Keep Truckee Meadows Beautiful, Reno, NV

Keep Truckee Meadows Beautiful (KTMB) staff is so excited to be involved with the University of Nevada, Reno’s Summer of Sustainability, put on by the Mathewson-IGT Knowledge Center and Office of Undergraduate and Interdisciplinary Research: Academy for the Environment.

The summer activities center around Reused + Recycled = Art, an incredible show of recycled art from community artists — including some incredibly talented high school and college students — and anchored by plastic-debris art from nationally known ocean researcher Bonnie Monteleone of the Plastic Ocean Project.

Wherever Bonnie takes her art, she tries to do a cleanup in the area, and that’s where KTMB came in! UNR students and staff joined Bonnie at Rock Park in Sparks, NV, on June 12 to kick off the Summer of Sustainability activities with a river and park cleanup. Because Rock Park was heavily used over the Fourth of July weekend, Reused Recycled Art volunteers’ work was much appreciated. We also cleared weeds, spread mulch and our volunteers spread out along the river to clean up Gateway Park as well.

And we got a special surprise: About a week before the Summer of Sustainability cleanup, Corina from KIND Healthy Grains emailed to say she noticed we were having a cleanup and, since she’d be in the area, could she bring us some bars for our volunteers? WOW! The volunteers loved the bars (and Deanna’s watermelon, yum!), and we gathered up about 45 bags of micro-trash (the “big” item of the day was drink-box straw wrappers — hang on to those, people!) and weeds from Rock Park.

Reused + Recycled = Art officially opened on July 13. It’s an amazing show for adults and kids alike. From high-fashion wearable art to huge cardboard dinosaurs, this show has something for everyone and is a truly fascinating look at what we can do with “trash.” Videos about the art and trash, including Incline High School’s Plastic Footprint (included in the show) and KTMB’s Waste Warriors video, are included.

The show opened with an amazing presentation by Bonnie Monteleone, detailing her travels around the world and what she’s found in the oceans she’s studied — in a word: plastic. Bonnie gave the audience many reasons to care about the problem of all this plastic in the ocean, but also careful to give us many everyday ways to mitigate the problem and much hope for the future if we act now.

More activities are planned throughout the summer, and the art show will be on display until the end of September.