News and Events
Tuesday, July 30, 2013, marked the beginning of the 25th anniversary celebration of Keep Arkansas Beautiful.
This milestone was marked by a visit from Gail Cunningham, senior vice president of Keep America Beautiful and director of the national Great American Cleanup. Gail’s visit started with an interview on KTHV Ch. 11, presentation to the downtown Little Rock Rotary Club, interview with KARN and NPR, and culminated with a presentation to the Keep Arkansas Beautiful Commission on Wednesday, July 31.
In her remarks to the Rotary Club, Gail stressed the partnership with Keep Arkansas Beautiful and the Keep Arkansas Beautiful Foundation.
“It’s particularly gratifying for me to participate in the kickoff of Keep Arkansas Beautiful’s ‘Greeniversary’ marking the 25th year of this impressive organization, and to speak to you about how active community partnerships among civic, government and business leaders can create sustainable programs that eliminate litter, reduce waste, encourage recycling and beautify our natural surroundings,” Cunningham said.
The “Greeniversary” event is being organized by the Keep Arkansas Beautiful Foundation.
Gail talked about numerous Keep Arkansas Beautiful Commission programs, the contributions of thousands of volunteers, the vast number of cleanup events and the many locations at which cleanups are held. She stressed the importance of continuing education about litter and litter control and the need for this education to start with younger generations. She gave a brief history of Keep America Beautiful and showed a PSA of the new marketing program on recycling.
Gail’s message concluded with a plea for continued cooperation and the need for financial support for the foundation. She urged those in attendance to get involved with volunteer opportunities in their local community, state and nation.
The only way the Keep Arkansas Beautiful Foundation can continue is for individuals, corporations and other organizations to continue providing financial support. You can make a donation by going clicking on the “donate” button.
The Great Arkansas Cleanup grew out of an effort that began more than 40 years ago as the Greer's Ferry Lake and Little Red River Cleanup. The first statewide GAC was organized by KAB in 1989. Each year, the GAC includes almost 200 events in nearly 50 Arkansas counties. Some 20,000 volunteers pick up more than 4.5 million pounds of litter along 8,000 miles of roadway, more than 100 parks and public areas, and 1,500 miles of shoreline, and close numerous illegal dumping sites. This volunteer effort provides the state and participating communities a cost-saving value of more than $1.7 million. If you're interested in becoming involved in a cleanup, email me and I'll put you in touch with the right people.
Another program the KAB Foundation supports is the Great American Cleanup in Arkansas. Each year, thousands of Arkansans improve the appearance of their communities by volunteering in the Keep America Beautiful Great American Cleanup™ in Arkansas. Annually, more than 20,000 individuals volunteer some 80,000 hours in Arkansas communities cleaning, playgrounds, closing illegal dumping sites, recycling a variety of materials, planting trees, flowers and bulbs, renovating homes and buildings, and removing graffiti. The total economic value of the Great American Cleanup in Arkansas each year is nearly $1.5 million.
For us to continue supporting these programs and thank our volunteers, we need your financial support. It allows us to show our appreciation to our volunteers and give our sponsors the much-needed recognition they deserve by providing to the volunteers with T-shirts featuring the sponsor logos on the back.
In keeping with the message of the previous blog, we continue to be in a fundraising mode. With the upcoming 25th anniversary celebration, Shine Awards, cleanups and Litter-Free Zone program, we need to stress the urgency of fundraising as one of our major goals.
Shine Awards are given to
communities that exhibit outstanding litter control, recycling and beautification. Fayetteville (pictured) is a wonderful example of such a community. For as long as the Shine Awards have been presented, Fayetteville has been a recipient. It has done a great job of not only keeping the community clean but also demonstrating exceptional community pride through beautification projects.
Keep Arkansas Beautiful’s current public awareness/education campaign – “Shine: Keep Arkansas Clean & Green” – educates Arkansas residents and visitors about how easy it is to keep The Natural State clean and green and why it’s important to do so. “Shine” inspires individuals to think and act in positive ways to ensure that communities are fresh and appealing.
The “Shine” campaign launched around Earth Day 2008. Ads continue to appear across the state. Television and radio public service announcements have been distributed statewide through our partnership with the Arkansas Broadcasters Association. The campaign thematic has also been applied to several Keep Arkansas Beautiful programs.
LITTLE ROCK (May 14, 2013) – Local businesses now have the opportunity to help enhance and advance Arkansas’ environmental quality of life by becoming a certified partner of the Keep Arkansas Beautiful Foundation.
“The foundation exists to build perpetual capital that will be used to create and fund effective environmental programs throughout the state,” said Bill Smith, executive director of the Keep Arkansas Beautiful Foundation. “We encourage local businesses to become a partner to help us engage Arkansans in programs to keep our state clean and green.”
Any business can become a Keep Arkansas Beautiful Foundation Partner with a tax-deductible commitment of $150, $250 or $500 annually. Partnering businesses will also pledge to maintain a clean and litter-free business and parking lot and to volunteer at a local Great American Cleanup or Great Arkansas Cleanup event.
Partners of the Keep Arkansas Beautiful Foundation benefit by receiving:
The program is based on the size of the business. If there are 25 employees or less, we ask for $150; 25-99 employees $250 and 100 employees plus the partnership is $500. This is an annual program and assists the foundation in its support of the Keep Arkansas Beautiful Commission and programs of the foundation like the Litter-Free Zone program.
We ask that the business partners commit to maintaining a clean and litter-free work environment and parking lot, volunteer a minimum of two hours annually at a local Great Arkansas Cleanup or Great American Cleanup event and commit to an annual contribution.
We believe every business in the state should be a part of this program and we encourage you to spread the word to other businesses. The Keep Arkansas Beautiful Foundation strives to advance and enhance Arkansas’ environmental quality of life. The foundation is challenged with building perpetual capital that will be used to create and or fund effective environmental programs, such as the Litter-Free Zone clean-campus curriculum. Such innovative programming will help engage Arkansans in keeping the state clean and green.
In Magnolia, I was able to see the community’s recycling center and to visit with the mayor about the town’s cleanup. Magnolia has a very successful event that was sponsored by the city’s administration, the Chamber of Commerce and civic organizations such as the Magnolia Rotary Club.
At right: A mural in downtown Magnolia enhances the community's appearance. Photo courtesy of the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism
One of the gentlemen in the Rotary Club had just returned from a trip to Arizona, and he made it quite clear that there is a difference in the cleanliness of Arkansas compared to Arizona. Those are comparisons that we need to fix. In fact, he was originally from New York, and he could not believe how much more litter-free New York was compared to Arkansas.
I was really impressed with the recycling center, the size and the amount of activity. Residents of Magnolia have fully adopted the center and drop off materials on a regular basis. The center has a full-time director and employs adults from a halfway house. This arrangement works extremely well for the community.
I was asked to help the center find a source for its glass recycling. After some research, I was able to offer several names to contact. If community pride is a commodity, then the residents of Magnolia have discovered a rich resource in their recycling center
Magnolia is a relatively small city with a major cleanup effort. This is what we are striving for – advancing and enhancing Arkansas’ environmental quality of life.
Won’t you help us keep Arkansas beautiful?
At each one of my visits around the state, the same question about enforcement pops up, especially when the question is asked about the No. 1 source of litter – cigarette butts. The question becomes how can we stop people from discarding them out their car window.
Arkansas does have laws that are meant to stop littering. But how often have you observed someone throwing a cigarette butt out the window or emptying the ashtray out in a parking lot? We all want to know what we can do to stop this illegal activity. In Arkansas, we have an answer: the Litter Hotline.
The Litter Hotline is a toll-free number that a driver who witnesses someone littering from a vehicle can call to anonymously report that vehicle. The report goes to the Arkansas Highway Police, which then issues that individual a letter stating they have been observed littering.
The process is rather simple. Give the Arkansas Highway Police operator on the other end of the phone a description of the vehicle and the license number. They then find out to whom that vehicle is registered and they send them, on Arkansas Highway Police stationery, a letter informing them that they have been observed littering.
How would you feel if you received one of these letters? Answer is simple: Don’t Litter.
REMINDER: “Like” your favorite poster in the Great American Cleanup in Arkansas Youth Poster Contest. The poster with the most “likes” will win the People’s Choice award. Give your thumbs up on Facebook. Voting ends today.
And, next week, all winning posters from the contest will be on display at the Thea Foundation’s Gallery, located at 401 Main St. in North Little Rock, next week.
As the KAB Foundation continues to reconstitute, build its board of directors and initiate fundraising efforts, the following letter was submitted to the editor of each of the state's newspapers:
Never before have environmental issues been of greater interest to Arkansans. Conservation, recycling, and clean water and air are top-of-mind issues that are changing the way we think about the environment. Across Arkansas, these issues are emerging in towns large and small.
Communities that are clean, green and sustainable will ultimately drive the state’s economic prosperity and societal well-being. Keep Arkansas Beautiful encourages all Arkansans to accept responsibility for maintaining our state’s scenic beauty and quality of life. These efforts positively influence civic pride, livability and economic growth – creating places where people want to live, work and visit.
Keep Arkansas Beautiful works closely with schools, communities and volunteers to offer programs to enhance The Natural State. You may be familiar with the annual Great Arkansas Cleanup and the Litter-Free Zone clean-campus curriculum. Your support is needed so we can continue providing these programs in your area.
You can help us create and expand programs to keep your community – and our entire state – clean and green. Visit KABFoundation.org for more information about how you can make a tax-deductible contribution to support a greener and cleaner Arkansas.
Thank you for your energy, effort and enthusiasm in helping Arkansas communities to prevent litter, encourage recycle and enhance scenic beauty. Together, we can make Arkansas shine!
Mimi San Pedro, chief operating officer and chief marketing officer of P. Allen Smith’s Hortus Ltd., has been named to the Keep Arkansas Beautiful Foundation board of directors.
“Mimi’s community service and dedication to the beautification of our state make her an ideal addition to our board,” said Robert Phelps, acting executive director of Keep Arkansas Beautiful Foundation. “None of our work would be possible without the leadership of our board and the contributions of our donors to support our programs and our mission.”
Prior to joining Hortus, San Pedro was vice president of global marketing for Acxiom. Under her leadership, Acxiom implemented the most comprehensive global branding and marketing strategy in the company’s history. San Pedro previously served as president and CEO of ContourMed, an Arkansas-based biotechnology company.
“I am truly honored to be asked to serve on the Keep Arkansas Beautiful Foundation board of directors,” said San Pedro. “I have admired the foundation’s efforts for several years and look forward to educating Arkansans on the importance of preserving and protecting the natural beauty of our state.”
Randy Frazier of Wye Mountain (Pulaski County) recently received the Iron Eyes Cody Award at Keep America Beautiful’s (KAmB) 57th annual national conference for his outstanding leadership in community improvement programs. Frazier was honored for his dedication to the Keep Arkansas Beautiful Commission and the Keep Arkansas Beautiful Foundation, as well as to other KAmB state and local affiliates.
KAmB established the Iron Eyes Cody Award in honor of the landmark public awareness campaign from the 1970s, which is credited with awakening the environmental consciousness of an entire generation of Americans. This award is given to a man who is an outstanding leader in promoting KAmB’s mission.