Cool Off with Low-impact Summertime Activities

Posted by on Aug 17, 2017 in News, Uncategorized

With the abnormally cool weather we’ve seen in Arkansas this year, now’s the time to get out and enjoy all the state has to offer with low-impact water activities! Arkansas is home to some of the most beautiful rivers, lakes and waterways–here are a few ways to enjoy them while keeping the state clean and green! Crowley’s Ridge Swimming Hole Image courtesy of Crowley’s Ridge State Park  Camping and enjoying natural watering holes on the weekend are great ways to end the summer! Areas like Crowley’s Ridge State Park at the Chalk Bluff Natural Area are ideal, as the spring-fed lake offers cool and calm waters. The Crowley’s Ridge area also houses two swinging bridges, pedal boat rentals and kayaks throughout the year. Each of these activities are low-impact on the environment, creating little waste and a lot of fun! Plastic is one of the greatest forms of waste that affects a lake’s ecosystem, and is primarily due campers to disposing of waste and trash improperly. “Pack-in and Pack-out,” is a program created by Leave No Trace and utilized by Arkansas Parks to encourage campers and visitors to essentially carry out everything that they have brought into the campsite. If considered waste, these items should also be disposed of properly when leaving the area. If it’s adventure you’re looking for, low-impact sports like kayaking, canoeing, and paddle boarding are a great start! Cossatot River State Park – Natural Area boasts clear waters. This scenic adventure is for the more experienced kayak and canoe enthusiasts. When the water level is normal, the river’s rapids are usually considered Class II-III whitewater. Guests can swim, fish, and float through riffles and small rapids as they relax and enjoy the mesmerizing waters near the Sugar Creek area. The natural area’s 5,401 acres emphasize outdoor recreation, river preservation and environmental education. Arkansas State Parks and the Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission manage the park. It is important to remember that while on the river, all trash should be kept in mesh bags and tied to your kayak or boat. Arkansas boating laws now include laws regarding litter and do not allow materials such as glass and Styrofoam on Arkansas waterways. For more information about Arkansas Boating Litter Laws, please visit the Litter Laws page from Arkansas.com. DeGray Lake Snorkle and Scuba Image courtesy of Arkansas State Parks For the advanced sportsman and fisherman, a new trend is popping up over at DeGray Lake: spearfishing! Spearfishing has become quite popular on DeGray Lake’s clear waters with a season that runs through the fall. The park offers over 1,000 different programs from snorkeling and swimming tours, to kayak, scuba, and spearfishing lessons. The environmental low-impact of spearfishing versus hook-and-line fishing is tremendous. Spearfishing requires no fishing line, which is the biggest source of litter left by fishermen and one of the most lethal for Arkansas wildlife. These...

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Keep Arkansas Beautiful’s statewide cleanup campaign launches Sept. 9

Posted by on Aug 1, 2017 in News, Press Release

Arkansans encouraged to volunteer in local cleanups LITTLE ROCK (Aug. 1, 2017) – Each fall, Arkansans improve their communities by volunteering in the Great Arkansas Cleanup (GAC), the Keep Arkansas Beautiful Commission’s (KAB) annual litter pickup and community cleanup event .This year’s GAC will kickoff Saturday, Sept. 9, with cleanups already scheduled around the state, and will continue through October. Communities and organizations in two-thirds of Arkansas’s counties hosted more than 140 local cleanup events last year. More than 7,000 volunteers picked up about 210,000 pounds of litter from roughly 1,735 miles of roadway and waterway and collected more than 900,000 pounds of bulky waste. “That level of dedication to removing other people’s litter is inspirational, and we hope that this year we see some sort of cleanup event being hosted in every county in Arkansas,” said Liz Philpott, KAB volunteer program manager. “We know – and share – the pride Arkansans have in being an Arkansan and living in The Natural State. We know that all across this beautiful place, everyone wants Arkansas to be litter-free.” Those who would like to organize an event in their community or volunteer for a local event can email info@keeparkansasbeautiful.com, call toll-free 888-742-8701 or visit KeepArkansasBeautiful.com. Organizers may access free promotional tools, such as a cleanup instructional video and printable publicity materials, from KAB’s website. KAB will also provide cleanup materials and supplies, such as T-shirts, trash bags, gloves and safety vests, to local events (while supplies last) to those organizers who register their local cleanup with the KAB office. About Keep Arkansas Beautiful The Keep Arkansas Beautiful Commission (KAB), consisting of a professional staff and a nine-member advisory board appointed by the governor, is a division of the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism. As a certified state affiliate of Keep America Beautiful Inc., KAB inspires and educates individuals to reduce litter, recycle and keep Arkansas beautiful. KAB is funded through its 1 percent portion of the eighth-cent Conservation Tax and, by mobilizing volunteers, returns to the state a cost benefit of more than $6 in community service for each program dollar spent. For more information, visit KeepArkansasBeautiful.com or stay connected on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.   ...

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How to Improve Your Community Garden with a Tiller

Posted by on Jul 25, 2017 in Uncategorized

 Image courtesy of www.Lowes.com Garden Tillers are essential for large areas in need of a makeover such as community gardens. These powerful machines can cut through fresh soil and loosen it into a brand new garden bed. When creating a new green space or overhauling a bleak pocket garden, the help of a tiller greatly impacts what can be accomplished in a garden. It is important to understand that tillers are powerful machines that are better for larger areas. Some tillers are designed for breaking new ground to create new planting beds. When tilling an area for a new garden, it must be done when it is warm outside and the soil is somewhat dry. For best results when tilling, wait a day or so after it rains so the dirt is semidry. That little bit of moisture will make the soil easier to till. Soil that is too wet will clump and eventually dry into hard clods that will be difficult to break up. The soil should also reach a temperature of about 60°F before it can be tilled. Image courtesy of www.ElkhartLandscaping.com The first thing to remember in tilling is to remove any rocks, sticks or other debris. For existing gardens, pull up any thick weeds or vegetation that might become entangled in the tiller tines. The machine will chop up smaller weeds. Then start the tiller, following the manufacturer’s directions and work in parallel lines across the garden. Let the tiller do the work! Continue tilling until the organic matter is thoroughly mixed into the soil to a depth of about 8 inches. Now that your garden is fully tilled and the soil is rich and fertile, you’re ready for planting! It is important to note that sod can be removed before tilling or worked into the soil. Working the sod in during the fall will provide nitrogen to the soil. However, tilling sod under in the spring may cause grass to resurface as the temperature warms. Tilling in the fall is ideal for the success of your garden; in fact, National Planting Day falls on Sept. 9 and focuses on encouraging citizens and organizations across the country to implement beautification projects and increase native plantings in their communities. If you want to join in on the spirit and give your community garden a boost, you should consider applying for our Tiller Grant, which is open for one more week!      ...

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Keep Arkansas Beautiful Commission’s tiller grant program closing soon

Posted by on Jul 25, 2017 in Uncategorized

Community groups, beautification committees encouraged to apply LITTLE ROCK (July 25, 2017) – Only one week remains for community gardening groups to apply for the Keep Arkansas Beautiful Troy-Bilt Colt FT Garden Tiller grant. The grant will be awarded to an organization that is currently managing any type of community garden (including vegetable, flower, butterfly, pocket, etc.). The tiller has a value of $420 and is a one-time grant for a deserving community garden. Keep Arkansas Beautiful began accepting grant applications online July 5. The tiller grant will be awarded to one community group, garden or beautification committee that successfully illustrates the positive impact the tiller will have on their garden and their community. “We have already seen a great response from communities across Arkansas,” said Liz Philpott, volunteer program manager at KAB. “With just one week left to apply, we are grateful that KAB has the opportunity to help a deserving community in their beautification and community improvement efforts.” Applications for the tiller grant close Aug. 1, and the winner will be notified by Aug. 15. Those who would like to submit a grant application or would like more information on requirements for the grant can visit KeepArkansasBeautiful.com and find “Tiller Grant” under the Community Resources tab. About Keep Arkansas Beautiful The Keep Arkansas Beautiful Commission (KAB), consisting of a professional staff of three and a nine-member advisory board appointed by the governor, is a division of the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism. As a certified state affiliate of Keep America Beautiful Inc., KAB inspires and educates individuals to reduce litter, recycle and keep Arkansas beautiful. KAB is funded through its 1 percent portion of the eighth-cent Conservation Tax and, by mobilizing volunteers, returns to the state a cost benefit of more than $6 in community service for each program dollar spent. For more information, visit KeepArkansasBeautiful.com or stay connected on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube. About Keep America Beautiful A leading national nonprofit, Keep America Beautiful inspires and educates people to take action every day to improve and beautify their community environment. KAB envisions a country in which every community is a clean, green and beautiful place to live. Established in 1953, Keep America Beautiful provides the expertise, programs and resources to help people end littering, improve recycling and beautify America’s communities. The organization is driven by the work and passion of more than 620 state- and community-based Keep America Beautiful affiliates and millions of volunteers, and the support of corporate partners, municipalities, elected officials and individuals. To donate or take action, visit kab.org. Follow Keep America Beautiful on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and YouTube.   -30-  ...

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Great American Cleanup in Arkansas collects nearly 7 million pounds of trash

Posted by on Jul 11, 2017 in News, Press Release

LITTLE ROCK (July 11, 2017) – Volunteers participating in the Keep America Beautiful Great American Cleanup in Arkansas, a three month-long event promoted by the Keep Arkansas Beautiful Commission (KAB), removed 6.9 million pounds of litter and bulky waste during the statewide cleanup effort. The Great American Cleanup in Arkansas involved more than 6,100 volunteers at 166 events statewide who contributed a combined 38,511 hours toward improving their communities. These cleanups cleared litter from 725 miles of roadside and 156 miles of waterway. “We are so pleased to have increased the number of statewide cleanups and volunteer hours in this year’s Great American Cleanup in Arkansas,” said Liz Philpott, KAB volunteer program manager. “We collected an astounding amount of bulky waste and picked up litter left by others, all of which could not be without the continued support and loyalty of our coordinators and their local volunteers.” About Keep Arkansas Beautiful The Keep Arkansas Beautiful Commission (KAB), consisting of a professional staff of three and a nine-member advisory board appointed by the governor, is a division of the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism. As a certified state affiliate of Keep America Beautiful Inc., KAB inspires and educates individuals to reduce litter, recycle and keep Arkansas beautiful. KAB is funded through its 1 percent portion of the eighth-cent Conservation Tax and, by mobilizing volunteers, returns to the state a cost benefit of more than $6 in community service for each program dollar spent. For more information, visit KeepArkansasBeautiful.com or stay connected on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube. About Keep America Beautiful Inc. Keep America Beautiful is the nation’s premier community improvement organization. Founded in 1953, the nonprofit has a network of affiliates around the U.S. focused on litter prevention, waste reduction and beautification. Keep America Beautiful is recognized as the leader in changing attitudes and behaviors affecting our community environments. Through its actions, Keep America Beautiful helps create communities that are socially connected, environmentally healthy and economically sound. Today, it continues to be the most credible organization in its three focus areas by vigorously pursuing its guiding principles of education, volunteerism, partnership and individual responsibility. For more information, visit kab.org.   -30-...

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