Keep Indianapolis Beautiful, Indianapolis, IN

The Youth Tree Team program at Keep Indianapolis Beautiful is wrapping up for the summer. High school students from around the city worked to mulch, water and maintain more than 5,000 trees each week. The students carry 2 buckets of water ( 80lbs! ) to each tree once a week. It’s a lot of hard work, but there is also a lot of fun to be had.
During the summer, the high school students work three days a week, then on Thursdays they participate in enrichment activities. Activities this year included rafting on the White River, creating art out of nature at the Indianapolis Art Center and learning how to follow a compass during an orienteering lesson.
The teens also took an overnight wilderness trip in the woods where they hiked, participate in leadership and team building activities and learn how to identify trees.
This year, 61 high school students and 16 adult leaders participated in the program, but the work doesn’t stop with the end of the summer! During the fall and early winter, the students return on weekends to help water, mulch and plant trees around Indianapolis.

Keep Indianapolis Beautiful, Indianapolis, IN

On a chilly Saturday morning in November 2012, a group of Lowe’s Heroes assembled with KIB staffers along Fall Creek waterway to plant 71 large, Indiana native trees, as part of a native habitat restoration effort along this Indianapolis waterway. Planting trees as “green infrastructure” lessens the pressure on our city’s combined sewer system, reducing overflow events into Fall Creek, and improving our the quality of our waterways.

Keep Indianapolis Beautiful, Inc. (KIB) has had a wonderful experience partnering with Lowe’s locally. KIB received a 2012 grant from Keep America Beautiful and Lowe’s to plant 180 trees as part of our Fall Creek restoration project. Lowe’s brought out 40 extremely hard-working volunteers, who were all in good spirits despite the cold, damp morning, and they got the trees planted in just about an hour and a half! Several Lowe’s employees also told us that they learned the proper way to plant a tree!

Altogether last fall, volunteers and KIB staff planted a total of 183 trees along Fall Creek, despite the severe drought in central Indiana, which compressed our planting schedule. Thank you again to Keep America Beautiful and Lowe’s for the wonderful support of trees and “green” in Indy!

Keep Mohawk Valley Beautiful of Rome, Rome, NY

Great American Cleanup National Sponsor Troy-Bilt has announced that Keep Mohawk Beautiful of Rome is the winner of Taking Root! The Keep America Beautiful affiliate will receive $10,000 in grant funding and $2,000 in Troy-Bilt products to complete the Grow Rome project. Keep Mohawk Valley Beautiful of Rome plans to create new community gardens throughout Rome, N.Y. It targets youth, low income and at-risk citizens and encourages them to grow and harvest their own food.

In addition, each of the five Keep America Beautiful finalist organizations (Keep Carbondale Beautiful in Carbondale, Ill.; Keep Hammond Beautiful in Hammond, La.; Keep Indianapolis Beautiful; Keep Palm Beach County Beautiful in West Palm Beach, Fla.; and Shreveport Green in Shreveport, La.) will be awarded $3,000 to help complete a local gardening projects this year.