellville and Fayetteville to take part in this year’s cleanup. Group involvement was key to the success of this year’s event, especially with the help of The University of the Ozarks, Cass Job Corps, Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, U.S. Forest Service, Mulberry River Society, and Arkansas Stream Team. A very special thank you to the event host, Pamela Byrd Boulden owner of Byrd’s Adventure Center, for her continuous efforts to protect and preserve the Mulberry River Valley. Volunteers were not only rewarded with the satisfaction of preserving our natural landscape, but were also rewarded for their efforts with a cookout, live music and door prizes. The food and beverages were all donated from local businesses and restaurants: Steve Outlaw, Ozark IGA, Belle Point Beverages, GreenSource, Ozark Natural Foods, Ozark Natural Breads,Pickle Haus, Hellious Hummus, Jammin Java, Sysco Foods, and Byrd’s Mulberry Riverfront Restaurant. The band Arkansauce from Fayetteville donated their time and talents to entertain the volunteers with their unique style and stringed instruments. Everyone left with a prize for participating, toys for the kids, river gear, and even a kayak was given away as the grand prize! Event organizers and Byrd’s looks forward to many more fall cleanup events in the years to come. For information on how to find cleanups in your area, visit the Keep Arkansas Beautiful website. Trash Statistics: Total= 1,300lbs Landfill garbage= 500lbs Plastics= 250lbs Aluminum= 350lbs Tires= 8 Total Miles Cleaned= over 25 miles (Caltapa-Turners Bend)

Byrd’s Adventure Center, Mulberry River, Arkansas

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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/

Affiliates Join Together to Keep Arkansas River Beautiful

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