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Thanks to the Keep America Beautiful & Lowe’s Community Grant Program, The Captain Planet Foundation (CPF) successfully installed the Captain Planet Learning Gardens (CPLG) Program in 8 Ventura County elementary schools, impacting a grand total of 7,425 students! CPF provided the schools with all necessary Learning Garden Tools to launch the program, including garden installation, interpretive garden signs for self-guided learning, garden-based lesson plans tied to standards (three lessons per grade K-5), lesson supply kits for each lesson, supplies needed to teach lessons outdoors, a mobile cooking cart, 2-day professional development/teacher training workshop, a plan for summer garden maintenance and a ‘Sustainability Toolkit.’ By participating in this program, students came away with a better understanding of their everyday connections to nature, a deeper understanding of food origins, and a heightened interest in fresh foods. When CPF chose Ventura County as a location to host a California Pilot of the CPLG Program, we wanted to: - Increase the visibility and awareness of Keep America Beautiful within a county where there is currently no KAB affiliate - Help children in this underserved county make the connection between the food they eat daily and the agricultural basin in which they live. Through this program, students learned core subjects in the context of a garden, were able to taste and consume fresh fruits and vegetables directly from the garden, and participate in cooking demonstrations facilitated by the mobile cooking cart. Teachers reported that students were extremely receptive to trying new fruits and vegetables and were eager to spend more time in the garden! Through a series of surveys we collected, we learned that even the teachers benefited a great deal as well! Many of our target educators felt inspired and engaged, felt that the professional development workshop hosted by CPF was one of the best they’ve attended, and in some cases, teachers began to write their own garden based lessons beyond those included with the Program. Thank you Keep America Beautiful & Lowe’s for allowing CPF to bring our successful Learning Gardens Program to California! We hope to work with you again soon!

Captain Planet Foundation, Atlanta, GA

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In partnership with Keep America Beautiful and Bud Light, Seattle Works threw a mural painting party in Seattle's historic International District on July 19! Over 40 volunteers came out on Saturday to help revitalize a neglected, but heavily-trafficked block in the busy neighborhood. We worked with Urban ArtWorks and local artist Jonathan Fischer to create the mural, titled "Eternal Spring." The design was inspired by the joy Seattle's famous cherry blossoms bring to the city each Spring -- the promise that a long, grey winter is over and summer is on its way. Volunteers worked with the artist to use a combination of rollers, brushes, stencils and spray paint to create an explosion of color that spanned most of the block. As we worked, neighbors honked their horns in support, cheered, dealt out many thumbs-ups and even wandered over to shake volunteers' hands and thank them for their work. We even made it into the Seattle Times. We're thrilled to have the opportunity to partner with KAB to bring such a fantastic gift to a busy part of our city!

Seattle Works, Seattle, WA

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Reed High Eco Warriors receive recycling bins through national grant Keep Truckee Meadows Beautiful helps school achieve goal of recycling campus RENO, NV (May 17, 2014) —Reed High School will be more beautiful now with the addition of 50 recycling bins awarded through a national recycling bin grant program applied for by Keep Truckee Meadows Beautiful and made possible by Keep America Beautiful (KAB) and The Coca-Cola Foundation. In its ninth year, the Coca-Cola/KAB Recycling Bin Grant Program is providing nearly 4,500 recycling bins to colleges, universities, nonprofits and local governments across the country, with more than 65 percent of the total designed specifically for permanent, ongoing use in heavily-trafficked public spaces and events. "Recycling is an issue the Ecowarriors worked on every year since the club started 5 years ago, and this grant will be a huge step forward," said Leigh Metcalfe, the Ecowarrior Adviser at Reed High School. "The new bins are what we need to raise awareness about recycling at Reed and collect a greater percentage of the plastics and paper currently thrown in the trash in classroom and in common areas. They will be easy for students to recognize and use compared to the current Xerox copy boxes in most classrooms." "Being able to make an impact on the way students view recycling to the point in which they want to change their own habits is always a plus," said Ecowarrior and Reed High School senior Brenda Trujillo. "Then they spread the word to what we hope would one day change the way we recycle as a school." The same change in habits and word-of-mouth education is happening all over the country. “Through this program and our more than 50-year partnership with Keep America Beautiful, we are helping to ensure that communities understand the importance of recycling,” said Lori George Billingsley, vice president, community relations, Coca-Cola North America. “Community recycling not only impacts the environment today, but it helps build sustainable communities for the future.” “By providing recycling bins to communities, organizations and universities, we can make a difference in increasing recycling in the U.S. and help overcome a main barrier of recycling – convenience,” said Brenda Pulley, senior vice president, recycling, Keep America Beautiful. “We are truly grateful for Coca-Cola’s continued support and commitment to recycling, and the Recycling Bin Grant Program.” Since 2007, the Coca-Cola/KAB Recycling Bin Grant Program has placed more than 35,000 recycling bins in more than 500 communities across the U.S. A full list of the spring 2014 Recycling Bin Grant recipients and further information about the grant program is available at http://bingrant.org. ### Keep Truckee Meadows Beautiful is private nonprofit supported by community donations dedicated to creating a cleaner, more beautiful region through education and active community involvement. To find out how you can he

Keep Truckee Meadows Beautiful, Reno, NV

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On July 29, 2014, the staff of Keep Akron Beautiful and the Lowe’s heroes came together to improve and restore Firestone Stadium, home of the Akron Racers, in Akron Ohio. The project was being completed before the Gay Games 9 (GG9) comes to Akron for the softball tournament. The softball tournament is one of the largest events in the 2014 GG9 games. Firestone Stadium had a wish list of repairs that Racers’ Owner/GM, Joey Arrietta, wanted done before the Gay Games, and the Fairlawn Lowe’s heroes tackled the last of those projects. Some of the repairs on Joey’s list included scraping and painting the entryways to the stadium, putting a clear water-resistant sealant on the lower seating areas, and fixing up planting beds at the entrances to the stadium. Fairlawn Lowe’s Store Manager, Gary Sutor, was more than eager to get the day started as were the other eleven of Gary’s employees who volunteered their time on July 29th. Each volunteer was assigned different tasks to match their abilities. The volunteers were happy to help make the improvements for not only the Gay Games but for the Akron Racers as well. One employee stated that he enjoyed volunteering as many of the Lowe's employees live in Akron and are happy to give back to the community. This is the second year that Lowe’s has worked with Keep Akron Beautiful on a beautification and community restoration project.

Keep Akron Beautiful, Akron OH

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Arkansas Governor Mike Beebe declared July 2014 as "Lakes Appreciation Month" in Arkansas. To help celebrate, Hobbs State Park teamed up with the Beaver Watershed Alliance to host a cleanup of Beaver Lake. Seventy-five volunteers worked together to help remove approximately 2,000 pounds of litter from in and around Beaver Lake. They were able to recycle about 20 pounds of waste, as well as 25 tires. In total, they cleaned about 25 miles of waterways, shorelines, roadways, and trails, as well as 12 acres around the Arkansas State Park.

Hobbs State Park, Arkansas

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Keep Truckee Meadows Beautiful (KTMB) staff is so excited to be involved with the University of Nevada, Reno's Summer of Sustainability, put on by the Mathewson-IGT Knowledge Center and Office of Undergraduate and Interdisciplinary Research: Academy for the Environment. The summer activities center around Reused + Recycled = Art, an incredible show of recycled art from community artists — including some incredibly talented high school and college students — and anchored by plastic-debris art from nationally known ocean researcher Bonnie Monteleone of the Plastic Ocean Project. Wherever Bonnie takes her art, she tries to do a cleanup in the area, and that’s where KTMB came in! UNR students and staff joined Bonnie at Rock Park in Sparks, NV, on June 12 to kick off the Summer of Sustainability activities with a river and park cleanup. Because Rock Park was heavily used over the Fourth of July weekend, Reused Recycled Art volunteers' work was much appreciated. We also cleared weeds, spread mulch and our volunteers spread out along the river to clean up Gateway Park as well. And we got a special surprise: About a week before the Summer of Sustainability cleanup, Corina from KIND Healthy Grains emailed to say she noticed we were having a cleanup and, since she’d be in the area, could she bring us some bars for our volunteers? WOW! The volunteers loved the bars (and Deanna’s watermelon, yum!), and we gathered up about 45 bags of micro-trash (the “big” item of the day was drink-box straw wrappers — hang on to those, people!) and weeds from Rock Park. Reused + Recycled = Art officially opened on July 13. It's an amazing show for adults and kids alike. From high-fashion wearable art to huge cardboard dinosaurs, this show has something for everyone and is a truly fascinating look at what we can do with “trash.” Videos about the art and trash, including Incline High School’s Plastic Footprint (included in the show) and KTMB’s Waste Warriors video, are included. The show opened with an amazing presentation by Bonnie Monteleone, detailing her travels around the world and what she’s found in the oceans she’s studied — in a word: plastic. Bonnie gave the audience many reasons to care about the problem of all this plastic in the ocean, but also careful to give us many everyday ways to mitigate the problem and much hope for the future if we act now. More activities are planned throughout the summer, and the art show will be on display until the end of September.

Keep Truckee Meadows Beautiful, Reno, NV

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