Keep Lewisville Beautiful, Lewisville Texas

There’s a new wildflower field in Lewisville courtesy of a $5,000 KAB/Lowe’s Community Improvement Grant.

During national Make a Difference Day in late October, 255 Keep Lewisville Beautiful volunteers worked to make Lewisville a more beautiful place to live. KLB volunteers set out at 9:00 a.m. at Lake Park to plant 1.33 acres of Texas native wildflower seeds that will bloom late next spring/early summer. Volunteers collectively spent over 510 hours preparing the soil and sowing more than 85 pounds of seeds along a field adjacent to Trotline and Lake Lewisville shoreline. Volunteers also planted more than 180 physical plants, along the field’s edges to promote growth and provide a boundary for the field and walking paths.

In addition to planting the wildflowers, volunteers also conducted a cleanup of Lake Park and the surrounding area — picking up 56 bags of trash and nine bags of recyclables. Offsite, Girl Scout service unit 406, led by Stacey Campbell, cleaned up additional community locations in conjunction with the national Make A Difference Day and Keep America Beautiful’s National Planting Day. An estimated 850,000 wildflowers will bloom this Spring, creating beautiful backdrop for pictures, picnics, and recreational enjoyment.

Thanks to Lowe’s corporate funding and local Lowe’s Heroes’ assistance, the City of Lewisville Parks and Leisure Services, We Plus You, Keep America Beautiful, and Keep Lewisville Beautiful volunteers who helped make this project possible.

Keep Ohio Beautiful and the Home Depot Foundation Create Outdoor Refuge for Veterans

Keep Ohio Beautiful and The Home Depot Foundation visited the Chalmers P. Wylie Columbus VA Ambulatory Care Center on Oct. 17 to create a peaceful green space for veterans and their families. The Columbus VA initiative is among several similar projects funded by a grant to Keep Ohio Beautiful from the Home Depot Foundation.

Approximately 80 Home Depot associates from 14 Home Depot stores in central Ohio worked to help enhance outdoor space for the veterans. The volunteers installed multiple projects, including: 1) A paver patio with a pergola, which will be used for entertainment and education for outdoor programs and events; 2) A patio with seating and plantings for veterans and their families to relax and visit while they are at the Medical Center for treatment; 3) Two raised planters where veterans can plant and care for annuals and vegetables; and 4) A buffer zone comprised of 25 arborvitae trees around the grounds to make it an inviting space for veterans and their families.

“These projects provide veterans with increased access to new and improved gardens, but also an opportunity to be actively engaged in horticultural activities with the introduction of raised beds and planters, and have peaceful visiting areas with the addition of the patios,” explained Michael Mennett, executive director of Keep Ohio Beautiful.

The green space around the Columbus VA Ambulatory Care Center is used for a variety of activities, such as exercise, picnics and patient rehabilitation through horticulture therapy practices. A comprehensive garden program was developed to allow veterans to grow plants from seed and distribute the grown vegetables to other veterans. With the new raised beds, veterans who are physically compromised will now have an easier time participating in this activity.

“I would characterize the veterans’ sentiment towards this project as one of gratitude, and when individuals and organizations honor their service through projects like this, there is a genuine sense of appreciation for their efforts,” said Keith Sullivan, director, Chalmers P. Wylie Columbus VA Ambulatory Care Center. “With the help of Keep Ohio Beautiful and the Home Depot Foundation, the new greening projects add to our ongoing Relationship Based Care Initiative that aims to care for the veterans’ mind, body and spirit through a caring and healing environment.”

After the work was completed, Keep Ohio Beautiful held a dedication ceremony with remarks from speakers Dan Weisenbach, vice president, Keep Ohio Beautiful; Frank Graves, RPSM, Ohio Valley northern division, Home Depot; Keith Sullivan, director of the Chalmers P. Wylie Columbus VA Ambulatory Care Center; Rick Isabel, Mayor Coleman’s cabinet member and veterans affairs coordinator; and Mayor Kim Maggard, The City of Whitehall.

“The Home Depot Foundation shares a passion with Keep Ohio Beautiful to help make a difference in the lives of the veterans at the Columbus VA Ambulatory Care Center,” said Kelly Caffarelli, president of The Home Depot Foundation. “We were thrilled to be part of their efforts by lending a hand for this project that will benefit so many veterans and their families.”

Keep Denton Beautiful Helps Low-Income Denton Residents

Keep Denton Beautiful (KDB) will host the third cycle of the KDB Garden Giveaway on Saturday, September 7, 2013 at the Denia Recreation Center in Denton. Individuals and families were selected on the basis of need to receive a free “garden kit”. The kit will include a self-watering container; soil; 6 vegetable plants; a watering can; a recipe book; and planting instructions. Participants will be educated about the environmental, health and socioeconomic benefits of gardening and provided with the resources to be knowledgeable and successful.

During last year’s giveaway, KDB supplied 100 garden kits and the new gardeners planted kale, cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, green beans, collard greens and basil. In 2013, 75 recipients will receive vegetable container gardens.

This program is supported by sponsors: Sustainable Denton, Clear Creek Natural Heritage Center, The Denton Record-Chronicle, the City of Denton Solid Waste Department, the City of Denton Parks & Recreation Department, and Sleepin’ Dogs Website Designs.

Contact: Jannibah Coleman
Community Outreach Coordinator
Phone: 940-349-8711 | Fax: 940-349-8396
Email: jannibah@kdb.org

Keep Mansfield Beautiful Plants Flowering Crabapple Trees In Effort to Beautify Downtown

Located 30 miles south of Boston in Mansfield, Mass. community members and Keep Mansfield Beautiful worked together in mid-May to plant donated flowering crabapple trees as part of the “Don’t Just Stand There – PLANT SOMETHING!” campaign.

Thanks to Keep Mansfield Beautiful, these colorful trees will beautify the gateway to the downtown. Prior to planting, expert horticulturalists from Guerrini Landscape demonstrated proper tree planting techniques, which provided volunteers with the information needed to properly plant the trees.

Volunteers also placed whiskey barrels along the sidewalks of Main Street, each planted with a matching variety of vibrant annual flowers. Volunteers also worked on the Mansfield Community Mural project along the wall adjacent to the downtown business district and public transportation station.

Keep Phoenix Beautiful – Phoenix, AZ

On Saturday, May 18, volunteers came out to the largest vacant lot transformation in the country – PHX Renews! Volunteers assisted in creating cover crops in the University of Arizona Cooperative Extension garden to improve the health of the soil. Volunteers also assisted in installing parts of a 160-piece public art collection on site. The art was created by various artists and the public under the direction of Hugo Medina.

PHX Renews is a project envisioned by Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton and implemented by local nonprofit Keep Phoenix Beautiful. The basis behind this project is to document and find temporary uses of vacant urban land, which is scattered all across Phoenix.

PHX Renews is centered on a 15-acre parcel at the intersection of Central & Indian School Roads in central Phoenix. This property is privately held by the Barron Collier Company of Naples, Fla., and has been vacant for over 20 years.

Keep Phoenix Beautiful is a 501(c)3 organization and an affiliate of Keep America Beautiful. Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, a past partner of KAB, has converted over 6,000 vacant lots in Philadelphia into green space. While green space is difficult to achieve in our arid desert climate, the achievements of the Philadelphia program are hard to ignore. Several KPB staff members have spent time at PHS projects learning best practices and witnessing their accomplishments.

For more information, visit PHXRenews.org or KeepPhxBeautiful.org.

Keep America Beautiful, Stamford, CT

On Earth Day,  seven Keep America Beautiful employees volunteered at Julia A. Stark Elementary School in Stamford, CT, as part of the Great American Cleanup. KAB volunteers joined students, staff and parents to help landscape an outdoor classroom and outdoor learning environment. Volunteers participated in a number of activities including clearing a walking path, planting hostas and removing invasive Japanese Knotweeds. Once the outdoor classroom is complete, the students at Stark Elementary will have a place to apply their studies and connect with the environment.

Montgomery Clean City Commission, AL

MCCC Participates In Creation of New City Park

Montgomery Clean City Commission (MCCC), Alabama Power, the City of Montgomery and Maxwell Air Force Base, are joining forces to create the new 1.25-acre Maxwell Park. The City will take unserviceable land and convert it into a recreational area featuring a boat ramp for the exclusive use of non-motorized boats and a scenic overview of the Alabama River.

On February 16, MCCC brought in a group of 110 volunteers from Maxwell AFB to start the arduous task of removing years of accumulated rubbish. More than 400 bags of debris were filled and removed, but plenty of trash remained for further cleanups. On March 2, volunteers from the Civil Air Patrol, Montgomery Rowing Club, and Master Gardeners continued the task. And MCCC has another cleanup and green-up scheduled for March 16, with 18 pallets of sod being delivered. A rain garden was also built, thanks to funding from Coca-Cola.

Susan Carmichael, MCCC’s executive director, reports that it will be moving on to a larger project called Peacock Tract, which is a two-year neighborhood revitalization project in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights march.

“We will be integrating the principals of smart growth, urbanism and green building into the first national system for neighborhood design,” Carmichael said. “This will be the largest project MCCC has been involved with since we began in 1975. It’s huge! Everything from tearing down buildings to removing sidewalks to taking out brick walls and steps to painting a collage on some large slabs, removing and planting new trees, restoring buildings and so much more.”

The cleanup initiative is far from done, however. There will be cleanups throughout the spring Great American Cleanup period and into the summer.

If anyone is interested in volunteering in Montgomery, Ala., contact Susan Carmichael at (334) 241-2175 or scarmichael@montgomeryal.gov .

Keep Greenwood County Beautiful, SC

Restorative Power of Community Greening in Greenwood County, S.C.

Last summer, Keep Greenwood County Beautiful in Greenwood, S.C., used a $20,000 Lowe’s/KAB Community Improvement Grant to facilitate various greening projects throughout the community, including a healing garden for the more than 10,000 veterans living in the county. Additionally, the grant was used to create a raised bed garden for students in wheelchairs to provide them with access to gardening. The herbs and flowers grown in this garden will be sold at the local high school for students of different abilities.

Grant monies were also used to conduct an environmental education program at a primary school that included a pollinator garden in addition to continuing support for the infrastructure of 15 local community gardens that provide fresh produce to food banks, soup kitchens and senior centers. All of the gardens are required to donate their surplus produce. (In 2011, 10 county gardens donated nearly 7,000 pounds of fresh produce.)

Each new garden engages 15 to 20 new participants and feeds an additional 30 families. Keep Greenwood County Beautiful was able to leverage this grant by garnering an in-kind gift from the Greenwood County Power Works, which waived an $800 water tap fee for a new irrigation system.