Keep the Midlands Beautiful, West Columbia South Carolina

Keep the Midlands Beautiful (KMB) did a monthly Good Clean Fun Saturday litter pickup. We had a few volunteers come out to help, despite it being an overcast gloomy day. Even as it started to sprinkle, they continued to work to clean up the streets around the Midlands. KMB is so thankful to the schools and volunteers who make projects like these possible. Without their input, KMB would not be able to accomplish half of what we do. We sincerely thank everyone for their efforts.

Keep Guntersville Beautiful, AL

The Lakeview Community Civic Organization (LCCO) coordinated its annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service Neighborhood Cleanup. Keep Guntersville Beautiful assisted in this worthy endeavor by providing gloves, safety vests, bags, litter picker sticks and calling for volunteers. Volunteers assembled at Williamson-Harris Park for a breakfast provided by the LCCO. Afterwards, teams spent three hours picking up trash and collecting recyclables throughout the Lakeview neighborhood. The Guntersville Police Department, the LCCO and their partners in the Building Bridges Task Force will receive a Distinguished Service Citation for Community Improvement Litter Prevention & Revitalization for such service projects at the KAB National Conference Award Ceremony in Washington, D.C. on January 27, 2015.

Keep Charleston Beautiful, Charleston, SC

Keep Charleston Beautiful was awarded a $5,000 KAB/Lowe’s Community Partners Grant to implement the Adopt-A-Stop: Bus Stop Litter Prevention Program in Charleston, S.C. Adopt-A-Stop (AAS) is a volunteer based litter prevention program geared at stopping litter at Charleston Area Regional Transportation Authority (CARTA) bus stops located in the City of Charleston. In short, volunteers adopt a trash can at a local bus stop and service the can weekly, collecting the trash and cleaning any litter near the stop.

Thanks to the KAB/Lowe’s 2014 grant funds Keep Charleston Beautiful now has 12 stops adopted throughout the City and more under review for adoption. Grant funding provided the trash cans, lids, trash bags, pickup sticks, safety materials, and promotional items needed for this project to become a reality.

Why Adopt-A-Stop?
AAS was created to solve an issue. Litter along local roads with a focus on bus stops. Transition spots and areas where people stop are often hot spots for litter, more so when there are no receptacles for unwanted waste. Unfortunately, simply providing a trash can at such locations is the easy part of the solution. The harder part is servicing the trash cans. A trash can that is not serviced does nothing to solve the litter issue and quickly becomes a problem in and of itself. The AAS program in Charleston aimed to provide serviced trash cans at local bus stops. The catch was we had no budget or staff to service the cans. After testing our volunteers at four stops around the city, the Adopt-A-Stop program formally launched in the summer of 2014. We are continuing to expand and improve the program, but already this year our adopters have conducted 144 bus stop visits, collected 61 bags of trash from stops.

Who Adopts?
Adoption groups range from local real-estate businesses, restaurants, small businesses, individuals, families, nonprofits, schools, and local scouts groups. When thanking a the Charleston’s Boy Scout Pack 79, Den 6 for their adoption of the stop near their meeting place, the young men had a few winsome words to share. When asked how they could help prevent litter an 8-year-old responded, “Put trash in the trash can if there is one near you or just hold onto it until you see a trash can.” When asked what they thought litter was, Romney, a 7-year-old scout answered, “Plastic and tin and other stuff that people just get rid of without thinking.” These young men along with all our other volunteers are stepping up and acting as true stewards in the community.

We also involve local students to help decorate our AAS drum trash cans. The painted cans help draw attention to the cans and provide a fun way for local students to share their ideas on what makes Charleston beautiful. The students are asked to paint the cans with the theme “A Beautiful Charleston.”

KCB is thankful to CARTA, Lowe’s, Keep America Beautiful, and our wonderful Adopters for making AAS possible.

Keep Genesee County Beautiful, Flint, Michigan

The scraping and prepping is complete and painting has begun at Sarginson Park. Devin Shroeder from the Lowe’s store in Burton, Michigan  stopped by to answer questions and encourage the volunteers from the West Flint Community Watch as they started the multi-day painting process. Just a week earlier, 18 community volunteers came out to finish scraping and prepping the park’s pavilion, benches, safety rails and playground equipment. This Saturday, the local Lowe’s team will conduct its second Scrape, Prep and Paint Training session at Mott Park where volunteers will spend the day applying what they learn.

Keep Cincinnati Beautiful

On Thursday, July 31, Keep Cincinnati Beautiful teamed up with 140 volunteers from POSSIBLE to “Shock the Block” in West End. The block? Bank Street, from Baymiller to Freeman Avenue. Volunteers tackled a number of projects that made the street go from dingy and dirty to colorful and clean.

One group of volunteers concentrated their efforts on Dyer Park, taking on a handful of different projects including edging and mulching around trees and picnic areas, painting the picnic tables, picking up litter, painting the large retaining wall under the splash park, and painting a mural.

Another group painted the barricades of a vacant storefront and a vacant school known as the Bloom School on Bank Street. Volunteers painted the barricades to look like windows and doors. Keep Cincinnati Beautiful will finish painting the Bloom School in the coming weeks.

A smaller group pulled weeds that were three-feet high from tree wells along Bank Street and mulched them afterwards. Ten more volunteers cleaned up an overgrown and littered alley.

These projects were organized to make this part of West End cleaner and safer. Studies show that when areas are clean and beautiful, there is less litter and crime.

Keep Cincinnati Beautiful would like to thank POSSIBLE, who sponsored the event and spent three hours working in the neighborhood. Special thanks also to The Cincinnati Recreation Commission, who provided mulch and painting supplies for Dyer Park, and to the City’s Department of Public Services, who not only primed the retaining wall, but also collected all of the trash and yard waste after the event.

POSSIBLE is a global digital agency that offers their clients award-winning digital strategy, performance marketing, and creative design.

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.

Keep Akron Beautiful, Akron OH

Historic Wash House & Mansion Repainted

Keep Akron Beautiful (KAB) and the Summit County Historical Society teamed with employee volunteers from FirstEnergy Corp. on Friday June 20, 2014 to paint the historic Wash House at the Perkins Mansion. Over 60 volunteers came out to not only repaint the 119 year-old wash house but also paint the gazebo and the interior of the 177 year-old Perkins Mansion located on 550 Copley Road in Akron Ohio.

The Perkins Mansion was built in 1837 by Colonel Simon Perkins, who was the son of General Simon Perkin – founder of the city of Akron. The house was sold to Summit County Historical Society in 1945 in which the mansion now serves as a historical house museum whose objects and rooms not only bring to life the Perkins family’s lifestyles over three generations, but interpret the history of Akron and Summit County from Akron’s founding to the turn of the century.

The project was part of United Way Day of Action Friday and made possible by the National Painting Week Ohio Grant that Keep Akron Beautiful and the historical society received from Keep Ohio Beautiful. The grant enabled volunteers to renew a community structure, acquire 40 gallons of exterior paint, paint supplies, and free advice from Sherman Williams employees.

Four groups in Ohio received painting grants, which only two of those groups will receive another $500 gift card from demonstrating best visual impact and revitalization story. Both KAB and the Summit County Historical Society officials took before and after photos in hope that they are one of the groups to receive the gift card. Jacqui Flaherty, Keep Akron Beautiful Program Manager said “We have a lot of painting to be done.”

Keep Winston-Salem Beautiful (KWSB), N.C.

For the second year in a row the Great American Cleanup (GAC) was part of the Forsyth County Creek Week coordinated by the City’s Storm Water Department, other county municipalities, the Library, Cooperative Extension Service and many other groups including of course KWSB.

March 15-22 events were held each day including creek crawls, fishing demonstrations, movies, book readings, photo contests, educational activities leading up to a large cleanup on March 22. On that final day approximately 1,000 volunteers county wide removed over 16,000 lbs. of trash and recyclables from local waterways, streets, parks and schools. Volunteers were provided Cici’s pizza, Krispy Kreme doughnuts and Pepsi drinks. It was a VERY successful and fun week!