JULY 2010

Community improvement grants awarded by The UPS Foundation

The UPS Foundation awarded 16 Keep America Beautiful (KAB) affiliates $10,000 community improvement grants each, supporting programs across the country that address litter prevention, waste reduction, recycling, beautification and community greening. The projects will take place during 2010 and into early 2011.

The awards were presented to KAB affiliates in recognition of their volunteer initiatives with local UPS locations throughout the United States.

The winning KAB affiliates and a description of their UPS Foundation-supported projects are:

Keep Austin Beautiful’s “Event Recycling, Play as you Throw” initiative provides an easy recycling bin lending system to collect event recyclables that would otherwise end up in a landfill. Funding will support on-site education about waste reduction and proper disposal of materials.

Keep Blackstone Valley, Rhode Island Beautiful is overseeing the Keep North Smithfield Clean & Green Program, a litter prevention education effort working with local food establishments and convenience stores.

Keep Charleston, South Carolina, Beautiful’s Green Spaces Recycling Program will install permanent trash and recycling receptacles in every City park. The presence of permanent trash and recycling stations inside these parks will reaffirm the City’s goal of creating a clean, beautiful, sustainable community by encouraging litter prevention and waste responsibility.

Keep Cincinnati Beautiful’s “Future Blooms” program addresses the visual blight of boarded up buildings by painting windows and doors on the boarded up windows and doors, immediately changing the aesthetics around the area. Additionally, vacant lots are enhanced by defining additional “Future Blooms” spaces with fencing and landscaping.

Keep Dodge City Beautiful, Kansas, will increase collection services at its Civic Center recycling drop-off location by adding two recycling roll-off containers and using the existing bins and trailer at a new drop-off location in south Dodge, expanding their collection capabilities at both locations.

Keep Dorchester County Beautiful’s, South Carolina, Waste Reduction Recycling Education Program teaches children about environmental awareness and recycling. One aspect of the program is “Recycling Troopers,” which involves elementary school student volunteers, who are identified as Recycling Troopers, and have the ability to issue Gold Stars for classroom recycling. The grant will expand the program beyond the existing 25 participating schools.

Keep Grand Prairie Beautiful, Texas, will partner with the Northeast Neighborhoods and/or Shady Grove Church, to build a new Community Garden in the Dalworth neighborhood. With the help of their local Eagle Scouts, they will build 40 raised beds. Food grown in the raised beds will either be kept by the participating gardeners or donated to People That Care, a local food ministry.

Keep Guntersville Beautiful, Alabama, will establish an outreach program to stop Lazy Individuals Trashing The Environment Regularly (LITTER) on Lake Guntersville. The lake serves as the location for professional fishing tournaments and wakeboard competitions throughout the year, and is also home to a 69,000 acre state park. The program will provide free portable solid waste containers to recreation and transient boaters.

Hot Springs/Garland County Beautification Commission, Arkansas, will launch the “Save Our Waters - Cage the Plastic” program to reduce litter in high traffic areas such as parks, beaches and tourist attraction settings through a comprehensive demonstration project that will establish new drop-off sites, monitor the effectiveness of these sites, and launch a new publicity campaign.

Keep Indianapolis Beautiful’s Project Green Schools engages youth in environmental service-learning projects. Project Green Schools works with Indianapolis schools to create outdoor “classrooms,” engaging youth in their environment, and teaching them the importance of protecting it for the future.

Keep Jackson Beautiful, Tennessee, along with the City of Jackson and countless contributors and volunteers, established Liberty Garden as a living memorial in honor of the fallen of September 11. Through the grant, KJB will install a “Nature Explore Classroom” within Liberty Garden, with the goal of promoting family interaction and reconnecting children with nature.

Keep The Midlands Beautiful’s, South Carolina, new Lose the Baggage program seeks to significantly increase the use of reusable shopping bags by residents of the City of Columbia, Lexington County and Richland County.

The primary objective is to reduce the amount of plastic bags used by Midlands residents by at least seven million bags a year, which would represent roughly one out of five of residents making the switch from plastic to reusable bags.

Keep Greater Milwaukee Beautiful will create an education and awareness campaign – “Put It Here” – that addresses littering behavior in over 140 parks and parkways totaling nearly 15,000 acres in the metro-Milwaukee area. The project adds litter-free and recycling messaging to the picnic reservation process, and will also create a PSA featuring community leaders and familiar park locations.

Keep Smyrna Beautiful, Georgia, will build a half-acre community garden in a new park that is currently being developed at the old City “dump.” The goals of the project are to create an attractive, functional community garden site with adequate access and water that will be large enough to accommodate the community’s immediate needs, with room to grow.

Keep Sugar Land Beautiful’s, Texas, “Planet Earth Cart,” is stocked with environmentally-themed fiction and nonfiction books, games, DVDs, puppets and hands on activities that may be incorporated into lesson plans by educators. The materials found in these carts cover litter prevention, waste reduction, recycling, reuse, water conservation, runoff pollution, gardening, beautification, butterflies, birds, and much more.

Keep Tularosa Beautiful will use its grant funds to create a community park and recreational facility behind the west side of Tularosa which will allow families a grassy, shady place to play. The first phase of this project will include installing an irrigation/sprinkler system, planting several shade trees, and shrubs.