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  About Thea Foundation The Thea Foundation, established in 2001, advocates the importance of art in the development of youth through...

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KAB celebrates volunteers, partners, House resolution

Posted by on Mar 24, 2017 in News

LITTLE ROCK (March 21, 2017) – Keep Arkansas Beautiful hosted an event yesterday in the Gardens of the Governor’s Mansion to honor the first day of spring, to thank the Arkansas House for passing Resolution 1004, and to celebrate the local coordinators and volunteers who will be cleaning up their communities during the Great American Cleanup in Arkansas this spring. Robert Phelps, executive director of the Keep Arkansas Beautiful Commission (KAB), recognized Representative Justin Boyd for his dedication to improve litter cleanup statewide by sponsoring House Resolution 1004, while speaking of the importance of litter control in Arkansas. Also recognized for their commitment to a cleaner state were KAB’s fellow state agencies and “partners” in litter education and prevention: Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department and Arkansas Highway Police Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism and Arkansas State Parks Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality Arkansas Economic Development Commission “As director of the Keep Arkansas Beautiful Commission for the past 18 years, I wholly endorse this resolve and am thankful for the cooperation it advances, which is already alive and well in Arkansas,” said Robert Phelps to the assembled crowd. “But to ultimately prevent litter, the solution is in the hands of individuals, not government.” Volunteers statewide are encouraged to get involved locally in KAB’s annual cleanup and beautification campaign. Those interested in organizing a Great American Cleanup event in their community can find a registration form and how-to video at For those interested in volunteering at a local event, check out the Calendar of Events on the KAB website to find an already-organized event near you. 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 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 Follow Keep America Beautiful on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and YouTube.     -30-      ...

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Three Tiny Habits to a Cleaner Community

Posted by on Mar 6, 2017 in News

Image courtesy of Picking up that piece of litter left by someone else is not necessarily a habit for most people. But, it could be. Keep Arkansas Beautiful challenges YOU to take a play out of the Great American Cleanup’s handbook this year and help clean YOUR block! According to B.J. Fogg, a psychologist and researcher at Stanford University who has studied behavior change for more than 20 years, one needs to design behavior changes that are both easy to do and can be seamlessly slipped into your existing routine. Consider these: Image courtesy of Pick Up Someone Else’s Litter While walking into work tomorrow, find one piece of someone else’s litter and throw it away – that’s achievable, right? By doing so, you can help transform public places into beautiful spaces, and your peers will notice. This small act shows civic pride in your community and can aid you in helping others create an environmentally healthy and socially connected neighborhood for everyone. Image courtesy of Recycle Your Plastic Bottles The first step with this action is washing out your plastic bottles. Did you know an item cannot be recycled unless it is cleared of all food and waste particles? That’s one of the biggest reasons that most of our items never actually become recycled but end up in landfills. Do your environment a favor and wash out your plastic bottles before tossing them into the recycling bin. You will find, as time goes on, that recycling other items will become easier and part of your daily habit.   Image courtesy of Volunteer Start small and volunteer for a local cleanup! Community organizations across the state host local cleanups and litter pickups annually. Check out the Calendar of Events on the KAB website to find an event near you. Last year’s spring Great American Cleanup yielded 160 local events across the state involving nearly 7,000 Arkansans, who picked up more than 290,000 pounds of litter and collected over 839,000 pounds of bulky waste, from roughly 780 miles of roadsides and shorelines. For those interested in organizing a Great American Cleanup event in their community, a registration form and how-to video can be found at Developing tiny habits such as these can make a big difference in your personal life and your community. Aristotle once said, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit.” So, be excellent today and tackle those tiny habits with gusto! Before you know it, you can create a cleaner, greener space for you and the community around you....

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Random Acts of Beauty

Posted by on Feb 6, 2017 in News

In 1982, Anne Herbert wrote, “Practice random kindness and senseless acts of beauty,” on her placemat at a diner in California. Inspired by the phrase “random acts of violence and senseless acts of cruelty,” Anne began to think that kindness could build on itself just as much as violence has. In 1993, she published her book, “Random Acts of Kindness,” which has since brought popularity to the phrase and the actions behind it. In honor of Random Acts of Kindness Day on February 17, here are a few ways you can spread kindness to the environment around you and inspire others to do the same: Image courtesy of REDUCE, REUSE, RECYCLE We’ve all heard it before: “Reduce. Reuse. Recycle.” Each helps cut down on the amount of waste we throw away, and conserves natural resources, landfill space and energy. Plus they save the land! Reduce: When traveling to work or running errands about town, carpooling not only gives you company, but cuts down on the number of cars and vehicles on the road. Fewer cars means there is less carbon and pollution getting into the air, protecting the environment by keeping the air, water and land cleaner. When purchasing products, look for items without excessive packaging that has to be recycled, or worse, landfilled. Reuse: Take your time spring-cleaning this year and be creative; think about finding another use for items you no longer need and give them a new life! By upcycling old items, you are reducing the amount of waste that goes into the landfill, which helps the environment greatly! Recycle: No list claiming to improve the world would be complete without mentioning recycling. We all know it matters. When you’re done with that aluminum soda can or plastic water bottle sitting next to you, make sure you put it in the recycle bin! And the same for cardboard and paper containers, plus the newspapers, periodicals and mail that you receive. Image courtesy of ENJOY NATURE Take a walk and enjoy the beauty that surrounds you. Pick up any litter you see and dispose of it properly. By taking time to appreciate the Earth and all it has to offer, the more we will value it. Plant a garden and grow your own greens or, if there is no space for an outdoor garden, grow a mini herb garden in a windowsill. Gardening is not only good for the soul, eating what you grow is good for your health and highly satisfying! A garden will also beautify your yard, while providing for you at the same time. Image courtesy of  BE YOUR OWN CLEANUP Each spring, Keep Arkansas Beautiful hosts the Great American Cleanup in conjunction with Keep America Beautiful. While this campaign yields amazing results annually, our environment needs help more than just once a year, and you can take a lead role on the front line...

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Bald Eagle Watch Month: How litter can endanger birds

Posted by on Jan 9, 2017 in News, Uncategorized

Image courtesy of There is nothing quite like catching a glimpse of a bald eagle soaring over the trees. Unfortunately, habitat destruction and degradation, illegal shooting, litter and contamination of its food source all led to the decline in population of our national symbol roughly 40 years ago. The once endangered species has made a remarkable comeback due to strong conservation efforts, protective legislation and increased awareness. Arkansas is home to a large number of the species, making the sport of watching them increasingly popular across The Natural State. While conservation efforts are widespread across the country, it is important for us to understand what we can do to ensure the bald eagle’s safe future. Here are some contributing factors that led to the bald eagle’s decline, and ways that we can ensure the bald eagle’s safety for years to come: BIG, BAD Balloons Bald Eagle caught in string Image courtesy of Despite the innocence and beauty of balloons, they have unintended dangerous consequences for birds and other wildlife. The natural latex used is biodegradable and environmentally safe, yet the balloons are treated with multiple preservatives and chemicals to safeguard against bacterial decomposition. Aside from the chemical dangers, balloons can also cause starvation and tangling among the bird populations. Through inadvertent ingestion, birds mistake the balloon for food and consequently cannot digest the latex. Therefore, the bird is unable to take in enough nutrition to survive, thus starving. If the balloons released have ribbon or string attached, tangling is a huge threat as well. Tangle injuries can include malformed nestling growth, open wounds from chafing as the tangle tightens or mobility restriction of the legs, wings or bill, all making the bird more vulnerable to predators and infections. Perilous Plastic Image courtesy of In many areas around the globe, birds inadvertently feed on plastic floating on the water mistaking it for food, which can directly lead to death and even the death of their young. Large plastic debris, such as bottles, has major effects on bird populations as it can strangle them and can also transport alien species to new waters. Millimeter-sized plastic pellets (what is used in most plastic production) soak up toxic chemicals from water, poisoning the creatures that swallow them. Because these plastic pellets are magnets for toxic chemicals they effectively become poison pills. Japanese researchers found that concentrations of these chemicals were as much as a million times higher than in the water. Seeing that the bald eagle’s primary food source consists of water prey, they are incredibly susceptible to the dangers of plastic litter. What You Can Do Knowing what we do about the decline of the bald eagle population in America and the factors contributing to it, we must all make the conscious effort to be proactive in the conservation of our national symbol. By simply reducing our use of...

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