Engaging Volunteers To Continually Improve Our Nationâ€™s Communities
Front cover and page 7 photos: ÂŠ Tod Martens Photography Back cover photo: ÂŠ Jim David Photography
Keep America Beautiful has a rich legacy of leadership in creating sustainable impact in communities across the country. Together with our national network of community-based aﬃliates, we work with millions of volunteers who take action in their communities to transform public spaces into beautiful places. Education and behavior change are the cornerstones of our organization. Our work educates and empowers generations of environmental stewards. We provide the right tools and resources to guide people’s understanding and actions to reduce waste, increase recycling, protect the natural areas of our communities and ensure beauty is the lasting signature. Through our programs and public-private partnerships, we engage individuals to take greater responsibility for improving their community’s environment. Our service projects are based on the knowledge and needs of the communities where we operate. We work closely with governors, mayors and other local government, civic and community leaders -- including state recycling organizations, to ensure that our work is leaving a positive impact. Our ﬂagship program, the Great American Cleanup, oﬀers structured service projects including experiential environmental education, organized volunteer events and employee engagement opportunities. This program engages volunteers to take greater responsibility for their community’s environment. Today, Keep America Beautiful is the nation’s leading nonproﬁt that brings people together to build and sustain vibrant communities. Through our actions and impacts, we help create communities that are socially connected, environmentally healthy and economically sound. We are committed to keeping this magniﬁcent country beautiful. We hope you’ll join us in our mission.
Jennifer Jehn President & CEO
Hereâ€™s what we know to be true: People and places are profoundly interconnected
Thriving communities are rooted in individual responsibility and action
Positive change and lasting impact happen when people work together
Each and every day, Keep America Beautiful is singularly focused on continually improving public places while caring for neglected ones so that positive social, environmental and economic change can occur.
OUR ACTIONS IMPACTS At Keep America Beautiful, it’s our mission to engage individuals to take greater responsibility for improving their community’s environment. And we don’t work alone. We have an expansive network of experienced, forward-thinking leaders who carry out our shared mission at the state, county and local levels. Together with this powerful national network of community-based aﬃliates, we work with corporate sponsors, partner organizations and millions of volunteers who take action in their communities. By harnessing the collective power of our network, we extend the reach of our initiatives and multiply the impact of our actions. Here’s what we do:
We remove litter and debris from roadsides, highways, shorelines and waterways for safer, cleaner communities.
We plant trees, shrubs and gardens to strengthen a community’s green infrastructure.
We recycle electronics, paper products, plastic bottles, cans, tires, clothing, and even junk cars to give garbage another life.
pounds of litter and debris collected
miles of roads, streets, highways cleaned
miles of rivers, lakes and shorelines cleaned
community greening projects
edible community gardens planted
PET bottles recycled
pounds electronics recycled
pounds household hazardous waste recycled
We restore urban, suburban and rural business districts and thoroughfares to spur economic impact.
residential and commercial building painted/renovated/constructed
grafďŹ ti removal/sites abated
We rebuild public spaces in communities struck by natural disasters to renew social connections.
tornado in Guntersville, AL - restored a community park with native plants, park benches and recycling containers
tsunami that hit Kahului, HI planted 150 massive native trees
tornado in Harveyville, KS - planted trees, painted homes and buildings recycling containers
We engage to take actionvolunteers in our nation’s communities Each spring, Keep America Beautiful kicks oﬀ the Great American Cleanup, which is the country’s largest community improvement program that takes place in 20,000 communities.
The Great American Cleanup oﬀers: • experiential environmental education • organized volunteer events • employee engagement opportunities
This national program engages on average 2 million volunteers who take action in their communities to create positive change and lasting impact.
We have a strong lineup of corporate sponsors and partner organizations that support our national network, which is singularly focused on continually improving public places while caring for neglected ones.
Keep America Beautiful and its national network of community-based aﬃliates execute this ﬂagship program each year by launching service projects grounded in the knowledge and needs of local communities. We work closely with governors, mayors and other government and civic oﬃcials to ensure that we’re meeting those needs in a sustainable way.
During the Great American Cleanup, our volunteers’ work returns on average $175 million in measurable beneﬁts across the participating communities. The Great American Cleanup provides communities with grassroots service projects that engage volunteers to take greater responsibility for their community’s environment.
Our national network leads hands-on work to improve our communities At Keep America Beautiful, we have a national network of community-based aﬃliates that carries out our shared mission at the state, county and municipal levels. These dedicated men and women run small to large nonproﬁts directly associated with our national oﬃce – the network comprises about 600 community-based aﬃliates spread across the country in urban, suburban and rural communities. And while our aﬃliates may vary by community, there is a common thread running through our network: ingenuity matched by expert skills to keep this country beautiful, one community at a time. Our state leaders and executive directors along with their staﬀ are trusted leaders in their communities -- and the majority has expertise in areas from master gardening, city planning and landscape architecture to disaster preparedness, recycling and waste reduction. These trusted and experienced professionals execute service projects that are based on the knowledge and needs of the communities where we operate. More than 50 percent of our network are housed in either state, county or city government, which demonstrates that our aﬃliates are at the table with the key decision makers who lead communities across this country. We’re extremely proud of the men and women who make up our community-based aﬃliate network. Their relentless focus, tireless eﬀorts and dedicated commitment help us keep America beautiful.
San Diego, CA
Hundreds of students from the 2014 Clinton Global Initiative University meeting gathered in Phoenix for the Clinton Foundation’s Day of Action in collaboration with PHX Renews. PHX Renews is a partnership between Keep Phoenix Beautiful and the City of Phoenix that is transforming previously vacant lots into sustainable public spaces. Student volunteers created art murals, harvested produce, built community gardens, planted trees, and built benches and picnic tables, among other projects.
I Love A Clean San Diego (ILACSD) spearheads the county’s largest volunteer event dedicated to protecting the area’s coastline and waterways. More than 5,000 volunteers removed more than 150,000 pounds of litter and debris from a record 96 coastal and inland cleanup sites during the annual Creek to Bay Cleanup. Volunteers also landscaped and removed graﬃti. When complemented by its pollution prevention education in local schools, ILACSD is able to ensure a clean and healthy future for the region.
Each year, Keep Cincinnati Beautiful (KCB) rallies thousands of volunteers to improve the quality of life in its community. KCB builds better communities by identifying areas of need and partnering with community councils, schools, neighborhood agencies, faith volunteer groups and businesses from the City of Cincinnati, Hamilton County, and surrounding communities to address those needs. KCB works with community groups to organize strategic and sustainable projects that address the blight of litter, illegal dumping, graﬃti and other community improvement issues.
Our education programs empower generations of environmental stewards Education and behavior change are the cornerstones of our organization. Our formal and informal education programs empower generations of environmental stewards, teaching individual responsibility towards one’s environment. We promote environmental literacy that creates a culture of understanding to improve our communities’ environments. We believe that individuals need to ﬁrst be informed about environmental issues and this in turn leads them to adopt appropriate attitudes and develop the necessary skills to take action in their communities. Collective action is critical to achieving behavior change and improving environmental literacy across communities. From building butterﬂy gardens to protecting watersheds, we provide the right tools and resources to guide people’s understanding and actions to reduce waste, increase recycling, protect the natural areas of our communities and ensure beauty is the lasting signature.
Tampa Bay, FL
The Florida Learning Garden, a project of Keep Tampa Bay Beautiful (KTBB) in partnership with the Florida State Fair Authority, is an interactive educational experience. The display garden features traditional and raised garden beds, aquaponics, hydroponics, over 75 types of trees, an interactive greenhouse and an energy-producing windmill. From ‘right-plant-right-place’ to best practices for water conservation, the newly constructed Humana Education Pavilion allows KTBB to educate residents about multiple growing techniques and sustainable practices. Harvested produce is donated to Tampa’s communities.
In an eﬀort to help rebuild Louisiana’s hurricane-depleted coast and protect communities from future storm surges, Lowe’s Heroes partnered with Keep Terrebonne Beautiful and the Louisiana Coastal Conservation Association to complete the “Floating Islands” restoration project in Terrebonne Parish. The project uses a “ﬂoating island” system developed to increase the amount of marsh and stabilize the natural shoreline. Mats made from 100% recycled plastic bottles are the foundation of the islands; plants will grow a root system and tie into existing marsh. The new marsh habitat will sustain marine life for years to come.
Keep South Miami-Dade Beautiful hosted an event for Troy-Bilt® and the Saturday6 garden bloggers, where they used their expertise to help start an edible community garden in the Perrine neighborhood of Miami. They worked alongside community members to build raised bed gardens. Troy-Bilt® donated the necessary garden equipment, including a cultivator, which was used to help mix the layers of topsoil and organic material together, and will be used to sustain the garden. The produce will be donated to people in need.
Our impact is multiplied through stakeholder partnerships Through our programs and public-private partnerships, we engage individuals to take greater responsibility for improving their communityâ€™s environment. We have strong relationships with the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Agriculture as well as with numerous state Departments of Transportation. We work closely with governors, mayors and other government, civic and community leaders -- including state recycling organizations, to ensure that weâ€™re meeting the needs of local communities. More than 50 percent of our community-based aďŹƒliates including state leaders are housed in either state, county or city government. This demonstrates that our state leaders and executive directors are seated at the table with the key decision makers who lead communities across this country. Each and every day, our organization is focused on continually improving public places while caring for neglected ones so that positive social, environmental and economic change occurs.
Baton Rouge, LA
Louisiana Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne kicked oﬀ Louisiana’s Great American Cleanup with “Leaders Against Litter,” a statewide event hosted by Keep Louisiana Beautiful (KLB) in partnership with Volunteer Louisiana. Sixteen KLB aﬃliate communities hosted events for this one-day “litter-thon.” They were joined by more than 600 community and business leaders from across the state who participated in cleanups and invited to pledge support of a litter-free Louisiana.
Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter kicked oﬀ the 2014 Philly Spring Cleanup at Gideon School. Keep America Beautiful joined Mayor Nutter, Keep Philadelphia Beautiful, the Philadelphia Eagles Youth Partnership and volunteers from Dow to paint, remove graﬃti and clean up vacant lots around the school. Dow and McCormick Paints generously donated 1,000 gallons of paint to the Philly Spring Cleanup eﬀort.
Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer engaged Keep America Beautiful aﬃliate Brightside in his “One Bright City” initiative that focuses on reducing litter, planting trees and encouraging sustainable living. Brightside works in partnership with the Tree Advisory Commission to plant thousands of trees. More than 10,000 volunteers helped clean up neighborhoods, schools and parks, removing 16 tons of garbage during Louisville’s Great American Cleanup.
We structured lead projects for employee events Throughout the year, we work with corporations to structure service projects for employee groups that want to oﬀer their time and skills to serve the communities where they live and work. These team-building service projects are as easy or challenging as the employee group wants. Each project is structured to reduce waste, increase recycling, protect the natural areas of communities and ensure beauty is the lasting signature. Projects can include restoring parks, trails and recreation areas, cleaning shorelines and waterways, removing litter and debris, planting trees and building community gardens, among other activities. We structure the service projects to meet the needs of the community as well as our corporate sponsor. We work with our national network of community-based aﬃliates including our state leaders and executive directors to identify a tailored service project grounded in the knowledge and needs of a local community. At the same time, we work with the company’s leadership to explore and identify relevant opportunities and activities to leverage their organization’s core competencies to create positive social change in a speciﬁc community. Through this partnership, we deliver community service projects that are rewarding to all involved.
Nearly 200 volunteers from Dow’s Propel to Excel executive program transformed a playground at Houston’s Gabriela Mistral school into a nature-based outdoor learning center. Working in partnership with Keep Houston Beautiful, Dow volunteers painted a multi-colored mural, planted more than 70 trees and shrubs, built two butterﬂy gardens, created a pond, and built benches plus puppet theater – in less than 4 hours. During the Great American Cleanup, more than 1,000 Dow employees and their families and friends are expected to volunteer at 60 events across the county.
Keep Indianapolis Beautiful, with the assistance of a $20,000 Lowe’s Community Improvement Grant, converted a vacant lot into a pocket park in the Bates-Hendricks neighborhood. This neighborhood was transformed into a green space with low maintenance landscape beds, a designated open space for the neighborhood, and trees adding shade. More than 30 Lowe’s Heroes volunteered at the Building Blocks Pocket Park, where they constructed and painted a mural wall, and completed a variety of “spring cleaning” tasks.
Altria employee volunteers worked to cleanup and improve a large stretch of urban waterway near downtown Richmond, Va. Volunteers worked to collect 800 lbs. of trash during their June day of service for the Great American Cleanup. Volunteers assembled 26 picnic tables, constructed eight recycling bins, and sorted 5,800 seedlings. Other contributions included painting ﬁve park benches, a quarter of a mile of park fencing, and four mural panels. The area is centrally located in downtown Richmond and is home to many festivals, concerts and art displays.
We partner with big brands
At the South by Southwest Festival in Austin, TX, we partnered with GLAD Products to serve as the waste diversion partner of SouthBites, a gourmet food truck destination curated by Austin Chef and Top Chef winner, Paul Qui. SouthBites attendees received information about waste diversion and composting at the GLAD Shack, where trash artist Jason Mecier created a mural of America from materials to be recycled or discarded at the SouthBites venue. We worked with Keep Austin Beautiful to lead SXSW attendees and Austin residents to kick oﬀ the Great American Cleanup during the conference. We built a community garden that was donated to an Austin school and removed litter, debris and material to be recycled from a heavily traﬃcked area on the SXSW main thoroughfare. The results of the four-day waste diversion program at SXSW included the collection of more than 4,000 pounds of waste, 1,600 pounds of materials for recycling and 1,400 pounds of compost with 1.5 tons of materials diverted from the landﬁll.
Weourrecognize sponsors & volunteers At each Great American Cleanup event, our sponsors and volunteers have fun, develop new friendships and help create communities that are socially connected, environmentally healthy and economically sound.
Whether planting an edible community garden at an elementary school, hosting a tailgate recycling event or restoring a community park following a disaster, our sponsors and volunteers help create lasting change by transforming tens of thousands of public spaces into beautiful places. We celebrate these generous acts of community service in our social and new media platforms including our blog that features great storytelling from our aďŹƒliates, our volunteer spotlight that recognizes standout service and through Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram. Join the fun and like us on Facebook!
On Earth Day a more make America beautiful place
At Keep America Beautiful, we’ve been bringing people together to build and sustain vibrant communities for more than six decades. And during this time, we’ve learned that people and places are profoundly interconnected. Whether the place is a community garden, a city park or a vacant lot, public places provide a neutral space in which people can come together with a shared purpose of community building. Together with our network of community-based aﬃliates and volunteers, we continually improve public spaces while caring for neglected ones – and these actions result in positive social, environmental and economic impact in communities across the country. This Earth Day, join us at a Great American Cleanup event to make your community a more beautiful place.
Topeka/Shawnee County, KS
Nearly 5,000 volunteers removed garbage and graﬃti; planted ﬂowers at City Hall and the Fox Theater; worked on the “Seeds of Inspiration” and the Greenﬁeld Walking Group community gardens, among many other activities. Once Keep Bakersﬁeld Beautiful’s initiatives were completed, the volunteers gathered with Mayor Harvey Hall at the annual Green Expo. The Expo includes exhibits from the green energy industry and conservation groups, and features a student recycled material art contest as well as a recognition ceremony and picnic at Bakerﬁeld’s Yokuts Park.
Keep America Beautiful - Topeka/Shawnee County (KABTSC) celebrated its annual “Get Down and Get Dirty” event during Earth Month with more than 1,600 volunteers. Volunteers removed shopping carts, a couch, a lawn mower and a sink, among other items, from an estimated six miles of the Shunganunga Creek. Waste Management of Kansas partnered with KABTSC, providing roll-oﬀs, waiving landﬁll fees, and providing lunch. Waste Management hosted a tour of its materials recovery facility to promote the area’s curbside recycling program.
Memphis City Beautiful’s Faith in Action Cleanup was the largest faith-based cleanup in Tennessee, if not the nation, with more than 12,200 volunteers participating. The three-day “Earth Week” initiative, presented by Memphis Mayor A C Wharton, Jr., involved teams of volunteers from faith-based organizations, businesses and schools who hit the streets of Memphis to ﬁght blight and beautify neighborhoods throughout the city. The City of Memphis recognized organizations with the largest volunteer teams in various categories, with Christ Missionary Baptist Church participating in the most cleanup projects during the weekend of activities.
What is the
action you take to keep America beautiful
“The fabric of Iowa is its pastoral beauty and its communities tied together by rivers, trails and roadways. The beauty of this state is important to our citizens and visitors. A clean and attractive state is critical for both the cultural and economic vitality and sustainability of Iowa. I’m proud of our state, the work of Keep Iowa Beautiful and of all its citizens that care through their ﬁnancial and volunteer support. They will make Iowa even better with a goal of being the cleanest and most attractive state in the nation”. Governor Terry E. Branstad, Iowa
“Lowe’s enjoys serving our communities with convenient recycling locations for plastic bags, rechargeable batteries, compact ﬂuorescent bulbs and plastic pots from plants we sell. See our progress at Lowes.com/ SocialResponsibility.” Michael Chenard Director of Corporate Sustainability Lowe’s
“Personally, I recycle whatever and whenever I can. Professionally, I work for a company whose mission includes helping communities across the country be clean and safe. Together, that’s the one action I take daily to keep America beautiful.” Barry Caldwell Senior Vice President, Public Aﬀairs & Communications Waste Management
“Practice good recycling habits at home and in the oﬃce. I’m also fortunate to work on projects with Troy-Bilt related to community gardens and have seen ﬁrst-hand how neighborhoods can improve and thrive through the eﬀorts of a small group of people.” Barbara Roueche Senior Manager Marketing Communications Troy-Bilt “One of the many things I love about Dow people is their passion for volunteering. I share their enthusiasm and encourage, as well as participate in, activities to help clean-up / green-up and beautify our communities. Many businesses at Dow make products that are energy eﬃcient and help to remind us all to tie good environmental practices into every aspect of life – not just our work.” Howard Ungerleider Executive Vice President Dow Advanced Materials
Visit kab.org or facebook.com/KeepAmericaBeautiful “The one thing I do to Keep America Beautiful is build relationships to inspire, motivate and partner with others to work toward the common goal of creating vibrant communities. I have learned that no matter how passionate I am nor how hard I work, I cannot Keep America Beautiful alone. It’s essential to create relationships and inspire others of all ages to preserve the beauty of our community.” Laura Howard, Executive Director, Keep Sevier Beautiful, Sevier, TN “I use the many opportunities I have as Lieutenant Governor to speak to groups across Louisiana about the importance of making the “Sportsman’s Paradise” look like it sounds. I stress the importance of litter free highways, byways and waterways in promoting our state to tourists and potential investors. I also personally participate in cleanup sessions and recruit elected oﬃcials for the Leaders Against Litter program.” “In Phoenix, there’s not just one action we’re taking to keep our community beautiful – there are many. Since taking oﬃce, I’ve set a goal to divert 40 percent of waste from city landﬁlls by 2020; we’ve invested in 500 miles of bike lanes and paths; and PHX Renews brought together a coalition of 16 local businesses and non-proﬁts to transform the city’s vacant lots into more sustainable projects – a ground-breaking eﬀort praised by President Bill Clinton. Phoenix is bringing residents together to improve our community and make it a more beautiful place for everyone.” Mayor Greg Stanton, Phoenix, AZ
“For over a decade, I have used my car as a means of conveying the importance of not littering, whether at home or away. From my personalized license plate of “LITERNOT” to the magnetic sign on the back of my car stating that “Cigarette Butts are Litter”, I am able to spread the message daily. Behaviors can be changed and I’m proud of the opportunity to remind the public that they can and do make a diﬀerence.” Brenda Ewadinger Executive Director, Keep NC Beautiful KAB State Leader Council member
Lieutenant Governor Jay Dardenne Louisiana
“Every day, I try to ﬁnd a way to clean up our community, whether it’s picking up trash as I walk Downtown or ﬁnding new ways Macon-Bibb can support groups working to clean up neighborhoods. In 2013, we began a new program through our Public Works Department that removed more than 150,000 pounds of trash and debris from our major roads and intersections. Now, we are developing a program to keep our interstate interchanges – the gateways into our city – clean and landscaped. “ Mayor Robert Reichert Macon-Bibb County, GA
Keep America Beautiful transforms public spaces in to beautiful places. Your community matters. Take action. kab.org
Published on Jul 31, 2014
Keep America Beautiful's flagship program, the Great American Cleanup, offers structured service projects including experiential environment...