Keep Arkansas Beautiful, local groups earn national awards from Keep America Beautiful

Posted by on Mar 3, 2017 in News

Awards presented at recent national conference The Keep Arkansas Beautiful Commission (KAB) and several local organizations have been recognized with honors from Keep America Beautiful Inc., the nation’s premier community environmental improvement organization. KAB has earned its seventh consecutive Diamond Level State Affiliate designation. Arkansas is one of only 15 states to attain Diamond Level status, which is awarded to Keep America Beautiful certified state affiliates that have received five consecutive President’s Circle Gold Awards. Additionally, nine Keep America Beautiful certified community affiliates in Arkansas qualified for the President’s Circle Award: Keep Bryant Beautiful Keep Camden Beautiful Keep Fayetteville Beautiful Keep Fort Smith Beautiful Keep Little Rock Beautiful Keep North Little Rock Beautiful Keep Ozark Beautiful Keep Sherwood Beautiful Keep Van Buren Beautiful Arkansas was among three states nationwide with the largest percentage of its certified community affiliates attaining President’s Circle status. “One of Keep America Beautiful’s most effective tools is the work of our grassroots network of affiliate organizations, which has an impact on millions of Americans each year,” said Keep America Beautiful COO Becky Lyons. “Our affiliates are providing real solutions that help create communities that are socially connected, environmentally healthy and economically sound.” President’s Circle recognition is the highest honor given to affiliates that annually meet or exceed a set of specific requirements. President’s Circle affiliates received a certificate for their achievement and were recognized at the national conference attended by their peers from around the country. 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.  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,...

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Arkansans encouraged to organize, volunteer in local cleanups

Posted by on Mar 1, 2017 in News

Great American Cleanup launches March 20, first day of spring Each year, thousands of Arkansans improve the quality of life in their communities by volunteering in the national Keep America Beautiful Great American Cleanup™ in Arkansas. The Keep Arkansas Beautiful Commission (KAB) encourages Arkansans to organize a local cleanup or volunteer in a local cleanup of their choice. Last year’s Great American Cleanup featured 160 local events across the state involving nearly 7,000 Arkansans, who picked up more than 290,000 pounds of litter and collected 839,000+ pounds of bulky waste from just over 780 miles of roadsides, trails and shorelines. These volunteers, who donated 35,000 hours of their time to clean up other people’s litter, also collected 3,600 tires and 45,000 pounds of electronics for recycling, planted 3,000+ trees, shrubs and flowers, and cleaned up 44 illegal dumping sites and 1,100+ acres of parks and public areas. “When volunteers come together for the Great American Cleanup in Arkansas, they are joining millions of others across the country who are working to preserve the natural beauty and economic vitality of their communities,” said Elizabeth Philpott, Keep Arkansas Beautiful volunteer program manager. “Everyone wants to live, work, play and visit in a clean and green place – in communities that are more socially connected, environmentally healthy and economically sound – and it’s up to all of us to make that happen.” Volunteers statewide are encouraged to get involved in the 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 KeepArkansasBeautiful.com. 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 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,...

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Great American Cleanup launches March 20 in Arkansas

Posted by on Feb 9, 2017 in News

Arkansans encouraged to coordinate local cleanups Arkansans statewide are encouraged to beautify their communities by coordinating a cleanup in the Keep America Beautiful Great American Cleanup. The spring cleanup campaign is coordinated and promoted by the Keep Arkansas Beautiful Commission (KAB) and runs from March 20 through May 31. All Arkansans are encouraged to get involved in this effort to improve the environmental quality and standard of living in communities across the state and nation. Last year’s Great American Cleanup featured 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 roadway and waterway. “The Great American Cleanup is an excellent opportunity for Arkansans to make a positive impact on the environment, the state and their local communities,” said Elizabeth Philpott, KAB volunteer program manager. “We encourage Arkansans to participate by coordinating a cleanup and helping us preserve and sustain the natural state of Arkansas.” Those who would like to coordinate an event in their community or volunteer for a local event can register at www.KeepArkansasBeautiful.com or email info@keeparkansasbeautiful.com. Coordinators may visit KeepArkansasBeautiful.com to access free promotional tools such as a cleanup instructional video and printable publicity materials. KAB will also provide cleanup materials and supplies, such as T-shirts, trash bags, gloves and safety vests to local events, while supplies last. 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. 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,...

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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 www.cliparts.co 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 www.theprepperpodcast.com 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 www.3starwaste.com  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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Keep Arkansas Beautiful invites youth to enter statewide poster contest

Posted by on Jan 30, 2017 in News

The Keep Arkansas Beautiful Commission (KAB) encourages all students in kindergarten through fifth grades to enter the annual Great American Cleanup® in Arkansas Youth Poster Contest. Entries are due by March 1. Every year, KAB coordinates the youth poster contest in conjunction with the Great American Cleanup in Arkansas to involve elementary-age students, to increase awareness of the cleanup initiative in Arkansas, and to educate the public about the importance of a clean and green community to economic development, civic pride and environmental quality of life. Prizes will be awarded in two divisions: kindergarten through second grades and third through fifth grades. KAB is providing gift cards for the Top 3 posters in each division. One poster per classroom may be submitted for statewide judging. Scout groups, 4-H clubs and home-schooled students are also encouraged to enter. Contest entries are due no later than March 1, 2017 and must be 8 ½ x 11 in size. KAB and representatives of the Great American Cleanup in Arkansas will recognize winners in their local communities during March and April. Winning posters and Honorable Mentions will be displayed in the Thea Foundation’s art gallery on Main Street in North Little Rock April 10-14, as well as on KAB’s Facebook page. Additional information about contest rules and entry is available at KeepArkansasBeautiful.com, by emailing info@KeepArkansasBeautiful.com or by calling 888-742-8701 toll-free. The Keep America Beautiful Great American Cleanup in Arkansas, organized and promoted statewide by KAB, is an annual spring cleanup event when communities focus on local beautification efforts in advance of Arkansas’s busy tourism season. The Great American Cleanup in Arkansas runs March through May. Opportunities to participate in local events can be found on the calendar of events at KeepArkansasBeautiful.com 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.  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...

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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 www.wallup.net 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 www.huffingtonpost.com 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 www.cbc.com 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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