Byrd’s Adventure Center, Mulberry River, Arkansas

Thousands of Arkansans have already volunteered to pick up litter along the state’s roadways and waterways during Keep Arkansas Beautiful’s “Great Arkansas Cleanup”. The annual Arkansas fall litter-pickup campaign, the Great Arkansas Cleanup, runs from Sept. 6 through Oct. 31 this year.

Byrd’s Adventure Center, near Cass, hosted their own cleanup event, on Saturday, September 13. Keep Arkansas Beautiful was key in helping organize and publicize the effort, as well as furnishing volunteers with cleanup materials and supplies, such as trash bags, gloves, and safety vests. Organizers felt the need for a fall river cleanup that would complement the Great American Cleanup spring river cleanup organized by Brad Wimberly of Turner Bend.

Event organizers, Courtney King of Byrd’s Adventure Center, Jeff Stepp, of Clarksville Recycling and Sustainability, and Jacob Gould, of GreenSource Recycling noted that nearly 100 volunteers registered to pick up trash along the Mulberry River banks and local highways. Volunteers drove from as far as Russellville and Fayetteville to take part in this year’s cleanup. Group involvement was key to the success of this year’s event, especially with the help of The University of the Ozarks, Cass Job Corps, Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, U.S. Forest Service, Mulberry River Society, and Arkansas Stream Team. A very special thank you to the event host, Pamela Byrd Boulden owner of Byrd’s Adventure Center, for her continuous efforts to protect and preserve the Mulberry River Valley.

Volunteers were not only rewarded with the satisfaction of preserving our natural landscape, but were also rewarded for their efforts with a cookout, live music and door prizes. The food and beverages were all donated from local businesses and restaurants: Steve Outlaw, Ozark IGA, Belle Point Beverages, GreenSource, Ozark Natural Foods, Ozark Natural Breads,Pickle Haus, Hellious Hummus, Jammin Java, Sysco Foods, and Byrd’s Mulberry Riverfront Restaurant. The band Arkansauce from Fayetteville donated their time and talents to entertain the volunteers with their unique style and stringed instruments. Everyone left with a prize for participating, toys for the kids, river gear, and even a kayak was given away as the grand prize!

Event organizers and Byrd’s looks forward to many more fall cleanup events in the years to come. For information on how to find cleanups in your area, visit the Keep Arkansas Beautiful website.

Trash Statistics:
Total= 1,300lbs
Landfill garbage= 500lbs
Plastics= 250lbs
Aluminum= 350lbs
Tires= 8
Total Miles Cleaned= over 25 miles (Caltapa-Turners Bend)

Affiliates Join Together to Keep Arkansas River Beautiful

Keep America Beautiful affiliates in Arkansas and Oklahoma recently joined together to help keep the Arkansas River beautiful. Together they helped remove over 4 tons of litter from in and around the Arkansas River.

On September 6, Keep Arkansas Beautiful kicked off their annual fall Great Arkansas Cleanup with the third annual Great Arkansas River Cleanup. Eight Arkansas communities, including five local Keep America Beautiful affiliates (Keep Little Rock Beautiful, Keep North Little Rock Beautiful, Keep Ozark Beautiful, Pine Bluff/Jefferson Co. Clean & Beautiful, and Keep Van Buren Beautiful) joined together for one large day of action to help reduce litter in and around the Arkansas River. Keep Oklahoma Beautiful also joined their efforts this year by organizing four cleanup events in Oklahoma communities along the Arkansas River.

Final results are still being compiled, but preliminary results show:
Almost 250 volunteers served more than 750 hours to help keep the Arkansas River beautiful.
Produced a value of at least $16,000.
More than 4 tons of litter removed (more than 8,816 pounds removed—including 374 bags of trash, 38 tires, 2 refrigerators, and 1 toilet!)

The 2015 Great Arkansas Cleanup is scheduled for September 12, 2015. Keep Arkansas Beautiful hopes to recruit affiliates or communities in Colorado and Kansas for next year’s efforts, as well as increasing the number of cleanup events in Arkansas and Oklahoma!

For more information about the Great Arkansas Cleanup, please visit Keep Arkansas Beautiful’s website here: http://keeparkansasbeautiful.com/get-involved/great_arkansas_cleanup/

Hobbs State Park, Arkansas

Arkansas Governor Mike Beebe declared July 2014 as “Lakes Appreciation Month” in Arkansas. To help celebrate, Hobbs State Park teamed up with the Beaver Watershed Alliance to host a cleanup of Beaver Lake. Seventy-five volunteers worked together to help remove approximately 2,000 pounds of litter from in and around Beaver Lake. They were able to recycle about 20 pounds of waste, as well as 25 tires. In total, they cleaned about 25 miles of waterways, shorelines, roadways, and trails, as well as 12 acres around the Arkansas State Park.

Keep Arkansas Beautiful

Keep Arkansas Beautiful hosted a “Do Good. Have Fun.” event with Bud Light and Keep America Beautiful on Saturday, June 28! More than 100 volunteers gathered at Pinnacle Mountain State Park in Little Rock to help beautify the park.

Volunteers painted the Visitor’s Center and entrance gates to the park, and also re-painted the trail-markers on the park’s hiking trails. Volunteers also helped clear and sort storm debris, which will be used for Park activities in the fall and winter. Finally, volunteers worked hard to remove approximately 500 pounds of litter from in and around the park!

Special thanks to all the individuals and organizations who helped make this “Do Good. Have Fun.” event a success!

After the event, volunteers enjoyed a nice lunch and ice-cold Bud Lights, thanks to generous support from Anheuser-Busch on a national and local level. Special thanks to Golden Eagle of Arkansas for all their help and support with this event!

M.K. Distributors, Pine Bluff, AR

M.K. Distributors in Pine Bluff hosted a Great American Cleanup event in its community on May 17! Volunteers collected approximately 280 pounds of litter from around the city. Keep Arkansas Beautiful is proud of their efforts. Way to go, M.K. Distributors!

Arkansas Natural Heritage Commmission, Warren, AR

The Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission hosted their third Great American Cleanup event on May 17 at the Warren Prairie Natural Area. Approximately 20 volunteers helped remove about 900 pounds of litter from 4 miles surrounding the area. Way to go, ANHC!

Ozark Vein Center, Fayetteville, AR

The Ozark Vein Center recently hosted “Stomping out Trash with Class!” at Iam’s Dog Park in Fayetteville, Arkansas! This was their first time to coordinate and host a Great American Cleanup event. They collected approximately 60 pounds of litter from in and around the dog park. Xena, one of the volunteer’s dogs, was a big help for removing hard to reach litter!

The group enjoyed the cleanup so much that they also started cleaning a bike trail in Bentonville! We are so proud of their efforts to help keep Northwest Arkansas beautiful!

Gentry Travelers Pathfinder Club, Gentry, AR

The Gentry Travelers Pathfinder Club hosted a “Trash-A-Thon” in conjunction with Keep America Beautiful’s Great American Cleanup on May 18!

Twenty-five volunteers helped collected approximately 400 pounds of litter from in and around Gentry City Park and the Flint Creek Nature Center. This cleanup was also a fundraiser for the organization. Members of the organization had people “sponsor” them for each pound of litter they removed. Funds raised from this cleanup event will help fund their upcoming trip to the 2014 International Camporee. Way to go, Gentry Travelers!