A reflection of 2022 for Keep Arkansas Beautiful
By Colbie Jones, Keep Arkansas Beautiful director
For Keep Arkansas Beautiful (KAB), the theme for 2022 could easily be one word: new. As we move into the new year, we are excited to briefly reflect on the positive impact our volunteers and team have done for Arkansas. Here’s our 2022 recap:
- Arkansans answered the call and for the first time ever, all 75 counties registered and hosted some type of beautification effort whether a cleanup, recycling drive or beautification project. It’s been a long-time goal of KAB’s to get all 75 counties for the entire year between both the spring and fall cleanups. Fall of 2022, the annual goal was met in one clean-up season.
- Annual impact numbers increased immensely not only year-over-year, but also over several years. Volunteer numbers average between 13,500-14,500 annually. However, in 2022, 17,794 volunteers positively impacted our state. KAB cannot thank its dedicated volunteers enough for their efforts. Thank you!
- Still in the early stages, Growing Together Lunch ‘n Learn is working to provide connections and education on different initiatives happening across the state that other communities can learn the groundwork of, lessons learned, and potentially customize for their community. This learning opportunity will continue to be offered on a quarterly basis.
- Eats & Clean Streets initiative launched in mid-November providing businesses that sell food with signage and information to encourage their customers to help take care of our state by not littering their food packaging along our roadways and other public spaces. Over 100 business locations have joined the effort. Request free signage here.
- Working to expand more into the recycling effort, KAB has partnered with the Little Rock Sustainability Office to pilot the Green Guide for Events. Additionally, KAB awarded its first beautification grant to Springhill Elementary School for its efforts in collecting grocery sacks and other film-based plastics.
- Since May, staff traveled more than 8,000 miles exhibiting booths, meeting community partners, presenting to organizations, conducting media interviews, and overall promoting KAB.
- Building new and fostering current partnerships have been a huge part of 2022 to further expand our network.
- In May, Colbie Jones started as the new director and Michael Barger joined the team in December as the new education coordinator.