Keep Truckee Meadows Beautiful, Reno, NV

Record number of sites for KTMB’s Great Community Cleanup
More than 600 residents brave weather to clean up Truckee Meadows

RENO, NV (May 10, 2014) – More than 600 Washoe County residents turned out in the wind and rain Saturday to clean up illegal dumpsites and invasive weeds at a record 22 sites during KTMB’s Great Community Cleanup. Volunteers removed 116 tons of trash, 13 tons of invasive weeds and more than 300 tires for a cleanup total of 132 tons. Volunteers also removed graffiti from several sites.

“Last year it was almost too hot to be out, and this year was the opposite, but you can’t stop our volunteers,” said Christi Cakiroglu, executive director of Keep Truckee Meadows Beautiful (KTMB).

Cakiroglu said the organization also started the KTMB Speakers Bureau this year to try and spread a wider word about how illegal dumping negatively affects the Truckee Meadows.

“People might think they are saving some money, or they truly might not know what to do with some of the items they’re dumping,” Cakiroglu said. “But there are alternatives, and people can contact us anytime for that information. Dumping never saves money because residents pay in so many other ways like lowered property values, deterred business and depressed quality of life for everyone who lives here.”

KTMB volunteers are individuals, families and groups from all over the community, including the event sponsor, Intuit, and all the event partners like the Truckee River Fund, NV Energy Foundation, YP, Allied Nevada Gold Corp., cities of Reno and Sparks, IGT, KTVN, Save Mart, Signature Landscapes, Sun Valley GID, Washoe County, Washoe County Health District, Waste Management, Wells Fargo, Wilks Radio, AT&T External Affairs, Bureau of Land Management, Microsoft Licensing, OrangeTree Productions, Reno-Sparks Indian Colony, Scheels, The Nature Conservancy, Tires Plus, United States Forest Service, and Washoe County Sheriff’s Office.

KTMB’s Great Community Cleanup began in 2006 as a part of a community-based effort to preserve the natural beauty of local recreation areas and remove the dangers to people and wildlife associated with illegal dump sites and invasive weeds. For a map of 2014 cleanup sites, before and after photos, video and more, visit ktmb.org/events/ktmbs-great-community-cleanup/

In 2014, KTMB celebrates 25 years of stewardship in the Truckee Meadows, and KTMB’s Great Community Cleanup is the 15th event in KTMB’s 25for25 Silver Celebration (#25for25). All KTMB programs are geared toward educating the public about the economic and health hazards of litter and illegal dumping; reducing our waste; eliminating trash from our parks, roadways and open spaces; making our community a beautiful and safe place to live; and giving opportunities for residents and businesses to take pride and ownership in their home. Residents can get involved by visiting ktmb.org

Keep Slidell Beautiful, Slidell, LA

Bayou Cleanup

One Person Can Make a Difference!  KSB heard about Zane Galbert, who is in the Coast Guard, who had taken it upon himself to go out in his kayak and clean the bayou next to Slidell’s premiere park.  Zane didn’t like the look of the trash and debris in the bayou.  He had tried to contact several agencies to see if they could work together to continue his mission, with no success.  One of our KSB Board Members met Zane at a neighborhood homeowner meeting and the rest as they say is history.  KSB worked with Zane and provided equipment and trash bags.  Our Executive Director, Bill Mauser, loaned him his own kayak so he could have his cousin help him with the cleanups.  They took part in our GAC with two bayou cleanups.

Keep Slidell Beautiful, Slidell, LA

Leaders Against Litter

KSB participated in a Statewide Keep Louisiana Beautiful event called “Leaders Against Litter.”  The one-hour statewide event was held to engage local leaders and heighten awareness and confront the litter problem in Louisiana.  The event started at the local level and “handed off” to the next community, weaving its way through the entire state, ending on the steps of the State Capitol where a press conference was held announcing the communities involved and amount of litter collected.

KSB had a great showing with 52 Local Parish and City elected officials, business leaders, civic leaders, church leaders and school leaders participating in the event one day before the GAC.  In one hour volunteers collected 27 bags of trash and 3,752 cigarette butts.  Elected Leaders included the Parish President, Mayor, Police Chief, 5 City Council Members, Fire Chief, and School Board Superintendent.  Leaders used “gold” litter grabbers and wore gold t-shirts, and everyone signed our huge Pledge Board – pledging support for a litter-free Louisiana.

The message worked!  The Louisiana State Legislature passed a bill last week to add “cigarette butts” to the definition of litter and increased the fines for throwing out butts.

 

Keep Lexington Beautiful, KY

Planting Natives Restores Natural Beauty to Community Stream in Lexington, KY

Last October, Lexington, Ky., community members had a unique opportunity to help Keep Lexington Beautiful eradicate invasive species and uncover the beauty of a local business corridor and stream. On a cold and rainy day volunteers removed nearly 85 tons of invasive bush honeysuckle and other plant debris from the area, and installed 100 native trees and shrubs.

The aggressive bush honeysuckle can become a huge problem along waterways, especially in Kentucky. The massive amount of invasive species overtaking the corridor hampered residents and drivers from knowing about the stream and habitat that existed underneath it all.

Not only were the aesthetics of this historic business corridor affected negatively over time, but the amount of storm water runoff and pollution had long been diminishing the water quality of the river. Local students tested the water with kits provided by the state utility company; this helped provide a baseline for testing the improvement of the quality over time.

Fortunately, the volunteers not only beautified the area, they also collected 440 pounds of recyclables and 1.5 tons of trash and debris that had been littered along the corridor and in the stream.
Lexington continues to be a great city thanks to so many of its citizens volunteering to make it more beautiful.