City of Hammond/Keep Hammond Beautiful

The City of Hammond/Keep Hammond Beautiful received a $10,000 Lowe’s/Keep America Beautiful Community Improvement Grant to revitalize Clarke Park, a municipal park located in one of Hammond’s older and lower-income neighborhoods.

About 20 volunteers and City employees assembled in the park on a cloudy December day just after Thanksgiving to plant a new garden near the front of the park, restore a natural buffer between active and passive parkspaces, and install picnic tables, park benches, and a new water line in the park. City employees also replaced sprinklers within the park’s baseball field.

The picnic tables will provide families a place to gather to celebrate holidays, neighborhood and community events, reunions, and birthdays. Park benches will offer visitors, especially, seniors, places within the park to sit, comfortably relax, and watch their grandchildren play—or simply enjoy the outdoors. And the water line will make maintaining park grounds easier—in addition to permitting the installation of an outdoor drinking fountain for playgroundgoers.

Neighbors of Clarke Park and residents of the surrounding community have been quick to compliment the City of Hammond, Keep Hammond Beautiful, and volunteers on the work that was done.

For his part, the outgoing Mayor of Hammond, Mayson Foster, is also quick to express his and his city’s gratitude for the Lowe’s/Keep America Beautiful partnership that made the improvements to Clarke Park possible.

“It’s made a real difference here,” he observes, surveying the completed project, “and we couldn’t be happier.”

Keep Tyler Beautiful, Tyler, Texas

Working with urban foresters from the Texas A&M Forestry Service, City of Tyler Parks Maintenance crew members and Lowe’s, Keep Tyler Beautiful (KTyB) has created a community fruit orchard in the City of Tyler’s Woldert Park. Our goals and objectives of this project are to create a source for teaching community members how to grow fruit and nut trees. Once the trees are mature enough to bear fruit, we will invite members of the community to come into the orchard to pick the fruit while learning more about care and selection of fruit trees in their own yards.

Keep Charleston Beautiful, Charleston, SC

Keep Charleston Beautiful was awarded a $5,000 KAB/Lowe’s Community Partners Grant to implement the Adopt-A-Stop: Bus Stop Litter Prevention Program in Charleston, S.C. Adopt-A-Stop (AAS) is a volunteer based litter prevention program geared at stopping litter at Charleston Area Regional Transportation Authority (CARTA) bus stops located in the City of Charleston. In short, volunteers adopt a trash can at a local bus stop and service the can weekly, collecting the trash and cleaning any litter near the stop.

Thanks to the KAB/Lowe’s 2014 grant funds Keep Charleston Beautiful now has 12 stops adopted throughout the City and more under review for adoption. Grant funding provided the trash cans, lids, trash bags, pickup sticks, safety materials, and promotional items needed for this project to become a reality.

Why Adopt-A-Stop?
AAS was created to solve an issue. Litter along local roads with a focus on bus stops. Transition spots and areas where people stop are often hot spots for litter, more so when there are no receptacles for unwanted waste. Unfortunately, simply providing a trash can at such locations is the easy part of the solution. The harder part is servicing the trash cans. A trash can that is not serviced does nothing to solve the litter issue and quickly becomes a problem in and of itself. The AAS program in Charleston aimed to provide serviced trash cans at local bus stops. The catch was we had no budget or staff to service the cans. After testing our volunteers at four stops around the city, the Adopt-A-Stop program formally launched in the summer of 2014. We are continuing to expand and improve the program, but already this year our adopters have conducted 144 bus stop visits, collected 61 bags of trash from stops.

Who Adopts?
Adoption groups range from local real-estate businesses, restaurants, small businesses, individuals, families, nonprofits, schools, and local scouts groups. When thanking a the Charleston’s Boy Scout Pack 79, Den 6 for their adoption of the stop near their meeting place, the young men had a few winsome words to share. When asked how they could help prevent litter an 8-year-old responded, “Put trash in the trash can if there is one near you or just hold onto it until you see a trash can.” When asked what they thought litter was, Romney, a 7-year-old scout answered, “Plastic and tin and other stuff that people just get rid of without thinking.” These young men along with all our other volunteers are stepping up and acting as true stewards in the community.

We also involve local students to help decorate our AAS drum trash cans. The painted cans help draw attention to the cans and provide a fun way for local students to share their ideas on what makes Charleston beautiful. The students are asked to paint the cans with the theme “A Beautiful Charleston.”

KCB is thankful to CARTA, Lowe’s, Keep America Beautiful, and our wonderful Adopters for making AAS possible.

Bikes for the World Donates 100,000th Bike on America Recycles Day

In honor of America Recycles Day, a national initiative of Keep America Beautiful (KAB), Arlington-based nonprofit Bikes for the World donated its 100,000th bike for reuse on Saturday, Nov. 15, at a ceremonial loading of the bike into a shipping container headed to a community in Costa Rica. Representatives from KAB, the U.S. EPA and Fundación Integral Campesina (FINCA Costa Rica), joined Bikes for the World staff and volunteers at the event in Arlington.

“America Recycles Day is about reducing, reusing and recycling,” said Brenda Pulley, senior vice president, recycling, KAB. “This is one of the best examples of reuse, because this bike is getting a second life.”

“It really is a perfect example of taking what would be wasted and giving it value through reuse, while at the same time improving people’s lives,” said Charlotte Mooney, associate director resource conservation and sustainability division, U.S. EPA Office of Resource Conservation and Recovery, about the project.

The shipment of the donated bike will reach Bikes of the World partner FINCA Costa Rica on Dec. 10. The rural micro-business program will distribute the more than 500 bikes in this shipment to five community-based organizations that recondition and sell them locally,

“This project helps [recipients] have clean and cheap transportation and also allows them to raise money for their community funds that they use to give micro-loans to their members,” said Luis Jimenez, executive director, FINCA Costa Rica.

The partnership, which includes Bikes for the World’s other partnerships in Africa and Asia, improves rural communities not only by providing transportation and micro-loans, but also by creating jobs for those who refurbish the recycled bikes. Thus far, Bikes for the World has donated 20,000 bikes to FINCA Costa Rica alone.

“We’re putting these bikes where they have the most value. I think that’s a particular strength of this program,” said Keith Oberg, Bikes for the World executive director and board member. “We’ll certainly donate 100,000 more.”

(Pictured from left to right): Luis Jimenez, executive director, Fundación Integral Campesina (FINCA Costa Rica); Charlotte Mooney, associate director resource conservation and sustainability division, U.S. EPA Office of Resource Conservation and Recovery; Brenda Pulley, senior vice president/recycling, Keep America Beautiful; Keith Oberg, executive director, Bikes for the World, at Bikes for the World headquarters in Arlington, Va., on America Recycles Day.

Recycling Throughout Your Home on America Recycles Day 2014

America Recycles Day is November 15, a time to celebrate recycling and set new standards for your recycling habits for the rest of the year. With the national recycling rate of 34.5%, there is still so much work to be done to recycle more, to recycle right and to convert friends and family into recyclers.

A great way to step up your recycling game is to think about the recyclables throughout your entire home. Too often, Americans keep their recycling confined to the kitchen, but did you know there is so much more to recycle than just in the kitchen? Think about your workspace, for example, and how you could be recycling all of that paper you use. For every ton of paper recovered for recycling, 3.3 cubic yards of landfill space are saved! And how about your electronics? Electronics contain valuable precious metals such as gold, silver, platinum, palladium, copper, tin and zinc and can be recycled into jewelry, new electronics and more.

This year, America Recycles Day falls on a Saturday, so we challenge you to think outside of the kitchen and take some time to set up your entire house for recycling success:

• Explore other items in your home that can be recycled in the infographic below.
• Place recycling bins in different rooms of your home to make recycling easier.
• Talk with your family or roommates about your new plan.
• Solidify your commitment by pledging to keep it up all year long at http://www.americarecyclesday.org/.

The average American generates 4.4 pounds of trash per day, just think of all the potential of that trash! Do your part in caring for our environment and recycle. Let’s keep our planet beautiful for generations to come.

America Recycles Day 2014 is made possible by national sponsorship support from these leading companies: Amcor, American Chemistry Council, the Johnson & Johnson Family of Consumer Companies, Northrop Grumman Corporation, Pilot Corporation of America (Pilot Pen) and Waste Management.

Keep Blount Beautiful Alcoa, TN

On Oct. 29, 2014, Keep Blount Beautiful, Alcoa Tennessee Operations and Community Volunteers, Rosalind Robinson and Sher Kelly, gathered to start the KAB/Lowe’s Community Partners Grant project. KBB received $15,000 to beautify a low income area in Alcoa, TN. Rosalind Robinson lives in this neighborhood and wants to give back to the residents. Ten trees were planted and several yards of mulch were laid down. This is only the beginning!!

The project kicked off on Wednesday, Oct. 29, with the help of the Alcoa Inc.’s Worldwide Month of Service. Ten trees have been planted so far along with several yards of mulch laid. Alcoa’s annual Month of Service in October is the centerpiece of Alcoa’s Volunteer Program. Month of Service mobilizes Alcoa’s global workforce to make a positive difference in the communities where they live and work. This year, almost 500 Alcoa employees volunteered just over 1,600 hours locally, as they participated in 30 events ranging from tree plantings and Habitat builds to river cleanups and much more.

Keep Rockland Beautiful, New City, New York

On October 24th, Lowe’s of Clarkstown employees assisted 5th through 7th grade students from the Martin Luther King Multi-Purpose Center in Spring Valley in the painting of 6 Artful Receptacle cans. The students have sketched the can designs during a workshop at the MLK Center on October 16th. KRB’s artist consultant on this project, Shirley Goebel Christie, facilitated the design workshop.

On October 27th, Lowe’s of Orangeburg employees will assist a group of volunteers from Another Step of Rockland, a service organization for people with Developmental Disabilities, to paint 6-10 Artful Receptacles. Another Step volunteers have sketched out their designs at a workshop held with Mrs. Christie on October 10th. Several Lowe’s volunteers will also be designing and painting their own cans at this event.

Guyana Shines: Keep Guyana Beautiful Hosts First Civil Society Workshop

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.