Volunteer Spotlight: Susan Matthews

Chris Duncan, VP of Programs, Keep Indianapolis Beautiful (KIB); Susan Matthews, KIB Board Member; Abby Dennis, KIB Volunteer Coordinator

Keep Indianapolis Beautiful board member Susan Matthews volunteers to help people and nature thrive in Indianapolis!

Keep America Beautiful is driven by the work and passion of more than 620 community-based Keep America Beautiful affiliates and millions of local volunteers. But our work wouldn't get accomplished without grassroots volunteers, such as Keep Indianapolis Beautiful (KIB) board member Susan Matthews, who work in their local communities to transform public spaces into beautiful places.

Here is a Q&A interview by Keep Indianapolis Beautiful's Director of Public Relations Ashlee Wilson Fujawa with Matthews.

Q: What is your occupation?
A: I am a consulting principal at Borshoff, an advertising and public relations agency.

Q: What neighborhood do you live in?
A: I moved to Herron-Morton in 2007 and it’s been thrilling to see the redevelopment of our neighborhood over the past decade.

Q: What is the most inspiring place in Indianapolis?
A: : It’s hard to pick just one spot. I’m inspired when I hike at Fort Benjamin Harrison State Park and Eagle Creek Park. I love biking along the Cultural Trail and seeing all the growth downtown. Our neighborhood parks offer space for connection and relaxation. And I’m partial to my block on New Jersey Street, where new houses are being built while others are restored — and we have the best neighbors!

Q: How long have you volunteered with Keep Indianapolis Beautiful?
A: ; I joined the board of KIB in 2008, shortly after moving downtown.

Q: Why do you support KIB?
A: I fully embrace KIB’s mission of helping people and nature thrive. KIB’s work ultimately makes our lives are better.

Q: What impact do you feel that the work with KIB has on the community?
A: KIB’s impact is growing every year, and it’s really exciting to see KIB partnering with universities and others to scientifically measure the positive impact of trees and a healthy urban landscape. The research shows that with cleaner, greener neighborhoods, crime goes down, neighbors connect, and residents are healthier and happier.

Q: What else are you involved in within the community?
A: I’m on the boards of the Indy Chamber and the Greater Indianapolis Progress Committee.

Q: Why would you encourage others to support KIB?
A: KIB has ambitious goals to reduce litter, increase the tree canopy and restore stream-side green space. This will result in tons of carbon removed from the air, millions of gallons of dirty water kept from our drinking supply, and increased biodiversity. This all matters because it helps create a cleaner, greener and healthier environment. Plus, it’s fun to “get dirty” with like-minded KIB volunteers.

To learn more about KIB and ways to get involved, go to www.kibi.org.

(Pictured above are, from left to right: Christine Duncan, Vice President of Programming,  Keep Indianapolis Beautiful; Susan Matthews, KIB Board Member and Consulting Principal, Borshoff; and Abby Dennis, Volunteer Coordinator, Keep Indianapolis Beautiful)