On October 26, 2013 a record number of volunteers, over 550, from virtually every socio-economic background from across the city came together to plant over 400 trees in the Castle Heights neighborhood in southeastern Winston-Salem as part of the annual Community Roots Day event. This was the 21st year this event has been conducted with approximately 10,000 trees being planted over those years. All volunteers received t-shirts, hats and plenty of donated food and drink. Nearly 40 corporate and individual sponsors provided monetary or in-kind support to make this event happen. This event helps to instill a sense of pride in the community, improves property values, stabilizes the soil and helps prevent erosion. Some have said that planting the trees creates a “shield” to “protect the neighborhood from forces that threaten to overwhelm it – crime, decay and a sense that no one cares.”
On May 10th, Keep Riverside Clean & Beautiful (KRCB ), which brings people together to build and sustain vibrant communities, launched the 16th annual Great American Cleanup in the City of Riverside. Over 700 community volunteers took on the critical neighborhoods at 38 cleanup sites citywide. Projects included: litter and weed abatement, graffiti eradication, cleaning city waterways, E-waste collection and 50 trees were planted along Alessandro Blvd. and Cannon Road. Special thanks go to the crews from Athens Services, Burrtec Waste Industries and CR&R Environmental Services for following the volunteer’s efforts that day, collecting over 12,000 lbs. of litter, debris, weeds and bulky items.
It’s not an easy task to plant a forest and save one all in a day’s work; however, a group of Dow volunteers made it look simple. As part of Dow’s 2014 Great American Cleanup, volunteers planted 146 trees to create the new forest at Chippewa Nature Center in Midland, MI, on May 14. The group was also busy saving an existing forest by removing garlic mustard seed, an exotic invasive species. In total, 14 different species of trees were planted by 30 volunteers.
The work put in by the volunteers will have a lasting effect on the local environment and the community will be able to enjoy it for years to come.
“The diverse trees planted will allow a place for birds and other wildlife to nest and eat,” said Tom Lenon, director of land and facilities at Chippewa Nature Center. “Plus, it will bring beauty to the region as the season change and the fall colors are in full bloom.”
Community outreach has been an essential element to Dow since its founding in 1897. The Great American Cleanup is a key initiative of Dow’s Contributing to Community Success objective as part of the company’s 2015 Sustainability Goals.
“Giving back is part of who we are at Dow,” said Mike Witt, global leader at Dow. “My team and I are always excited to volunteer, and projects like this allow us to have a lasting effect on our community that generations of people can enjoy.
The tree planting initiative is one of more than 60 Great American Cleanup events that Dow will host across the U.S. this year. A national sponsor of the Great American Cleanup since 2008, employees from Dow sites across the U.S. collaborate with local organizations and volunteers in cleanup, recycling, beautification and education initiatives to improve their communities through sustainable solutions for a cleaner and greener tomorrow.
Keep the Midlands Beautiful staff and volunteers were joined by employees from TD Bank, America’s Most Convenient Bank®, and Alliance for Community Trees (ACTrees) on Oct. 25 at Martin Luther King Jr. Park to participate in TD Tree Days, a cooperative effort to plant new trees in local communities in need.
As part of TD Forests, the bank’s environmental initiative to reduce paper usage and increase protected forest habitat, TD Bank and ACTrees are partnering with local community organizations for TD Tree Days. The tree-planting events will take place from Maine to Florida during September and October in communities and neighborhoods in need. The native tree species to be planted are drought resistant, consume little water, help with storm water retention and more. Volunteers planted 75 trees at Martin Luther King Jr. Park, a community park that provides recreation and open space relaxation to the surrounding neighborhood. Martin Luther King Jr. Park is one of only 18 locations selected for this nationwide event.
“Keep the Midlands Beautiful is excited to receive one of only 18 grants in the nation that will benefit our community. Planting 75 trees in a community park will help the park by bringing shade, improving neighborhood aesthetics and helping with water management and air quality” said Jacqueline Buck, executive director of Keep the Midlands Beautiful.
“TD Bank is showing their commitment to our community by funding programs like this and partnering with organizations like ACTrees brings immeasurable benefits to our neighborhoods.” Buck added. “Finally, this event would not be possible without the support of Graham Taylor and the City of Columbia Parks and Recreation Department.”
On Aug. 21, 2013 after months of planning, the Lowe’s Heroes from Fairlawn and Alliance, Ohio, banded together to carry out a park spruce-up project at two City of Akron parks: Davenport Park and Erie Island Park. In just a few hours many tasks were completed.
At Davenport Park, Lowe’s volunteers replaced lumber and stained all of the dilapidated benches by the park restroom and on the t-ball fields. Children were virtually unable to sit on these benches, so we completely refurbished them. Next, the Lowe’s Heroes volunteers stained all of the picnic tables, benches and bleachers in the entire park. They labored alongside City of Akron Arborist Bill Hahn and planted 10 trees. As if that wasn’t enough, they proceeded to spruce up all of the park signs! The Lowe’s team ripped out all of the old, dying plants, tilled and added more soil, and planted a beautiful array of flowers. The park sign spruce-up also included a new coat of brown and yellow paint to make the City of Akron park sign POP!
At the Erie Island Park ball fields, the Lowe’s Heroes spread gravel around the new picnic tables so that the area would be easy to walk through. They also created a new planting bed, roto-tilled, added new soil and planted alongside the Keep Akron Beautiful crew.
Six City of Akron parks received new trash and recycling receptacles, including Davenport Park and Erie Island Park/ball fields, where the projects took place. These receptacles will encourage recycling and were exclusively placed in parks that have youth sporting activities happening in the park. The six parks receiving these receptacles include: Copley Road Soccer Complex, Davenport Park, Erie Island Park/ball fields, Lane Field, Patterson Park and Prentiss Park. All of the sports teams that practice or play in these parks were given an education about what to deposit into the trash container and what to deposit in the recycling container. Keep Akron Beautiful is encouraging players, coaches and fans to make the right choice in depositing their waste and NOT littering in the parks! Educational materials were given out, and all of the recycling bins have a sticker affixed to them to remind citizens what is appropriate to throw in the bins. Each team was also given a supply of trash and recycling bags, so they are able to do a litter sweep after each practice or game.
Keep Akron Beautiful appreciates all of the assistance of the City of Akron Parks Department, as well as the Fairlawn Lowe’s store. We are so proud to show off all of the good being done in our community! Thank you, Lowe’s for funding our $20,000 Community Improvement Grant and to the Fairlawn Lowe’s store for choosing us as your “Lowe’s Heroes” project. We are so proud of the work we have accomplished, and will continue to accomplish through our new recycling program.