Cigarette Litter in The Natural State

Posted by on Dec 28, 2017 in News

Littering is something that we have become far too familiar with. From the fast food bag tossed out of a car window to cigarette butts flicked down on the sidewalk, litter is a huge problem in The Natural State. First and foremost, littering is illegal in Arkansas – all littering, including that cigarette butt. The fine for the first littering offense can be between $100 and $1,000. Cigarette filters are also not biodegradable; they are plastic. And, those butts are toxic, full of the chemicals they filtered from your cigarette, such as arsenic and formaldehyde. Cigarette butts are the No. 1-littered item in Arkansas and around the world: more than 4 trillion cigarette butts are littered each year. There is only one source of cigarette litter, and 75 percent of smokers admit to flicking their butts to the ground. It takes all of us to keep Arkansas litter-free. Plenty of places in Arkansas are no longer welcoming to smokers, so where smokers do congregate, let’s provide places for them to dispose of their cigarette butts. Whether it’s an ashtray on the picnic table in the smoking area, an ash receptacle at your business’s door or a coffee can filled with sand, those butts can be disposed of properly. We are all proud Arkansans who love the state where we live, work and play. Let’s work together to keep The Natural State free of cigarette litter (and all types of...

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12,938 Arkansans volunteer at 350+ cleanup events in 2017

Posted by on Dec 27, 2017 in News

Cleanup efforts positively impact communities statewide LITTLE ROCK (Dec. 27, 2017) – Nearly 13,000 Arkansas residents volunteered in local activities across the state in 2017 to help make their communities clean and green by collecting nearly 8 million pounds of litter, bulky waste and used tires to enhance environmental health and beauty. Twice each year, the Keep Arkansas Beautiful Commission (KAB) coordinates and promotes statewide community cleanups and litter pickups: the spring Great American Cleanup™ in Arkansas and the fall Great Arkansas Cleanup. The Great American Cleanup is a national program of Keep America Beautiful Inc. and is supported in Arkansas by KAB. All Arkansas communities were encouraged to organize cleanup teams of local volunteers to remove litter, collect recyclable items and enhance civic pride. Volunteers picked up litter from 2,725 miles of roadway and waterway; 18,506 acres of parks and public areas were cleaned up; and more than 2,500 trees, shrubs and flowers were planted during 381 local cleanup events statewide. Cleanup volunteers were supplied with Glad® trash bags, gloves and safety vests. “We are especially proud of those who take pride in Arkansas by participating in local cleanup events. We had a total of 67 counties in Arkansas register events with us this year,” said Mark Camp, executive director of KAB. “These initiatives not only create cleaner Arkansas communities but they also increase personal accountability for our state’s cleanliness and beauty while teaching and encouraging positive behavior among younger generations.” The Great American Cleanup begins each year in March and concludes at the end of May. The Great Arkansas Cleanup begins in September and continues through October. 2017 Impact On Litter (PDF) About Keep Arkansas Beautiful As a certified state affiliate of Keep America Beautiful Inc., the Keep Arkansas Beautiful Commission (KAB) works to inspire and educate individuals to reduce litter, recycle and keep Arkansas beautiful. KAB is a division of the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism. KAB is funded by 1 percent 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 about KAB, visit KeepArkansasBeautiful.com or stay connected on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube. About Keep America Beautiful Inc. Keep America Beautiful brings people together to build and sustain vibrant communities. With a strong national network of 1,200 affiliates and partners including state recycling focused groups, the organization works with millions of volunteers who take action in their communities. Keep America Beautiful offers programs and engages in public-private partnerships to help maintain clean and beautiful public places, reduce waste and increase recycling while educating generations of environmental stewards. Through its actions, Keep America Beautiful helps create communities that are socially connected, environmentally healthy and economically sound. For more information, visit...

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Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism names Henry Awards finalists

Posted by on Dec 14, 2017 in News

The 2018 Henry Awards winners will be revealed at the 44th Annual Arkansas Governor’s Conference on Tourism to be held in West Memphis at Southland Park Gaming & Racing March 11-13, 2018. The awards ceremony will take place during the Governor’s Banquet on Tuesday, March 13. The Henry Awards honor Henri de Tonti, the man historians consider to be among the first “Arkansas Travelers.” The awards and respective finalists are: The Media Support Award, which is presented annually to a distinguished individual or organization for extraordinary attention to and/or support of Arkansas’s tourism industry through the use of media. – Arkansas Travel Channel – AY (About You) – The Show With No Name The Bootstrap Award, which is presented annually to an individual, organization, or community that has achieved significant success “on a shoestring,” having limited means to work with, either in resources or finances. – Fort Smith Convention & Visitors Bureau GRIT Awards – Helena Downtown Partnership – Visit Hot Springs and 61 Celsius The Arkansas Heritage Award, which is presented annually to an individual, organization, or community that has made a significant contribution toward the preservation of some aspect of Arkansas’s natural, cultural or aesthetic legacy. – Arkansas Travelers – Faulkner County Historical Society – Wilson (Town of Wilson and the Lawrence Group) The Grand Old Classic Special Event Award, which is presented annually to a festival, fair or other special celebration that has “stood the test of time” and become an established example to follow. – Christmas Frolic at Historic Arkansas Museum – Miss Arkansas Scholarship Pageant – Warfield Concerts The Outstanding Volunteer Service Award, which is presented annually to a community, individual or organization that through outstanding volunteer spirit has made a substantial contribution to Arkansas’s tourism industry. – Brandy Jordan, Mountain Home – Floyd and Sue Robison, Fort Smith – Keep Arkansas Beautiful The Community Tourism Development Award, which is presented annually to a community or organization that has achieved substantial success in the enhancement of its local resources through imaginative and innovative development efforts. – City of Augusta – Batesville (Main Street Batesville, Batesville Chamber of Commerce, City of Batesville) – Fayetteville Roots Festival The Natural State Award, which is presented annually to a community, organization, special event or attraction that “stands out in the crowd” because of its unique appeal, media coverage, creative approach and/or enhancement of community pride, thus benefiting the state’s quality of life. – Arkansas Goat Festival – Murphy Arts District (MAD) – Quapaw Canoe Company During the Henry Awards ceremony, the Tourism Person of the Year will also be announced. Selected by former honorees, the Tourism Person of the Year Award is presented annually to an individual who has been actively involved in tourism and who has made a substantial contribution, within the past year, to the betterment of the tourism industry as a whole. For more information...

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2017 Great Arkansas Cleanup Results

Posted by on Dec 1, 2017 in News

Volunteers participating in the Great Arkansas Cleanup, a two month-long event promoted by the Keep Arkansas Beautiful Commission (KAB), removed almost 1 million pounds of litter and bulky waste during the statewide cleanup effort. Fifty-eight counties across the state registered Great Arkansas Cleanup events with KAB. The Great Arkansas Cleanup in involved more than 6,700 volunteers at 215 events statewide who contributed a combined 44,825 hours toward improving their communities. These cleanups cleared litter from 1,117 miles of roadside and 727 miles of waterway. “We are pleased to have increased the number of statewide cleanups, volunteer hours, and counties involved in this year’s Great Arkansas Cleanup,” said Liz Philpott, KAB volunteer program manager. “We hope every county in Arkansas with register a cleanup event with us in 2018. We’re all in this together and have a duty to help protect and preserve our beautiful state.” 2017 Great Arkansas Cleanup Final Results Infographic (PDF) 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...

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Join Keep Arkansas Beautiful’s cleanup initiative through October

Posted by on Oct 9, 2017 in News

Join Keep Arkansas Beautiful’s cleanup initiative through October Individuals and communities statewide encouraged to volunteer LITTLE ROCK (Oct. 9, 2017) – It’s not too late to join the Keep Arkansas Beautiful (KAB) Great Arkansas Cleanup, which ends October 31, 2017. You can still #makeadifference. KAB is encouraging Arkansans to participate in a cleanup in their own community by the end of October. Last year’s Great Arkansas Cleanup featured more than 140 community events across the state involving more than 7,000 Arkansans, who picked up more than 210,000 pounds of litter from roughly 1,735 miles of roadways and waterways, and collected over 900,000 pounds of bulky waste at drop-off events. “We only have a few weeks left of the Great Arkansas Cleanup, but plenty of opportunities to volunteer,” said Liz Philpott, volunteer program manager at KAB. “We encourage every Arkansan to organize or participate in a local cleanup event and help keep our home clean and green.” Don’t miss your chance to volunteer during the Great Arkansas Cleanup. KAB will provide cleanup materials and supplies to registered cleanups, such as trash bags, gloves and safety vests to local events, while supplies last. There are cleanups registered in the following counties: Baxter, Benton, Boone, Bradley, Carroll, Chicot, Clark, Clay, Cleburne, Columbia, Conway, Craighead, Crawford, Crittenden, Cross, Franklin, Fulton, Garland, Greene, Hempstead, Hot Spring, Howard, Independence, Jackson, Jefferson, Johnson, Lafayette, Lawrence, Lincoln, Logan, Lonoke, Marion, Miller, Monroe, Newton, Phillips, Pike, Poinsett, Polk, Pope, Pulaski, Saline, Scott, Searcy, Sebastian, Sharp, Washington, White, Woodruff and Yell. Volunteers may visit KeepArkansasBeautiful.com to access the event calendar to see all scheduled cleanups. Those who would like to volunteer can also email info@keeparkansasbeautiful.com or call toll-free 888-742-8701.  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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KVBB director receives state recycling award

Posted by on Oct 5, 2017 in News

  By TANIAH TUDOR, Press Argus-Courier Staff Posted Oct 4, 2017 at 9:18 AM; Updated Oct 4, 2017 at 9:21 AM A Van Buren man known for his contributions to the beautification of the city was recently awarded for his individual efforts to increase recycling programs at the state and local levels. John Pope, Keep Van Buren Beautiful executive director, received this year’s Individual Recycler of the Year Award from the Arkansas Recycling Coalition. Each year, the honor goes to a person “who has made a significant contribution to the advancement of waste reduction, recycling, and sustainability in Arkansas over the past year,” according to the ARC website. “I’m overwhelmed,” Pope said. “It’s a highly respectable group.” Pope was named the recipient of the honor at the ARC conference in September. Robert Phelps, former director for Keep Arkansas Beautiful, nominated Pope for this year’s award. “John has been a champion for recycling ever since he became involved in Keep Arkansas Beautiful and Keep America Beautiful,” Phelps said. “Some of the things he has accomplished there in Van Buren … have really impressed me.” Pope has worked on numerous recycling and beautification projects in Van Buren and throughout the area, including city-wide clean ups twice a year, a yearly electronic waste collection and ongoing cigarette litter prevention. He helped create a Van Buren School District recycling program, and started a regional recycling competition for schools participating in Recycle-Bowl. As state commissioner for Keep Arkansas Beautiful for several years, Pope worked to get communities across the state to host annual America Recycles Day...

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