What We Do
The GetGrowing Initiative provides a national stage
for the important role that beautification and greening plays in our
communities. Beautiful public places transcend aesthetic appeal to
positively impact the lives of area residents, visitors, businesses and
Keep America Beautiful involves millions of volunteers each year in
its beautification and greening events, planting 170,000 trees annually,
maintaining 8,500 gardens and 700 edible gardens. GetGrowing events
and programs will plant millions of natives,
perennials, bulbs, and ornamentals, creating beautiful public places
across the U.S.
Specifically, the initiative centers on four areas of need: Creating community-supported vegetable/fruit gardens, restoring vacant lots in underserved neighborhoods, increasing the number of trees in public spaces, and bringing natural beauty to "built environments."
There is something about a community garden that knits a community together. Neighborhoods become safer, and an element of trust is built between neighbors. They share food, fun and laughter.
And residents can’t help but be excited by working in an edible garden. They try new vegetables because they grew them, often leading to better eating habits. Community gardens provide powerful learning opportunities for residents of all ages. In many cases, they can even provide entrepreneurial oppportunities that support local economies and create jobs.
Community gardens require a lot of planning to get started, and a lot of organization to sustain. That’s where Keep America Beautiful and its 600 affiliates come in to the picture. Through the GetGrowing Initiative, affiliates are organizing local gardeners and sustaining the gardens through the off-season.
Through a new partnership with the US Department of Agriculture's People's Garden Initiative, KAB is establishing gardens in low-income rural and urban communities where lack of access to fresh and healthy foods creates increased risks of food insecurity and obesity. Read more >
Vacant Lot Restoration
Vacant lots and abandoned properties are a growing burden in
many American cities. Neglected properties drag down entire
neighborhoods by serving as breeding grounds for urban blight. They
create the impression of a community in decline, and contribute to
crime, disorder, lower property values and decreased commerce.
is seeking a solution in a national initiative, which will follow
innovative practices that transform vacant lots. Through the initiative
we seek to train and educate local organizations in practices for vacant
lot stabilization. Full immersion learning strategies will be combined
with webinars to apply best practices to communities nationwide. And
technical assistance grants will provide needed funding for pilots as
well as dedicated experts to directly address the problem on a local
Forests and trees are essential to the health and livability
of our cities and towns. They purify the air we breathe and the water we
drink. Trees improve property values, stabilize soil erosion, and even
reduce crime and blight.
In fact, trees are one of the most sensible investments a community can make in its own future.
2010 alone, KAB affiliates planted 160,000 trees, establishing roots
that will flourish as benefits to their communities for years to come.
The GetGrowing initiative leverages our current activities with partners
such as Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, Alliance for Community
Trees (ACT), the Arbor Day Foundation and the Sustainable Urban Forest
Coaltion to increase KAB tree planting activities by 5% annually.
“Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find resources of strength that will endure as long as life lasts.”
- Rachel Carson
public spaces transcend aesthetic appeal to postively impact the lives
of area residents, visitors, businesses and institutions. Long active in
our nation’s most significant beautification efforts, KAB and our
affiliates have been at the forefront of community greening efforts for
over 55 years.
Through the GetGrowing initiative, KAB will plant
millions of flowers, bulbs and ornamentals annually, creating beautiful
public spaces, community gateways, streetscapes and memorial gardens.
These projects will touch downtown areas as well as schools, corporate
campuses, places of worship, parks, monument grounds and more.