Communities from across the country were recognized during the 60th annual Keep America Beautiful Conference earlier this year for their efforts in promoting environmental stewardship, activism, education and awareness. Keep Bartow Beautiful was among the recipients of the Presidential Circle Award, for this their seventh time being recognized.
“This is the seventh one we’ve received,” said Environmental Programs Division Head Sheri Henshaw. “This award was put together in order to recognize excellence in the 500 affiliates across the country.
“I believe the program began in 2002 and then the first awards were given out in 2003 and we did get one that year. We have missed a few years, but we’ve gotten seven of them so far, including this one for 2012.”
The President’s Circle Award goes to community-level affiliate organizations meeting standards for excellence in program strength, volunteer efforts, board involvement and administration training and education.
“One of Keep America Beautiful’s most effective tools is the work of our grassroots network of affiliate organizations, which has an impact on millions of Americans each year,” said Keep America Beautiful President and CEO Matt McKenna. “Our affiliates are providing real solutions to local problems caused by litter, graffiti, illegal dumping and other community blight by engaging volunteers of all ages in its effort to create a vibrant community.”
Programs administered or coordinated through Keep Bartow Beautiful and Bartow County Environmental Programs Division, include Arbor Day, Christmas tree recycling, Adopt-A-Road, school recycling, Rivers Alive and Great American Cleanup efforts among others.
“The award recognizes that we have programs in the three main areas, which are beautification, waste reduction and litter and recycling,” Henshaw said. “We have a very active board and we have broad-base volunteer programs that covers all of those areas and that we also have leadership in the form of directors with annual training.
“It always makes us feel good because this is validation that we’re doing what we’re supposed to for Bartow County. We always feel like we’ve managed to keep working toward our goal of continually growing programs with more volunteers and more programs. This past year we did add a program, National Planting Day, so there are new programs all the time.”
With Arbor Day behind them, KBB now will focus on gearing up for the Great American Cleanup. During the month of April, communities across the country will help beautify parks and neighborhoods with thousands of volunteers lending a hand in the annual effort. In Bartow, the city of Cartersville ATCO Cleanup will take place on Saturday, April 20, and the Bartow County Gene Thacker Memorial Cleanup will take place on Saturday, April 27. Other cleanups, including an annual effort by Georgia Highlands College also will take place in the month of April.
For more information, visit www.bartowga.org/kbb or call 770-383-7399.