Great American Cleanup in Arkansas continues through May

Posted by on May 8, 2017 in News

Great American Cleanup in Arkansas continues through May Volunteers needed for 24 local events planned around state this month LITTLE ROCK (May 8, 2017) – Arkansans committed to cleaning up their community to enhance its appearance, inspire civic pride and attract tourism can still volunteer in local Keep America Beautiful Great American Cleanup events across Arkansas through May. Volunteers are encouraged to search the Calendar of Events at KeepArkansasBeautiful.com to find a local event. Through May, 24 events across the state are already scheduled, and more are being added each week. In most cases, local events are conveniently scheduled on Saturdays. “The Keep America Beautiful Great American Cleanup is an excellent opportunity for Arkansans to make a positive impact on the environment, the state and their local communities,” said Liz Philpott, KAB volunteer program manager. “When volunteers come together for these cleanups, they are joining millions of others across the country who are working to preserve the natural beauty of our natural state and to create more socially connected and environmentally healthy communities.” 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, 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 benefit of more than $6 in community service for each program dollar invested. For more information, visit KeepArkansasBeautiful.com or stay connected on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube. About Keep America Beautiful Inc. 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.  ...

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Traveling Green

Posted by on May 3, 2017 in News

Devil’s Den State Park courtesy of ArkansasStateParks.com With more and more tourists crossing the globe each year, it is more important than ever for travelers to minimize their individual impact on Earth’s natural resources. Many people hear the words “green travel” or “ecotourism” and imagine someone backpacking through Cambodia or sleeping in a treehouse in a far off jungle somewhere. But you don’t need to sacrifice travel comforts or go too far off the beaten path to become a green traveler; you can choose to stay in hotels and dine at eateries that identify as green, choose low-impact activities and prepare for travel with reusable items. All that is required to be a green traveler is an effort to preserve the environment of the place you are visiting, and it’s easier than you might think. National Tourism and Travel week is May 8-14; here are a few ways that you can celebrate by traveling green: When planning your trip, lodging is one of the first aspects that comes to mind. By choosing to stay in a hotel or lodging facility that identifies itself as green you can take advantage of, more sustainable choices that are offered, such as using your linens and towels more than once. By using our Go Green Hospitality – Lodging section, you can search lodging options by community around Arkansas. While staying in these environmentally friendly options, bring your own toiletries and drinking cup, rather than using the prepackaged ones provided, and be sure to turn off the air conditioning, heat, television, lights or any other electric devices. Image courtesy of ArkansasStateParks.com Choosing low-impact activities on your trip can help in conserving plants, wildlife and other resources. As an added bonus, it often makes for a more rewarding, authentic travel experience, encouraging deeper connections with the people and places you visit. Such activities include biking, hiking and an emerging trend, “hammocking.” Many Arkansas State Parks offer healthy, green and low-impact family vacation options. In fact, Arkansas State Parks have partnered in the Leave No Trace initiative, encouraging Arkansans to minimize their impact on nature. While traveling, it is important to use reusable and recyclable materials. Reusable water bottles help reduce the environmental impact, while also saving money. Packing lunches may seem simple, but it helps to cut on the amount of fast food waste that is easily seen scattered along the roadways. Arkansas also offers electric car charging stations across the state, which helps for more low-impact travel and reduced car emissions. By implementing all of these tactics in your travel plans, you can help create a cleaner, greener Arkansas for all to enjoy. Be sure to clean up after yourself, and after others, when traveling for your summer trips. Litter is one of the biggest issues in keeping our parks and trailways tourist-friendly, and one of the easiest to...

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Attract Migrating Birds With Native Plants

Posted by on Apr 18, 2017 in News

(This content has been sourced from Audubon Native Plant Database) Nothing quite says spring like sprouting plants and migrating birds. By growing native plants, you will give birds the food and shelter they need, help fight climate change, conserve precious water resources—and see more birds in the process! Search our native plants database for the best native plants for your area. With new features like more bird customization, easier filtering of plants, and additional resources in your community, our database has everything you need for planting with birds in...

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Gardening to a Greener Community

Posted by on Apr 11, 2017 in News

April is National Keep America Beautiful Month, National Volunteer Month and National Garden Month. What better time to hone your gardening skills and volunteer on a community greening project than during a beautiful spring April here in The Natural State! The benefits to gardening are all around you. Keep reading for our top reasons why gardening is a worthwhile personal hobby and an essential part of your community’s sustainability. Our Community’s Livability Gardens bring people together to create socially connected communities. Studies suggest that crime rates are decreased when beautification efforts are increased. Not only does a garden make a space more aesthetically pleasing, it also fosters a sense of ownership, stewardship and personal success among the gardeners, increasing interest in other forms of community improvement. Image courtesy of www.dunbargarden.org Many types of gardens enhance a community’s liveability by adding more green spaces and filling in vacant lots and run-down properties. “Pocket parks” are becoming more popular in Arkansas as declining downtowns are revitalized and regenerated with activity. The Thad Kelly Courtyard in Helena, Arkansas, is a pocket park developed in the footprint where a buildling once stood, now providing a pleasant and colorful respite in the middle of downtown. Thad Kelley Courtyard. Image courtesy of Visit Helena, Arkansas Another type of garden that has seen a spike in popularity is the community garden. Typically devoted to growing edibles, these community (or “urban”) gardens offer opportunities for gardners to collaborate in cultivating quality, homegrown fruits and vegetables for their neighbors and local eateries. The Little Rock Urban Farming project is a great example of this type of urban garden. Courtesy of www.littlerockurbanfarming.com Community gardens are also used as outdoor classrooms to teach students creativity, planning and problem-solving – as well as empowering them with a lifelong hobby and skill. Dunbar Garden Community Project in Little Rock, cultivated by volunteers, is a prime example of an outdoor gardening classroom. “This whole place is our classroom,” one Gibbs Elementary student is quoted as saying on the Dunbar Garden’s website. Image courtesy of www.dunbargarden.org All of these gardens enhance a community’s liveability, provide green spaces where vacant lots once stood, create places of volunteerism, collaboration and education, and empower their keepers to create, cultivate and grow. Your Unique Opportunity If you think you’re ready to begin your community greening and gardening adventure, we can help! Through May, Keep Arkansas Beautiful is giving away gardening kits provided by Keep America Beautiful. This is the perfect time for you to test your green thumb. For more information and how to enter for the giveaway, visit Keep Arkansas Beautiful’s Facebook page. There are also many, many neighborhood and community cleanups and beautification projects scheduled through May across Arkansas during the Keep America Beautiful Great American Cleanup. Find one here and dig in to help keep The Natural State clean and...

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Thea Foundation gallery displays cleanup art

Posted by on Apr 6, 2017 in News

Artwork of Youth Poster Contest winners and honorable mentions will be shown April 10-14 NORTH LITTLE ROCK (April 6, 2017) – Student artwork conveying messages about keeping Arkansas clean and green will be displayed April 10-14 at the Thea Foundation gallery in downtown North Little Rock. The artwork includes winners and honorable mentions from the annual Keep America Beautiful Great American Cleanup in Arkansas Youth Poster Contest, promoted by the Keep Arkansas Beautiful Commission (KAB). A panel of judges chose the winning posters from 421 entries from 58 schools and school/youth organizations statewide. Winners in the Grades K-2 division are: First Place – Kalina Garza, a second-grader at St. Paul Schools in St. Paul (Madison County) Second Place – Shaylah Richie, a second-grader at City Heights Elementary School in Van Buren (Crawford County) Third Place – Remingtyn Richie, a kindergartner at City Heights Elementary School in Van Buren (Crawford County) Winners in the Grades 3-5 division include: First Place – Teagan Gabbard, a fourth-grader at George B. Ledbetter Intermediate School in Farmington (Washington County) Second Place – Avari Golden, a third-grader at Bismarck Elementary School in Bismarck (Hot Spring County) Third Place – Izzy Bailey, a fifth-grader at Episcopal Collegiate Lower School in Little Rock (Pulaski County) Students receiving an Honorable Mention from the judges include: Brooklyn Calico, a fourth-grader at St. Paul Schools in St. Paul (Madison County) Ana Castaneda, a fifth-grader at King Elementary School in Van Buren (Crawford County) Layton Dallas, a first-grader at De Queen Primary School in De Queen (Sevier County) Micaiah Hardage, a first-grader being homeschooled in Malvern (Hot Spring County) Heaven Ipina, a fifth-grader at Marked Tree Elementary in Marked Tree (Poinsett County) Dabney Lovins, a second-grader at Lakewood Elementary School in North Little Rock (Pulaski County) Danielle Pearce, a kindergartner at St. Paul Schools in St. Paul (Madison County) Madilyn Pearce, a first-grader at St. Paul Schools in St. Paul (Madison County) Elise Pinkerton, a fourth-grader at George B. Ledbetter Intermediate School in Farmington (Washington County) Kayden Price, a third-grader at Amboy Elementary School in North Little Rock (Pulaski County) Caleb Putnam, a third-grader at eStem Elementary School in Little Rock (Pulaski County) Patrick Sheehan, a fifth-grader at CATO Elementary School in Sherwood (Pulaski County) Each winner received a Walmart gift card sponsored by the Keep Arkansas Beautiful Foundation. A KAB Commission representative presented each winner with the gift card, his/her poster laminated and a certificate of achievement at a local ceremony, during the past few weeks. The Youth Poster Contest is part of the 2017 Keep America Beautiful Great American Cleanup in Arkansas campaign, the spring statewide community cleanup effort promoted annually by KAB, a certified state affiliate of Keep America Beautiful. The winning entries and honorable mentions are also posted on Facebook.com/KeepArkansasBeautiful.  About Thea Foundation The Thea Foundation, established in 2001, advocates the importance of art in the development of youth through...

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