Keep Broward Beautiful, Fort Lauderdale Florida

Keep Broward Beautiful through Broward County’s Natural Resources Planning and Management Division, the Youth Environmental Alliance (YEA), a local non-profit organization, and the State of Florida Park Service, are partners in implementing the Keep America Beautiful / Waste Management John U. Lloyd Beach State Park Dune Restoration Project. During the course of 4 events held since November 2013, over 400 volunteers from 10 different organizations have planted more than 8,000 native dune plants and trees as an effective method to mitigate beach erosion, restore coastal habitats and beautify the park. Volunteers and park staff continue to monitor and water the plantings to ensure their survival. This project clearly demonstrates the power of partnership and community engagement. “It was amazing to see such active participation from the community”, said Dawn McCormick, Community Affairs Manager for Waste Management. “When we work together, we accomplish great things!”

Keep Indianapolis Beautiful (Indianapolis, IN)

Keep Indianapolis Beautiful, Inc. (KIB) believes everyone should be given the opportunity to experience nature close to home. Turning vacant lots into beautiful parks allows neighbors to take pride in their community. Last year, KIB received a grant from the Lowe’s/KAB Community Improvement Grant program, to transform a vacant lot into a pocket park in the Bates-Hendricks neighborhood of Indianapolis, a neighborhood area sorely lacking greenspace and its benefits.

This project combined the efforts of neighbors from five streets partnering with Southeast Neighborhood Development (SEND), the Bates-Hendricks Neighborhood Association and neighborhood businesses. Bates-Hendricks leaders are committed to neighborhood renewal and to this end they launched an effort called Building Blocks.

The neighbors of Building Blocks envisioned the transformation of four adjacent vacant lots in their neighborhood into a community greenspace. They applied to KIB’s IPL Project Greenspace program, and were chosen to receive a pocket park, featuring shade and understory trees, low-maintenance landscaping and native plants, a shelter, and a designated open space for recreation.

One creative aspect of the landscaping was reusing several extremely large concrete pads that we excavated from the site’s “past life” as a utility station: these were simply too large to remove! We kept these as distinctive boundary markers on one side of the park, as a reminder of the transformation.

Community greening is one way to help empower people. With the success of this project, KIB has engaged families through greening projects, building stronger bonds with their neighbors and contributing to the vitality of their community. We look forward to working with this engaged neighborhood in the future!