Keep Cass County Beautiful, Louisville, NE

On Oct. 25, 36 local volunteers gathered to plant 34 new trees in the village park in Cedar Creek, Neb. The trees were made possible from a 2014 Lowe’s/Keep America Beautiful Community Partners Grant. The $10,000 grant was received by Keep Cass County Beautiful and helps support its mission to engage individuals in building and sustaining vibrant communities.

Twenty-four conifer trees were planted along the south side of the park to add a screen and noise barrier from the railroad tracks. A mix of Black Hills spruce, white pine, Douglas fir, Colorado spruce, Norway spruce, limber pine, and Swiss stone pines will create a beautiful backdrop. A variety of autumn blaze maples, shingle oaks and various crabapple trees were also planted in the 19-acre park and green space areas. Another 10 large deciduous trees (each of a different species) will be planted this week to complete the project. The addition of more trees will provide shade, shelter, habitat, cleaner air, and a beautiful environment that will encourage more use of park areas.

Thanks to Lowe’s, Keep America Beautiful, the Village Board of Cedar Creek, Charles Paukert, Kip Fuxa, many Cedar Creek and other volunteers, Eagle Nursery and Beck’s Tree Farm for their help with the completion of this project. Creating more shade in the picnic and playground areas of the park will encourage more events and attract more visitors. This project will improve the overall aesthetics and environment of Cedar Creek’s unique lake community increasing enjoyment for everyone.

Keep Casper Beautiful Casper, Wyoming

On October 23rd, the City of Casper opened its newest neighborhood park. The land was set aside for future park development in 1979. As the neighborhood grew around the park, it became clear that now was the time to develop the park. Children in the neighborhood didn’t have any parks that they could walk or ride their bikes to; the nearest park was on the north side of a 4 lane highway. The park was planned with only 3 trees.

Keep Casper Beautiful applied for and received a UPS Foundation grant. Because of the grant, 33 trees are now planted in the park. Trees include pear, apple, cherry, apricot, burr oak, honeylocust, fir, and walnut. Members of the local UPS management team and 35 students from a nearby elementary school (Crest Hill Elementary) planted 10 of the 33 trees. The students from grades K-5 are members of the school’s environmental club. The students were divided into groups, each one with its own UPS leader, to plant trees. UPS then treated the students to cookies and juice. Later in the day, members of the neighborhood planted the rest of the trees in their new neighborhood park. After the planting, the kids enjoyed playing on their new playground and running and playing on the new turf.

Keep Broward Beautiful, Fort Lauderdale Florida

Keep Broward Beautiful through Broward County’s Natural Resources Planning and Management Division, the Youth Environmental Alliance (YEA), a local non-profit organization, and the State of Florida Park Service, are partners in implementing the Keep America Beautiful / Waste Management John U. Lloyd Beach State Park Dune Restoration Project. During the course of 4 events held since November 2013, over 400 volunteers from 10 different organizations have planted more than 8,000 native dune plants and trees as an effective method to mitigate beach erosion, restore coastal habitats and beautify the park. Volunteers and park staff continue to monitor and water the plantings to ensure their survival. This project clearly demonstrates the power of partnership and community engagement. “It was amazing to see such active participation from the community”, said Dawn McCormick, Community Affairs Manager for Waste Management. “When we work together, we accomplish great things!”