Keep Arkansas Beautiful Commission Director Retires
Mark Camp, director of the Keep Arkansas Beautiful Commission, is retiring today after nearly five years leading the agency. Camp was appointed by Governor Asa Hutchinson in August of 2017 to lead the commission that promotes litter prevention, recycling and environmental education across the state. The Commission became part of the Arkansas Department of Parks, Heritage and Tourism as part of the Arkansas Transformation and Efficiencies Act of 2019.
“When I appointed Mark Camp as director of Keep Arkansas Beautiful, I knew he was walking into the job with big ideas for making The Natural State cleaner and more beautiful," said Governor Asa Hutchinson. "We are proud of the advances in cleanup participation and education that we have seen under Mark’s leadership, especially the Otto the Otter program that he spearheaded."
Camp championed an early childhood education approach to litter prevention saying if the youth of today are taught to keep Arkansas beautiful, they will grow into adults who put into practice the anti-litter messaging they heard in their youth. Working with talented collaborators, Camp commissioned an illustrated storybook, coloring book, animated cartoon and, perhaps most recognizable, the mascot Otto the Otter, who makes appearances at schools and events across the state.
"It has been a pleasure to serve the state alongside Mark and to see our Keep Arkansas Beautiful program thrive," Hurst said. "The impact of his leadership will be felt as new generations continue learning about how to keep Arkansas beautiful through educational resources and community activism."
Before being appointed director of Keep Arkansas Beautiful, Camp spent more than 30 years in Municipal Finance with 28 years as the general market municipal bond trader at Crews & Associates, one of the top investment banking firms in the South. When he joined Keep Arkansas Beautiful, Camp said he wanted to continue to build the agency’s presence around the state.
“It has been an honor to serve the state in this position,” Camp said. “This agency has a unique opportunity to profoundly impact the state in a very positive way. We recently installed a mural in downtown Little Rock, have a wonderful partnership with the Little Rock Zoo and Arkansas State Parks and our Great Arkansas Cleanups continue to grow annually. I know I’m leaving Arkansas in a good place with a little less litter and new generation passionate about environmental stewardship.”
While Camp is retiring from public service, he will continue as president and managing partner of The 1836 Club in Little Rock. He and his wife reside in the Capital City and have four sons and three grandchildren.
About the Keep Arkansas Beautiful Commission
Keep Arkansas Beautiful is made up of a Commission appointed by the Governor of the State of Arkansas with a mission to improve communities through litter prevention education and environmental stewardship utilizing programs such as The Great Arkansas Cleanup. The Commission is a division of the Arkansas Department of Parks, Heritage and Tourism and is one of four state agencies that share proceeds from the Amendment 75 1/8-cent Conservation Tax. Keep Arkansas Beautiful is a certified affiliate of Keep America Beautiful Inc.
2022 Commissioners include:
Mark Simpson, Chairman and Commissioner-At-Large
Jeremy Sparks, Vice-Chairman, Congressional District 2
Laurie Blackwell Black, Congressional District 1
Brenda Fendley, Congressional District 1
Dr. Clara Carroll, Congressional District 2
Elizabeth Solano, Congressional District 2
Paula Linder, Congressional District 3
Bethany Swindell, Congressional District 3
Carol Lloyd, Congressional District 4