UPS Community Improvement Grants Helps KAB Communities Meet New Goals
The UPS Foundation, the charitable arm of UPS [NYSE: UPS], provided grant awards exceeding $150,000 for 66 projects as part of the 2012 UPS/Keep America Beautiful Community Improvement Grant Program. The program’s intent is to link KAB affiliate organizations with local UPS employee teams who will – in addition to the grant funding – provide essential volunteer support to the local efforts.
This is the fifth year of the grant program, which provides support for recycling, beautification, community greening, litter prevention and waste reduction initiatives across the country. At the beginning of 2008, The UPS Foundation adopted a new global philanthropic strategy to strengthen its impact and better leverage UPS's capabilities. In addition to the new environmental sustainability focus area, the Foundation’s other focus areas include community safety, nonprofit effectiveness, economic and global literacy and diversity.
UPS Foundation donated $10,000 to each of the following Keep America Beautiful affiliates to accomplish the following:
Keep Georgia Beautiful will award mini-grants to select KAB affiliates in Georgia as part of its Edible NeighborWoods Program, which plants local community orchards. The Georgia Urban Forest Council and the Georgia Forestry Commission will partner in this program. The 20-30 trees planted in each community will help improve air quality, prevent storm-water runoff, nourish wildlife and provide a source of local, sustainable community produce.
UPS Foundation donated $5,000 to each of the following Keep America Beautiful affiliates to accomplish the following:
Keep Hamilton Beautiful in Canada will create small rooftop garden displays demonstrating a variety of urban gardening techniques to promote its local food movement. Using the aforementioned displays, KHB will put on three "Rooftop Garden Displays & Workshops" that will provide residents the education and tools to create their own gardens at home.
Keep Knox Parks Beautiful in Hartford, Conn., is conducting a study with a University of Connecticut graduate student to measure produce grown, the health and eating habits of local community gardeners, with the intent of comparing the results against the health and eating habits of Hartford's general population.
Keep Vermilion County (Ill.) Beautiful is using a portion of its grant to hire painters/artists who paint on the walls of downtown businesses in areas that are not flourishing. So far the county has produced over 18 murals, having hired over 150 artists from around the world who became guests of local residents.This grant will be used to paint eight specific buildings. In addition, grant money will be used for the Douglas Discovery Garden, which will redevelop land from 1.3 acres of a former elementary school and turn it into a community discovery and teaching garden.
Keep Simpson County (Miss.) Beautiful is working in conjunction with the Simpson County Development Foundation to establish the first pocket park in the county -- the Braxton Oak Street Park/Heritage Trail Site -- with informational and educational signage to be placed in the park.
Keep Gastonia (N.C.) Beautiful is creating the Highland Community Garden in Gastonia's Highland neighborhood where there are presently no public parks or composting/recycling centers. The garden will be across from a housing development reserved for elderly people on fixed incomes. There will be cherry and pear trees planted along a walking path in the garden in addition to apple and plum trees.
Keep Beatrice (Neb.) Beautiful is creating a Rain Garden on the grounds of the oldest library building in Nebraska, which is registered with the US Department of Historic Places. The group will also promote the idea of a rain garden as a solution to storm water run-off.
Keep Ohio Beautiful is producing the Great Ohio Planting Day in Youngstown at a former illegal tire dumpsite where the City removed over 23,000 tires last year. The grant funds will be used to plant a variety of native trees on the site with the help of children from two elementary schools in the area. The eventual goal is to create an urban forest on the grounds.
Keep Sevier (Tenn.) Beautiful is reviving the grounds of an old medical center that will be turned into a new veterans' hospital. The "Bringing Beauty Back for our Veterans" project will utilize UPS volunteers to help plant trees and plants at the facility.
Keep Greater Milwaukee Beautiful's grant will be used to build raised edible gardens and establish an urban fruit forest, called "Herban Roots." These two projects will help Milwaukee build sustainable food systems that are equitable and ecologically sound. They will be placed in the most blighted areas of Milwaukee.
Keep Casper (Wyo.) Beautiful, in partnership with the City of Casper, is seeking to increase the tree canopy in town from 8 percent to 20 percent. They will use the grant to start this process by planting trees around Casper's Field of Dreams youth baseball complex. The grant will be used to purchase the trees for the complex while the city and the youth baseball league will match the funds with in-kind contributions to amend the soil, build berms, pruchase trees and small plants, install sod and upgrade irrigation.