Keep Chicago Beautiful- Bud Light Do Good. Have Fun. Event

On Saturday, May 31, about 100 volunteers participated in the Bud Light Do Good. Have Fun. event at Calumet Park in Chicago. Calumet Park is a historic park of nearly 200 acres, including a beach, numerous playing fields, a basketball court, and a running track. Through the coordination of the Chicago Park District, Keep Chicago Beautiful and Keep America Beautiful, volunteers showed up ready and willing to make this project a success. The basketball court was re-striped, the standards and backboards were painted, and new nets were hung. At the same time, volunteers raked tons of limestone screenings onto the running track, transforming it from a narrow cinder path into a seven-foot-wide running path. Bags of winter debris were gathered up. It was a nice surprise to the volunteers when they were able to partake in free throw contests with prizes ranging from coolers to concert tickets. After the work was done, volunteers celebrated their efforts together with some refreshing Bud Light. The weather was perfect, the volunteers were enthusiastic, and the park looked spectacular—another successful Keep Chicago Beautiful event!

A huge thank you to Bud Light for their generous support of Keep Chicago Beautiful and to the Calumet Park community for providing a welcome transformation that will sustain the Calumet Park community for many years to come.

Keep Riverside Clean and Beautiful

On May 10th, Keep Riverside Clean & Beautiful (KRCB ), which brings people together to build and sustain vibrant communities, launched the 16th annual Great American Cleanup in the City of Riverside. Over 700 community volunteers took on the critical neighborhoods at 38 cleanup sites citywide. Projects included: litter and weed abatement, graffiti eradication, cleaning city waterways, E-waste collection and 50 trees were planted along Alessandro Blvd. and Cannon Road. 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 12,000 lbs. of litter, debris, weeds and bulky items.

Keep Austin Beautiful hosts Bud Light “Do Good. Have Fun.” Event

The staff of Keep Austin Beautiful and more than 60 volunteers spent their Saturday morning giving a local Austin park, Bartholomew Park, a huge face lift! As part of the Bud Light Do Good. Have Fun. program with Keep America Beautiful, volunteers mulched a large section of trees to assist with survival during the upcoming summer heat, painted sections of weathered wooden bleachers and repainted graffiti covered buildings with fresh vibrant new colors. The park and ball fields had not been maintained for many years and the improvement was remarkable!

After the project was completed, volunteers participated in a pickup softball game, where fun prizes such as coolers, gift cards, and concert tickets were given away courtesy of Bud Light. After the game, everyone was invited to enjoy a cold Bud Light and delicious tacos from Chi’Lantro!

Keep Martin Beautiful, Palm City, FL

We began the Indian Mound Cemetery Beautification Project earlier this year thanks to in part to the support we received from the Lowe’s Charitable & Educational Foundation, Keep America Beautiful and many community supporters. The cemetery has been neglected for many years, and Keep Martin Beautiful felt the need to help beautify this historic piece of the community. So far, fencing has been repaired, mulch has been placed, weeds and invasive plants have been removed and benches have been installed.

In addition to what has already been done, we are preparing to replace damaged grave markers, plant flowers and we also have plans to repair an old well that is at the location. Keep Martin Beautiful is dedicated to preserving and improving the quality of life in Martin County, and we believe that this project will allow us to continue preserving our county’s history while creating an attractive, comfortable environment for those visiting family members buried in Indian Mound Cemetery.

Keep America Beautiful at Kitsap County Fair, WA

Have you ever thought about what kind of recycling happens at a rodeo? KAB found out this past week at our third and final fair visit of the summer. KAB and Alcoa Foundation provided bins, boots on the ground, and technical expertise at state and county fairs as part of a Clinton Global Initiative commitment. This week in Washington State, the Kitsap County Fair included a rodeo, and we did not know going into the fair what this would mean for recycling. What did we learn? Rodeos are ripe with recyclables! Even though the adult beverage vendors were doubtful that customers would recycle, when we gave them bins and came back to them the next morning, the bins were filled with aluminum cans! We also provided bins in the bleachers, VIP cookout area, beer garden, and even behind the scenes where the cowboys, cattle wranglers, and barrel racers were camping and taking care of their animals.

As we walked around with labels for recycling bins, a man barbecuing with his family called out to “bring one of those over here!” He was eager to have a label for the recycling bin in his cookout area. Later in the fair, when our volunteers went to check on a bin by the cattle wrangler’s shed, a man wanted to know how they were doing with recycling. The bin was completely filled with recyclables, so we were happy to tell him that he and his friends were doing great! It was exciting to see that fairgoers had a very positive response to not only recycling, but a composting pilot as well! KAB is thrilled that people are passionate about reducing waste and recycling right. Did you find recycling at any outdoor events this summer?

Keep America Beautiful and Keep Prince William Beautiful

Staff from the national Keep America Beautiful recycling office visited the Keep Prince William Beautiful, Va., landfill and recycling center. Two summer interns from KAB and the Keep Prince William Beautiful interns learned all about the highly engineered solid waste management facility and where their garbage goes. Prior to the tour we had a great networking event with some of the affiliate’s board members. A heartfelt thanks goes out to Keep Prince William Beautiful for a fun and informative tour and visit. Have you been to a landfill? If not, you should visit one. Seeing “the end of the line” for garbage is a great reminder to help recyclable materials become something new by placing them in the recycling bin instead of the trash.

Keep Phoenix Beautiful, Phoenix, AZ

Keep Phoenix Beautiful was the recipient of a 2013 Keep America Beautiful/Coca-Cola bin grant. These bins were placed in downtown Phoenix at Cesar Chavez Plaza, a park that has not had any recycling containers previously. This park is a very busy area for the downtown Phoenix area as residents cross through the park to get to government buildings. The city of Phoenix installed the bins and will take care of the recyclable materials. See all the photos and video in this short clip!

“Through our support of the Bin Grant program and our long-standing partnership with Keep America Beautiful, we are helping to bring sustainability to life in local communities across the country,” said Lori George Billingsley, vice president, community relations, Coca-Cola North America Group. “By increasing access to recycling today, we build sustainable communities for the future.

Keep Phoenix Beautiful was one of 156 local government, schools, colleges and other community groups nationwide to receive a grant. Recipients were chosen by KAB based on a number of criteria including level of need, recycling experience and the ability of applicants to sustain their program in the future. In its seven years of operation, the Bin Grant program has placed more than 29,000 recycling bins in more than 500 communities in 48 states and the District of Columbia. A full list of the spring 2013 Bin Grant recipients and further information about the grant program is available at bingrant.org.

National Pollinator Week 2013

It seems more common than ever that we are hearing stories of how the honeybee populations, as well as other pollinators, are losing ground to many different diseases, habitat loss and pesticides. Keep America Beautiful , our affiliate network  and partners are working in several ways to help these affected populations through some of our programs (i.e. National Planting Day) and educational materials.

The predominant theory offered by the EPA and experts from the global scientific community is that the declining health of honeybees is related to interactions among multiple stressors, including scarce food sources, diseases, habitat loss and bee management practices, as well as pesticides. Relative to the potential role of pesticides in pollinator health declines, the science is still progressing as we become more educated about what changes, if any, may be operative. Visit epa.gov to read more about this and other important pollinator information.

In Cartersville, Ga., Adairsville High School (AHS) has built a five-acre outdoor classroom and works with a beekeeper who houses several hives in a fenced in area of the garden.  Multiple partners, including Keep Bartow Beautiful, are collaborating with AHS to ensure the success and sustainability of the area.  The classroom, which is located behind the local high school, was built by the environmental science, construction, and the special education classes for use by BartowCounty school students grades K-12.  It contains an outdoor amphitheater, both raised bed and field planting areas and solar panels. It also contains a wind turbine that powers a well for pumping water to the garden and plant areas, as well as for operation of a simulated gold-panning operation, nature trails and bird-feeding stations.

The bee hive is a recent addition, and education programs are being developed.  The future expansion of this project will establish a honeybee colony to provide models for studies of pollination, genetics, and entomology.  The designated wildflower and flower garden areas will serve as excellent places for the pollinators to inhabit.

As National Pollinator Week comes to a close, let us keep in mind that not just bees, but bats, birds and ants are also critical to the pollinator population. Remember to protect these vital insects and animals.

*Photo provided by Keep Bartow Beautiful.