Keep Akron Beautiful, Akron OH

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

Historic Wash House & Mansion Repainted

Keep Akron Beautiful (KAB) and the Summit County Historical Society teamed with employee volunteers from FirstEnergy Corp. on Friday June 20, 2014 to paint the historic Wash House at the Perkins Mansion. Over 60 volunteers came out to not only repaint the 119 year-old wash house but also paint the gazebo and the interior of the 177 year-old Perkins Mansion located on 550 Copley Road in Akron Ohio.

The Perkins Mansion was built in 1837 by Colonel Simon Perkins, who was the son of General Simon Perkin – founder of the city of Akron. The house was sold to Summit County Historical Society in 1945 in which the mansion now serves as a historical house museum whose objects and rooms not only bring to life the Perkins family’s lifestyles over three generations, but interpret the history of Akron and Summit County from Akron’s founding to the turn of the century.

The project was part of United Way Day of Action Friday and made possible by the National Painting Week Ohio Grant that Keep Akron Beautiful and the historical society received from Keep Ohio Beautiful. The grant enabled volunteers to renew a community structure, acquire 40 gallons of exterior paint, paint supplies, and free advice from Sherman Williams employees.

Four groups in Ohio received painting grants, which only two of those groups will receive another $500 gift card from demonstrating best visual impact and revitalization story. Both KAB and the Summit County Historical Society officials took before and after photos in hope that they are one of the groups to receive the gift card. Jacqui Flaherty, Keep Akron Beautiful Program Manager said “We have a lot of painting to be done.”

Keep Akron Beautiful, Akron, OH- Hyre Trail Cleanup

Keep Akron Beautiful was privileged to work with a group of young students that cleaned up the Hyre Trail in Akron, OH during the most beautiful Saturday of the year, so far, on April 26, 2014! Andrew Lamb, our fearless volunteer leader, and his group, Pi Sigma Epsilon, gathered together on a Saturday morning and weren’t afraid to get dirty! They spent hours upon hours, pulling trash, tires, and interesting items out of the water along the Hyre Trail. Over 40 bags of trash was collected, along with multiple tires, bottles, cans and even some plastic furniture! Keep Akron Beautiful is proud to work with groups like this as we help to beautify the City of Akron throughout the entire month of April, stretching into the first week of May. Currently, we have 105 groups registered with more than 2,000 volunteers working to Keep Akron Beautiful!

Keep Akron (Ohio) Beautiful Recycles at the Akron Marathon

Keep Akron Beautiful was proud to be involved in the 11th running of the Akron Marathon this past weekend, in Akron, Ohio. The Akron Marathon, Keep Akron Beautiful and Re-Works rallied together to make recycling and composting a breeze for all runners involved in the weekend’s festivities. After being given a grant from Keep America Beautiful and The Coca-Cola Foundation, 25 recycling bins designed specifically for placement at the race were utilized on Saturday, Sept. 28, when 15,000 runners ran through the streets of Akron. Keep Akron Beautiful set out to help the marathon with its recycling (bottles and cans) through the grant, but also assisted in the entire “recycling experience” throughout race day.

Keep Akron Beautiful President and CEO Paula Davis and Jacqui Flaherty, Keep Akron Beautiful program manager, served as Volunteer Captains on race day, making sure that the mess created by 15,000 runners and over 20,000 spectators was cleaned up (and that anything and everything that could be recycled was, indeed, recycled).

“The Akron Marathon is thrilled to receive this grant,” said Anne Bitong, executive director. “We have put a lot of effort into providing a community event that is socially and environmentally responsible. Thanks to our partnership with Keep Akron Beautiful, we will be able to continually improve our recycling efforts at the finish line.”

Davis added, “This is a fine example of how our agency can promote recycling on-the-go in our community to reinforce personal recycling behavior outside of our homes, schools and places of work. Thank you to our national organization, Keep America Beautiful, for providing these funding opportunities to address our local sustainability goals.”

Keep Akron Beautiful is very proud of all the recyclables that were diverted from the trash and it is excited to recycle more and more each year!

Keep Akron Beautiful — Akron, OH

On Aug. 21, 2013 after months of planning, the Lowe’s Heroes from Fairlawn and Alliance, Ohio, banded together to carry out a park spruce-up project at two City of Akron parks: Davenport Park and Erie Island Park. In just a few hours many tasks were completed.

At Davenport Park, Lowe’s volunteers replaced lumber and stained all of the dilapidated benches by the park restroom and on the t-ball fields. Children were virtually unable to sit on these benches, so we completely refurbished them. Next, the Lowe’s Heroes volunteers stained all of the picnic tables, benches and bleachers in the entire park. They labored alongside City of Akron Arborist Bill Hahn and planted 10 trees. As if that wasn’t enough, they proceeded to spruce up all of the park signs! The Lowe’s team ripped out all of the old, dying plants, tilled and added more soil, and planted a beautiful array of flowers. The park sign spruce-up also included a new coat of brown and yellow paint to make the City of Akron park sign POP!

At the Erie Island Park ball fields, the Lowe’s Heroes spread gravel around the new picnic tables so that the area would be easy to walk through. They also created a new planting bed, roto-tilled, added new soil and planted alongside the Keep Akron Beautiful crew.

Six City of Akron parks received new trash and recycling receptacles, including Davenport Park and Erie Island Park/ball fields, where the projects took place. These receptacles will encourage recycling and were exclusively placed in parks that have youth sporting activities happening in the park. The six parks receiving these receptacles include: Copley Road Soccer Complex, Davenport Park, Erie Island Park/ball fields, Lane Field, Patterson Park and Prentiss Park. All of the sports teams that practice or play in these parks were given an education about what to deposit into the trash container and what to deposit in the recycling container. Keep Akron Beautiful is encouraging players, coaches and fans to make the right choice in depositing their waste and NOT littering in the parks! Educational materials were given out, and all of the recycling bins have a sticker affixed to them to remind citizens what is appropriate to throw in the bins. Each team was also given a supply of trash and recycling bags, so they are able to do a litter sweep after each practice or game.

Keep Akron Beautiful appreciates all of the assistance of the City of Akron Parks Department, as well as the Fairlawn Lowe’s store. We are so proud to show off all of the good being done in our community! Thank you, Lowe’s for funding our $20,000 Community Improvement Grant and to the Fairlawn Lowe’s store for choosing us as your “Lowe’s Heroes” project. We are so proud of the work we have accomplished, and will continue to accomplish through our new recycling program.

Keep Akron Beautiful, Akron, OH

Keep Akron Beautiful’s 10th anniversary Dreamscape Makeover was recently completed. The Akron Rotary Camp, located at Rex Lake, was transformed into a landscaping dream for everyone involved with the camp!

The gateway at the Akron Rotary Camp went from a grassy, dirt drainage ditch to a large flower bed planted with annuals and perennials, outlined by landscaping rocks to improve the water runoff issue at the camp. Topsoil and compost were donated and placed into the beds. After prepping the two large new planting beds, crews built a canoe rack with lumber donated by National Industrial Lumber Company. The canoe rack served a larger purpose of freeing up the picnic tables in the pavilion at the camp, which were housing the canoes when not in use. Now, the children can safely put the canoes away and launch the canoes from a new beach the crews added.

Numerous amounts of flowers, up lights, path lights, flood lights, timers, and a half moon shaped patio were added around the camp, along with a new and improved irrigation system. It took a lot of teamwork to accomplish the landscaping makeover and we are lucky to have such great partners to work with.

All proceeds from the sales of the 1,234 tickets will be used to fund the Keep Akron Beautiful Flowerscape Program, which plants and maintains 39 Flowerscape sites annually. To see more Dreamscape pictures, check out the album on Facebook here!

Keep Akron Beautiful — Akron, OH

Keep Akron Beautiful in partnership with the Akron Marathon received 25 recycling bins designed specifically for placement at the finish line of the Akron Marathon. The recycling bins are thanks to a grant made possible by Keep America Beautiful and The Coca-Cola Foundation. In 2012, The Akron Marathon earned certification from the Council for Responsible Sport for efforts to reduce the event’s environmental footprint and increase its social impact. The Akron Marathon’s sustainability program is titled Environmental Endurance.

At the 2012 race, 77.7 percent of all waste was diverted from the landfill; of the 7.25 tons of waste, 0.17 ton was composted and 5.46 tons were recycled. The grant that The Akron Marathon and Keep Akron Beautiful has received will assist recycling at the event, in which over 15,000 runners participate. Recycling is a key component in the Akron Marathon and we are so excited to have been able to assist them in their recycling efforts.

“The Akron Marathon is thrilled to receive this grant,” said Anne Bitong, executive director. “We have put a lot of effort into providing a community event that is socially and environmentally responsible, and thanks to our partnership with Keep Akron Beautiful, we will be able to continually improve our recycling efforts at the finish line this year.

President & CEO of Keep Akron Beautiful, Paula Davis added, “This is a fine example of how our agency can promote recycling-on-the-go in our community to reinforce personal recycling behavior outside of our homes, schools and places of work. Thank you to our national organization, Keep America Beautiful, for providing these funding opportunities to address our local sustainability goals.”

Keep Akron Beautiful is proud to be partnered with the Akron Marathon, and we cannot wait to show how these bins will improve our recycling effort in 2013.