Keep Ridgeland Beautiful, Ridgeland, MS

Thanks to a grant from #Lowe’s and partnership with #KeepAmericanBeautiful #KAB, Keep Ridgeland Beautiful partnered with City of Ridgeland Parks and Rec and Dept. of Public Works and student volunteers to revitalize Friendship Park. The transformative event, July 22-23, 2015, included new picnic pads, grills, new bathroom building roof, painted and repaired picnic shelter, landscaping care, light repair and painting, and playground mulch.

Keep Oklahoma Beautiful, Oklahoma City, OK

On May 15, 2015, Marathon Oil, along with Serve Moore and Home Depot, joined together in Forest Park Estates to help clean up the debris left in the aftermath of the tornado that passed through Bridge Creek on May 6.

The families affected in the Forest Park Estates tornado were so moved by their presence, several documented the event and cried tears of joy, giving them huge thanks for their efforts.  Flying Pig BBQ supported the volunteers by providing lunch at a discounted rate and by waving the travel fee when they learned what Marathon Oil was doing with Serve Moore!

The group was able to clean up the fence line along the property that was damaged so that the fence crew could come in and put up the new fence sooner.  Volunteers were able to gather 175 heavy duty bags of trash (by crumbling the debris to fit in the bags since the dumpsters were full), and load and haul off two trailers of debris and trash. Unfortunately, they were hindered due to the fact that the dumpsters were full, but they were able to organize the debris in several piles along the road and other access areas for easy haul off once dumpsters were emptied. They also had a crew go to a home and take down a rock wall fence that had been knocked over during a recent tornado. A volunteer crew removed carpet from a home that was destroyed by flood water. Finally, they had a crew that helped tarp a roof to prevent more flood damage with more rain in the forecast.

Commenting on the event, Joy Howard, Marathon Oil Planning Analyst, said, “This work was so gratifying and the residents were so humbled. Several cried and took photos of their own because they have had very little local support to clean up. Many said the work we did was more than the work they have done combined since the tornado!”

Great work Marathon Oil!

Keep Riverside Clean and Beautiful

On May 9th, Keep Riverside Clean & Beautiful (KRCB) launched the 17th annual Great American Cleanup in the City of Riverside. Over 1,000 community volunteers took on critical neighborhoods at 59 cleanup sites citywide. Projects included: litter and weed abatement, graffiti eradication, cleaning local waterways, and planting trees in a residential neighborhood. Special thanks go to the crews from Athens Services, Burrtec Waste Industries, and CR&R Environmental Services for following the volunteer’s efforts that day, collecting over 16,000 lbs. of litter, debris, weeds, and bulky items. We would also like to thank our national sponsor, Niagara Bottling, whose employees brought their families to assist the cleanup effort in Riverside, CA.

Recycle One, Pike County, MS

Recycle One will continue for a third year thanks to the 2015 Waste Management Think Green Grant of $10,000. Recycle One is a single stream program for aluminum, paper and plastic products. We hope to sustain a healthier environment by reducing pollution, re-purposing materials, and reducing the use of natural resources.

Keep Genesee County Beautiful, Flint Michigan

I’m in DC building picnic tables with one of our favorite corporate partners at the KAB conference. It may be snowing to the north, but things are heating up here with some great conference sessions and resources along with amazing peers from across the country.

Keep Indianapolis Beautiful, Indianapolis, IN

Creating Beauty in the Circle City

In 2014, thanks to a generous grant from the KAB/Lowe’s Community Partners Grant Program, Keep Indianapolis Beautiful (KIB) created the Westminster Pocket Park on the Near Eastside of Indianapolis. Partnering with our local Lowe’s store and 17 Lowe’s Heroes, KIB was able to create an amazing community asset.

The vision for the Westminster Pocket Park is to become a vibrant community gathering place, an outdoor sanctuary for clients of all ages. Features such as sculpted benches and art will encourage community members as well as residents of the Westminster Neighborhood Services Adult Services Center to linger—enjoying the beauty of nature and learning about the benefits of native plants to the environment. Due to the large number of seniors living in the surrounding community, the Westminster Pocket Park is a “senior-friendly” greenspace where residents of all ages can gather and interact in a safe space.

In the fall of 2014, KIB hosted a check presentation event to commemorate the space and kick off the Lowe’s volunteer day. Volunteers quickly got to work, prepping the site for the functional art, and helping to plant thousands of native grasses. All of this work will provide accessible greenspace and help bring neighbors together, serving as a green destination to revitalize a neighborhood where vacant lots are plentiful and greenspace scarce.

Now that this space is complete, all that’s left is for the plants to bloom next spring, hopefully in time for the completion of the adjacent Adult Services Center, and then we will start to see increased use of the space by the community!

Keep Genesee County Beautiful, Flint, Michigan

Even on a Sunday with temperatures hovering just over 50 degrees, volunteers are hard at work improving the playground area in Longway Park. Local volunteers who include a city councilman, a local business owner, and several neighborhood residents, are all members of the Potter Longway Neighborhood Association which proudly participates in KGCB’s Adopt A Park program. Using funds from KGCB’s Lowe’s Community Improvement grant, playgrounds, benches and pavilions in parks throughout Flint are being painted, repaired and improved. If temperatures are too low for painting (50 degrees or lower) volunteers are still in the parks scraping, laying safety mulch, replacing wood on benches and bleachers, and whatever other tasks need to be done. Fall weather is unpredictable in Michigan, but what’s for certain is our volunteers are heating things up thanks to KAB and the Lowe’s Community Improvement program.

Keep Genesee County Beautiful, Flint, MI

Keep Genesee County Beautiful’s volunteer activity is attracting even more volunteers. Each day as they continue their painting and improvements in Sarginson Park, the Adopt a Park sponsors from West Flint Community Watch are being approached by neighborhood residents who want to join in and help complete the process.

Mary Severn, who co-chairs the Sarginson Park adoption team, was approached today while buying coffee and donuts for the hard-working volunteers in the park. A gentleman in line behind her asked a few questions and decided he wanted to volunteer as well. Whenever there are even two or three people interested in heading over to do some painting, Mary is willing to get them started with supplies and little direction. Scraping and painting begin at Delaware and Longway parks on September 13-14. Here’s to the volunteer spirit!