Keep America Beautiful

Natural beauty goes far beyond appearances; it helps to create more robust economies, and more healthy communities and happy residents. During the Great American Cleanup, edible community gardens are created that help feed the hungry and educate young gardeners. Multitudes of new tree plantings are providing shade, sequestering carbon, and cleaning the air and soil. Flower gardens are creating vibrant gateways to downtown shopping and entertainment districts, forming vital places to live, work, shop and play. Beauty is indeed a powerful force.

 

Keep Terrabone Beautiful, LA
Keep Terrabone Beautiful and local Lowe's Heroes created 600-square feet of shoreline protection that leads to the home of two Native American tribes.  The Floating Islands Marsh Creation Project uses recycled plastic bottles and potting soil mixture to create mats that are actually “floating islands.” The floating islands technology is an open-water application that uses plants as anchors for the mats. The mats are made from 100 percent recycled plastic bottles and serve as the foundation of the islands; they are pre-drilled with 210 holes into which volunteers put a potting soil mixture and then plant 230 plants per mat. It’s literally a “living” project.

Keep Vermilion County Beautiful, IL
The Douglas Discovery Garden was the second site that was beautified as a part of Keep Vermilion County Beautiful’s annual Great American Cleanup. In collaboration with the University of Illinois Cooperative Extension Master Gardeners and the Danville High School Building Trades class, a total of nine vegetable plant beds were created with the resulting produce to be freely distributed within the community. Six vegetable beds were topped off with compost and planted and three new handicapped-accessible vegetable beds were created. The Master Gardeners incorporated planting education with the teen volunteers and at the end of the event, a whole dumpster was filled with landscape waste.

 

Keep Athens-Limestone Beautiful, GA
Spearheaded by Keep Athens-Limestone Beautiful in Georgia, more than 800 volunteer hours were put into developing the Athens Farmers Market Community Garden. The volunteers built a new gazebo and garden shed, three raised garden beds, and created hugelkultur beds, which are raised garden beds filled with rotted wood. Produce will be distributed locally to families and seniors in need of fresh food. Free classes are being offered to the public about topics such as proper usage of rain barrels, soil amendments, how to build raised beds, and various environmental lessons for local students at the market.