Keep Athens-Clarke County Beautiful recently received three Keep Georgia Beautiful (KGB) Foundation awards: the first place Affiliate Award, the first place Community Improvement and Greening Award, and a second place award for Litter Prevention. The KGB Foundation was created to in 1985 to promote private sector financial support for worthwhile educational programs that enhance the environment and the quality of life in Georgia.
This is KACCB’s third year as a winner of the first place Keep Georgia Beautiful Affiliate Award. The program has won acclaim for positively affecting the community by bringing state and national programs to Athens and engaging citizens in volunteer service. On an annual basis, KACCB administers 11 litter prevention programs, 7 recycling programs/events, and 12 community beautification programs. KACCB participates in the KAB Great American Cleanup, National Planting Day, America Recycles Day, and the Cigarette Litter Prevention Program. Last year, KACCB completed 6 community/educator workshops, held 67 outreach events/presentations with 3,570 community members attending, and engaged 10,582 volunteers into action for our community. Through our participation in the Green Schools Program, KACCB reached 6,626 students in 29 different schools and daycare centers. The affiliate is a program of the ACC Solid Waste Department Recycling Division, but also functions as a nonprofit with the support of a strong Board of 17 diverse members who are passionate and proactive.
COMMUNITY IMPROVEMENT AND GREENING
The first place Community Improvement and Greening Award honors KACCB’s School Garden Network Program. As part of its mission to serve and educate Athens citizens, KACCB works with local public and private schools (21 public schools in the Clarke County School District and 7 private schools) to provide environmental education programs on litter prevention and beautification. KACCB identified a need for more gardening and environmental education programs in our local schools to meet the needs of students with limited access to healthy food options and outdoor time. The School Garden Network brings together community partners to support and maintain usable school gardens and outdoor teaching spaces.
KACCB’s second place Litter Prevention Award honors the new Littervention campaign. KACCB had to create a community-wide public education program about litter that would appeal to a broad audience. With a little humor, and a positive underlying message, KACCB created the “Littervention. Your Dirty Secret is Out. Get Clean for Athens.” The campaign gives citizens a conversation starter to educate friends and family in a light-hearted, yet direct way, using Littervention as an “intervention” for undesirable behaviors. The Littervention public awareness program has become a part of Athens, uniting local government, businesses, non-profits, and the educational community to “get clean” for Athens.