News & Events

KAB announces tiller grant winner

Posted by on 12:00 pm in News, Press Release | Comments Off on KAB announces tiller grant winner

Arkansas Interfaith & Power awarded grant for The Promise Garden in Little Rock

The Keep Arkansas Beautiful Commission (KAB) announced Arkansas Interfaith Power & Light (AIPL) as the winner of the Troy-Bilt Colt FT Garden Tiller grant.

Arkansas Interfaith Power & Light currently works with The Promise Garden, located at 12th and Peyton streets in Little Rock. This teaching garden offers hands-on training and resources that allow neighbors to begin personal gardens at home. AIPL has been involved in the garden since 2013; the garden benefits 40 families.

AIPL’s goal behind The Promise Garden is to teach self-sufficient and sustainable methods for growing local, fresh and organic foods, while providing cooking classes utilizing produce from the garden. Arkansas Interfaith Power & Light’s hope is to develop a “food oasis” in what is currently described as a “food desert,” or an area that offers little to no fresh food.

The tiller, donated to KAB by Keep America Beautiful, has a value of $420 and will help AIPL expand its garden, giving it the ability to provide for more families. Its plan for the extra produce is to share it through the food pantry at the 12th Street Clinic. AIPL also plans to educate neighbors and families on how to properly use a tiller.

Keep Arkansas Beautiful began accepting grant applications online July 5 and closed the grant on August 1. AIPL will be awarded the grant at a Great Arkansas Cleanup event planned for Sept. 8 in Little Rock.

“We are so excited to be able to help a local community by providing the tools needed to help educate and feed families,” said Liz Philpott, volunteer program manager of KAB. “We truly believe that Arkansas Interfaith Power & Light will make great use of this tiller, and continue to teach and provide for families in Little Rock.”

 


Little Rock businessman tapped as next KAB Commission director

Posted by on 9:00 am in News, Press Release | Comments Off on Little Rock businessman tapped as next KAB Commission director

LITTLE ROCK (Aug. 21, 2017) – Businessman Mark Camp of Little Rock has been chosen as the new director of the Keep Arkansas Beautiful Commission. Camp succeeds Robert Phelps, who retired July 1 after nearly 20 years in the position.

“Mark has a keen interest and high ideals related to keeping our state litter-free,” said Kane Webb, executive director of the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism (ADPT), of which KAB is a division. “His business acumen and leadership skills, paired with his personal passion, will serve the state well. He understands the impact KAB’s mission has on our state’s No. 2 economic driver – tourism – and I’m ready to work with him to continue identifying creative solutions and effective tools toward a clean, green and litter-free Natural State.”

Camp expressed enthusiasm for this new opportunity. “I love Arkansas! I care about our beautiful state,” he said. “The litter on our roadways has always been a personal pet peeve, and I’m anxious to dig in, meet and brainstorm with those who are also passionate about this issue, and continue to build KAB’s programs and presence around the state.”


Cool Off with Low-impact Summertime Activities

Posted by on 4:28 pm in News, Uncategorized | Comments Off on Cool Off with Low-impact Summertime Activities

With the abnormally cool weather we’ve seen in Arkansas this year, now’s the time to get out and enjoy all the state has to offer with low-impact water activities! Arkansas is home to some of the most beautiful rivers, lakes and waterways–here are a few ways to enjoy them while keeping the state clean and green!

Screen Shot 2017-08-17 at 2.37.13 PMCrowley’s Ridge Swimming Hole
Image courtesy of Crowley’s Ridge State Park

 Camping and enjoying natural watering holes on the weekend are great ways to end the summer! Areas like Crowley’s Ridge State Park at the Chalk Bluff Natural Area are ideal, as the spring-fed lake offers cool and calm waters. The Crowley’s Ridge area also houses two swinging bridges, pedal boat rentals and kayaks throughout the year. Each of these activities are low-impact on the environment, creating little waste and a lot of fun! Plastic is one of the greatest forms of waste that affects a lake’s ecosystem, and is primarily due campers to disposing of waste and trash improperly. “Pack-in and Pack-out,” is a program created by Leave No Trace and utilized by Arkansas Parks to encourage campers and visitors to essentially carry out everything that they have brought into the campsite. If considered waste, these items should also be disposed of properly when leaving the area.

If it’s adventure you’re looking for, low-impact sports like kayaking, canoeing, and paddle boarding are a great start! Cossatot River State Park – Natural Area boasts clear waters. This scenic adventure is for the more experienced kayak and canoe enthusiasts. When the water level is normal, the river’s rapids are usually considered Class II-III whitewater. Guests can swim, fish, and float through riffles and small rapids as they relax and enjoy the mesmerizing waters near the Sugar Creek area. The natural area’s 5,401 acres emphasize outdoor recreation, river preservation and environmental education. Arkansas State Parks and the Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission manage the park.

It is important to remember that while on the river, all trash should be kept in mesh bags and tied to your kayak or boat. Arkansas boating laws now include laws regarding litter and do not allow materials such as glass and Styrofoam on Arkansas waterways. For more information about Arkansas Boating Litter Laws, please visit the Litter Laws page from Arkansas.com.

Screen Shot 2017-08-17 at 2.37.27 PMDeGray Lake Snorkle and Scuba
Image courtesy of Arkansas State Parks

For the advanced sportsman and fisherman, a new trend is popping up over at DeGray Lake: spearfishing! Spearfishing has become quite popular on DeGray Lake’s clear waters with a season that runs through the fall. The park offers over 1,000 different programs from snorkeling and swimming tours, to kayak, scuba, and spearfishing lessons. The environmental low-impact of spearfishing versus hook-and-line fishing is tremendous. Spearfishing requires no fishing line, which is the biggest source of litter left by fishermen and one of the most lethal for Arkansas wildlife.

These activities produce little to no waste; fishing, however can do more harm than good at times. The most dangerous form of water pollution is typically caused by “ghost gear,” or, fishing gear that has fallen off of the vessel or has been disposed of improperly. Improperly discarded fishing line is not just an inconvenience for fisherman and boats, it is a real danger to fish, birds and other wildlife that can easily ingest the line or get tangled. The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission has set out to defeat this issue by offering fishing line recycling bins at various public access sites, boat ramps, and commercial docks across The Natural State. These “recapture” bins gather used fishing line on a regular basis and are then sent to Berkely, a monofilament line manufacturer. Berkely recycles these materials into underwater habitat structures that attract fish and encourage plant growth. By helping reduce the amount of waste during summer water activities, you are helping preserve the intricate ecosystems in The Natural State.

To help further combat these issues, Keep Arkansas Beautiful encourages all Arkansans to volunteer in the Great Arkansas Cleanup this fall. The cleanup yields thousands of volunteers looking to help improve their communities by clearing trash from our state’s roadways, shorelines, parks and public areas. To learn more about the Great Arkansas Cleanup and how to get involved, click here.

 

 

 


Keep Arkansas Beautiful’s statewide cleanup campaign launches Sept. 9

Posted by on 10:53 am in News, Press Release | Comments Off on Keep Arkansas Beautiful’s statewide cleanup campaign launches Sept. 9

Arkansans encouraged to volunteer in local cleanups

LITTLE ROCK (Aug. 1, 2017) – Each fall, Arkansans improve their communities by volunteering in the Great Arkansas Cleanup (GAC), the Keep Arkansas Beautiful Commission’s (KAB) annual litter pickup and community cleanup event .This year’s GAC will kickoff Saturday, Sept. 9, with cleanups already scheduled around the state, and will continue through October.

Communities and organizations in two-thirds of Arkansas’s counties hosted more than 140 local cleanup events last year. More than 7,000 volunteers picked up about 210,000 pounds of litter from roughly 1,735 miles of roadway and waterway and collected more than 900,000 pounds of bulky waste.

“That level of dedication to removing other people’s litter is inspirational, and we hope that this year we see some sort of cleanup event being hosted in every county in Arkansas,” said Liz Philpott, KAB volunteer program manager. “We know – and share – the pride Arkansans have in being an Arkansan and living in The Natural State. We know that all across this beautiful place, everyone wants Arkansas to be litter-free.”

Those who would like to organize an event in their community or volunteer for a local event can email info@keeparkansasbeautiful.com, call toll-free 888-742-8701 or visit KeepArkansasBeautiful.com. Organizers may access free promotional tools, such as a cleanup instructional video and printable publicity materials, from KAB’s website. KAB will also provide cleanup materials and supplies, such as T-shirts, trash bags, gloves and safety vests, to local events (while supplies last) to those organizers who register their local cleanup with the KAB office.

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. 

 

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How to Improve Your Community Garden with a Tiller

Posted by on 5:17 pm in Uncategorized | Comments Off on How to Improve Your Community Garden with a Tiller

Screen Shot 2017-07-24 at 3.47.59 PM Image courtesy of www.Lowes.com

Garden Tillers are essential for large areas in need of a makeover such as community gardens. These powerful machines can cut through fresh soil and loosen it into a brand new garden bed. When creating a new green space or overhauling a bleak pocket garden, the help of a tiller greatly impacts what can be accomplished in a garden.

It is important to understand that tillers are powerful machines that are better for larger areas. Some tillers are designed for breaking new ground to create new planting beds. When tilling an area for a new garden, it must be done when it is warm outside and the soil is somewhat dry. For best results when tilling, wait a day or so after it rains so the dirt is semidry. That little bit of moisture will make the soil easier to till. Soil that is too wet will clump and eventually dry into hard clods that will be difficult to break up. The soil should also reach a temperature of about 60°F before it can be tilled.

Screen Shot 2017-07-24 at 3.50.54 PMImage courtesy of www.ElkhartLandscaping.com

The first thing to remember in tilling is to remove any rocks, sticks or other debris. For existing gardens, pull up any thick weeds or vegetation that might become entangled in the tiller tines. The machine will chop up smaller weeds. Then start the tiller, following the manufacturer’s directions and work in parallel lines across the garden. Let the tiller do the work! Continue tilling until the organic matter is thoroughly mixed into the soil to a depth of about 8 inches. Now that your garden is fully tilled and the soil is rich and fertile, you’re ready for planting!

It is important to note that sod can be removed before tilling or worked into the soil. Working the sod in during the fall will provide nitrogen to the soil. However, tilling sod under in the spring may cause grass to resurface as the temperature warms. Tilling in the fall is ideal for the success of your garden; in fact, National Planting Day falls on Sept. 9 and focuses on encouraging citizens and organizations across the country to implement beautification projects and increase native plantings in their communities. If you want to join in on the spirit and give your community garden a boost, you should consider applying for our Tiller Grant, which is open for one more week!

 

 

 

 


Keep Arkansas Beautiful Commission’s tiller grant program closing soon

Posted by on 10:06 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Keep Arkansas Beautiful Commission’s tiller grant program closing soon

Community groups, beautification committees encouraged to apply

LITTLE ROCK (July 25, 2017) – Only one week remains for community gardening groups to apply for the Keep Arkansas Beautiful Troy-Bilt Colt FT Garden Tiller grant. The grant will be awarded to an organization that is currently managing any type of community garden (including vegetable, flower, butterfly, pocket, etc.). The tiller has a value of $420 and is a one-time grant for a deserving community garden.

Keep Arkansas Beautiful began accepting grant applications online July 5. The tiller grant will be awarded to one community group, garden or beautification committee that successfully illustrates the positive impact the tiller will have on their garden and their community.

“We have already seen a great response from communities across Arkansas,” said Liz Philpott, volunteer program manager at KAB. “With just one week left to apply, we are grateful that KAB has the opportunity to help a deserving community in their beautification and community improvement efforts.”

Applications for the tiller grant close Aug. 1, and the winner will be notified by Aug. 15.

Those who would like to submit a grant application or would like more information on requirements for the grant can visit KeepArkansasBeautiful.com and find “Tiller Grant” under the Community Resources tab.

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
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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Great American Cleanup in Arkansas collects nearly 7 million pounds of trash

Posted by on 10:43 am in News, Press Release | Comments Off on Great American Cleanup in Arkansas collects nearly 7 million pounds of trash

17-KAP-0050 GAmC 2017 results copy

LITTLE ROCK (July 11, 2017) – Volunteers participating in the Keep America Beautiful Great American Cleanup in Arkansas, a three month-long event promoted by the Keep Arkansas Beautiful Commission (KAB), removed 6.9 million pounds of litter and bulky waste during the statewide cleanup effort.

The Great American Cleanup in Arkansas involved more than 6,100 volunteers at 166 events statewide who contributed a combined 38,511 hours toward improving their communities. These cleanups cleared litter from 725 miles of roadside and 156 miles of waterway.

“We are so pleased to have increased the number of statewide cleanups and volunteer hours in this year’s Great American Cleanup in Arkansas,” said Liz Philpott, KAB volunteer program manager. “We collected an astounding amount of bulky waste and picked up litter left by others, all of which could not be without the continued support and loyalty of our coordinators and their local volunteers.”

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, visit kab.org.

 

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How to Have Litter-Free Summer Fun

Posted by on 2:17 pm in News, Uncategorized | Comments Off on How to Have Litter-Free Summer Fun

Whether it’s a holiday celebration, an outing with friends or a family reunion, chances are you’ll enjoy more than one picnic this summer. Arkansas, known across the country for its natural beauty, is the perfect place for picnicking. There are places to stop and enjoy nature all over the state. Help us keep Arkansas picnic-friendly and picnic-ready. With a little planning for a litter-free picnic, you can reduce the amount of waste generated on your outing. Here are a few ideas to help you get ready for your summertime outdoor adventures:

Screen Shot 2017-06-26 at 3.15.34 PMImage courtesy of www.littlerockfamily.com

  • Use reusable plates, cups and utensils. Disposable utensils are convenient to toss in the trash or recycling, but it’s more affordable and earth-conscious to bring metal utensils from home. Simply stash used utensils in a dish (that carried your picnic lunch) to take home for easy cleaning.
  • Opt for cloth napkins over paper. Bring a few dishtowels instead of paper towels. Bring along a matching tablecloth and style your picnic with brightly colored linens and dishware.
  • If you’re an avid picnicker, dedicate a basket or bin for your outings and keep it filled with reusable plates, cups, linens, trash bags and a big blanket, so you’re always prepared.
  • Steer clear of individually-wrapped snacks. You save money and the environment by being conscious of packaging when grocery-shopping for your picnic.
  • Recycle whatever you can, even if that means bringing a recycling bag and tossing it into your bin at home.
  • Don’t set off fireworks, even if it is allowed. Fireworks create litter that you can’t easily find. Most cities and towns have fireworks celebrations that are much more impressive than anything you can set off on your own.
  • Always pick up your trash or, better yet, try not to create Sometimes that’s not possible, so be sure to pack bags to carry out your trash. You may plan your picnic at a location with trash and recycle bins, but sometimes you don’t know. It’s always best to be prepared and keep a few trash bags.

 


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

16-kap-0034-gac_results_infographic_8-5x11

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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