News & Events

Bald Eagle Watch Month: How litter can endanger birds

Posted by on 5:04 pm in News, Uncategorized | Comments Off on Bald Eagle Watch Month: How litter can endanger birds

eagle-1Image 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

eagle-2Bald 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

screen-shot-2017-01-05-at-11-26-08-amImage 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 disposable plastic products, being mindful and reminding others of the dangers of plastic and litter debris, and opting out of celebratory balloon releases, we can continue to lead the way in the conservation of the bald eagle. If you must use plastic, please remember to dispose of your plastic products – particularly bottles – properly, by either recycling responsibly or placing then into waste receptacles. Taking these actions will provide us with an abundance of opportunities to participate in Bald Eagle Watch Month’s to come.


14,000 Arkansans produce $1.83 million in volunteer value to state in removing public waste in 2016

Posted by on 2:52 pm in News, Press Release | Comments Off on 14,000 Arkansans produce $1.83 million in volunteer value to state in removing public waste in 2016

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LITTLE ROCK (Jan. 5, 2017) – More than 14,000 Arkansas residents volunteered in local activities across the state in 2016 to help make their communities clean and green by picking up more than 2.3 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 more than 2,500 miles of roadway and waterway; 17,400 acres of parks and public areas were cleaned up; and more than 4,000 trees, shrubs and flowers were planted during 304 local cleanup events statewide. Cleanup volunteers were supplied with Glad® trash bags, gloves and safety vests.

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“We are especially proud of those who take pride in Arkansas by participating in local cleanup events,” said Robert Phelps, 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.

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 FacebookTwitter,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.

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Great Arkansas Cleanup set for September, October Annual statewide campaign advocates litter pickup across state

Posted by on 3:26 pm in News, Press Release | Comments Off on Great Arkansas Cleanup set for September, October Annual statewide campaign advocates litter pickup across state

Clean and green    KARB logo News

For Immediate Release

 

Information Contact:

Liz Philpott, Volunteer Program Manager

501-682-3507 or 888-742-8701 (toll-free)

Elizabeth.philpott@arkansas.gov

Great Arkansas Cleanup set for September, October Annual statewide campaign advocates litter pickup across state

LITTLE ROCK (Aug. 30, 2016) – Each year, thousands of Arkansans volunteer to pick up litter along the state’s roadways and waterways during the Great Arkansas Cleanup, a Keep Arkansas Beautiful Commission (KAB) initiative. The 2016 fall litter-pickup campaign will begin Sept. 10 and continue through Oct. 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. Last year’s Great Arkansas Cleanup featured 164 local events across the state involving nearly 16,000 Arkansans who picked up more than 149,000 pounds of litter and collected 7 million pounds of bulky waste from roughly 1,900 miles of roadway and waterways.

 

“With the help of volunteers joining the clean and green team, we can assist in the preservation of communities across Arkansas,” said Liz Philpott, volunteer program manager at KAB. “We encourage Arkansans to participate in a local Great Arkansas Cleanup event and help 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 email info@keeparkansasbeautiful.com or call toll-free 888-742-8701. 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.

 

KAB will also be giving away a Troy-Bilt String Trimmer to a Volunteer Organization that registers a community cleanup. To enter, the organization must complete and turn in a wrap-up report for its cleanup. The winner will be chosen at random.

 

Event sponsors include the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality, Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department, Keep America Beautiful and Keep Arkansas Beautiful Foundation.

 

About the Great Arkansas Cleanup

The Great Arkansas Cleanup grew out of an effort that began more than 45 years ago as the Greers Ferry Lake and Little Red River Cleanup. In 1985, U.S. Sen. Dale Bumpers guided legislation requiring an annual pickup event during the weekend after Labor Day on all federal lands. This law, the Carl Garner Federal Lands Cleanup Act, honors the founder of the event. KAB organized the first statewide Great Arkansas Cleanup in 1989.

 

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. A three-person professional staff and a nine-member advisory board appointed by the governor manage Keep Arkansas Beautiful educational programs. 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.


Caddo River Glenwood Clean-Up – 4/12/15

Posted by on 2:07 pm in Events | Comments Off on Caddo River Glenwood Clean-Up – 4/12/15

Caddo River Camping + Canoe Rental will host the Caddo River Glenwood Clean-Up on April 12, 2015. They will provide canoes and shuttles for registered volunteers to pick up litter during the cleanup. For those who do not want to paddle, they have a large area for walking litter pick-up.

Please call Event Coordinators David & Gayla Claborn to register as a volunteer for this event! David & Gayla can be reached at float@caddoriver.com or 870-356-5336.


Avoca Annual Spring Clean-Up – 5/9/15

Posted by on 8:14 pm in Events | Comments Off on Avoca Annual Spring Clean-Up – 5/9/15

The Town of Avoca will host their annual spring cleanup on May 9, 2015. Their event will begin with a “meet-greet-eat” session for about 20 minutes, and then volunteers will break into groups and pick up trash along streets and park grounds. The county provides a trailer for tires. Deffenbaugh Inc. provides two 30-cubic yard dumpsters for bulk items for residents’ use.

For more information, please contact Event Coordinator Diane Bowen at townofavoca@sbcglobal.net or 479-621-5921.


Boy Scout Troop 107 – Spring Creek Cleanup (Springdale) – 3/7/15

Posted by on 9:31 pm in Events | Comments Off on Boy Scout Troop 107 – Spring Creek Cleanup (Springdale) – 3/7/15

Boy Scout Troop 107 will be hosting their Spring Creek Cleanup in Springdale on March 7, 2015. Volunteers will be cleaning up along the new regional trail going west toward Lake Springdale.

For more information, please contact Event Coordinator Ron Mynatt at calmtnstud@yahoo.com or 479-872-2139.


Sher Family 2015 Spring Cleanup (Waldron) – 3/21/15

Posted by on 9:25 pm in Events | Comments Off on Sher Family 2015 Spring Cleanup (Waldron) – 3/21/15

The Sher Family will host their 2015 Spring Clean-Up Event on March 21, 2015. Volunteers will help pick up litter and recycle items around the city, highway, city parks, and Scott County area.

For more information, please contact Event Coordinator Jim Sher at jsher74@gmail.com or 479-637-1906.


Monticello + Drew Co. keep Arkansas beautiful – 4/18/15

Posted by on 9:21 pm in Events | Comments Off on Monticello + Drew Co. keep Arkansas beautiful – 4/18/15

The City of Monticello & Drew County are hosting their Great American Cleanup event on April 18, 2015. Volunteers will help pick up litter within county and city limits, plant trees at Lake Monticello Park, and clean up the lake banks and incoming roads.

For more information, please contact Event Coordinator Brian Rodgers at inspector@monticelloedc.org or 870-367-4410.


Beautify Fort Smith Spring Cleanup – 4/18/15

Posted by on 9:16 pm in Events | Comments Off on Beautify Fort Smith Spring Cleanup – 4/18/15

Beautify Fort Smith will host their spring cleanup event on April 18, 2015. Volunteers will be picking up litter off the city streets and parks.

For more information, please contact event coordinator Andrea Beckman at a.beckman@sbcglobal.net or 479-452-4698.


City of Ward Annual Spring Cleanup

Posted by on 9:08 pm in Events | Comments Off on City of Ward Annual Spring Cleanup

The City of Ward is hosting their annual spring cleanup on April 25, 2015. Residents can cleanup their property and dispose of household items other than normal household trash, electronics, tires, and other large items at no fee to the resident.

For more information, please contact Event Coordinator Deborah Staley at deborahstaley@cityofward.com or 501-843-7686.


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