Pearl River Clean Sweep 2022 

WHEN:  Saturday, September 17, 2022, 8 AM

WHERE:  Choose from over 20 locations!  

Cleanup teams will be deployed along the Pearl River Watershed from its Headwaters in Nanih Waiya, Mississippi, downriver through the Ross Barnett Reservoir, along the border of Mississippi and Louisiana, all the way to Pearlington on the Gulf Coast.  

WHY:  This event will celebrate drinkable, swimmable, fishable water in 15 counties, 2 parishes, 2 states and over 490 miles of beautiful river!HOW:  View our list of cleanup locations and register for the location of your choice.  This event is open to all ages and will be held rain or shine.  Bring a reusable water bottle (no single-use plastic please), gloves, mask, hand sanitizer and sturdy shoes. Site leaders will distribute cleanup bags.  Please spread the word and share your cleanup photos on social media using #PearlRiverCleanSweep or by tagging Pearl Riverkeeper. 

In the past 5 years, this event has engaged more than 3,400 volunteers and removed over 139,000 pounds of trash from the Pearl River watershed!  Please join us for this epic event celebrating a clean drinkable, swimmable, fishable Pearl River watershed!

Keep Mississippi Beautiful is proud to be part of the two-state coalition supporting this monumental event.

Help us highlight Keep Mississippi Beautiful affiliates’ programs and progress.

Send your news to Abby Turpin, KAB Director of Communications and Jan Richardson, KMB Assistant Director.

This month, Keep America Beautiful introduced a new communications initiative: KAB In the News. We’re publishing this list of all stories from across America that feature the work of Keep America Beautiful and our 700 affiliates. We feel it’s important to gather these where they are easily accessible in one space, and the page is updated every day! See the August news here and email your news/stories to KAB Director of Communications, Abby Turpin – and Jan Richardson –

#KeepAmericaBeautiful #DoBeautifulThings #HowIKeepAmericaBeautiful #KABIntheNews #KABaffiliate

Keep America Beautiful 2023 National Conference and Keep America Beautiful National Awards Program


The Keep America Beautiful National Conference offers the opportunity for participants to expand their knowledge, hear from industry leaders, share their challenges and successes, and network among their peers.

This is the premier annual educational, training, and networking forum for our National Affiliate Network, partners, sponsors, peer organizations, and everyone interested in benchmarking in any of Keep America Beautiful focus areas of end littering, improve recycling, or beautify communities.


February 20-22, 2023

Washington Hilton

1919 Connecticut Ave. NW, Washington, DC.

Have questions about the National Conference?

Please contact April Wennerstrom at


The Keep America Beautiful National Awards program recognizes the best of the best among our network of community-based affiliates, leading corporate partners, and individual volunteers across the country who have committed to delivering cleaner, greener, and more beautiful communities.

Keep America Beautiful recognizes individuals and organizations in the following categories:

  • Individual Achievement Awards
    • Lady Bird Johnson Award (Open to both female and male volunteers)
    • Sue Smith Professional Leadership Award (Affiliate only)
  • Innovation Awards 
    • State and Local Affiliate Innovation Awards (Affiliate Only)
  • State Agency Partnership Recognition Awards 

To apply for the 2022 National Awards Program, please visit us here. If you wish to download a PDF version to review before submitting, go here.
The deadline for 2022 submissions is 5 PM ET on Monday, October 3, 2022.

Keep Mississippi Beautiful encourages our affiliates to apply for one or more awards.

Earth Day 2022

Thursday, April 21 and Friday, April 22, 2022, Keep Mississippi Beautiful will host 2021 Miss Mississippi Earth, Udeme Ikaiddi at several Earth Day events.

Miss Earth is an international major beauty pageant that advocates for environmental awareness, conservation, and social responsibility. 

On Thursday, April 21, Miss Ikaiddi will volunteer with the Keep Mississippi Beautiful team, at a Wildflower Trails of Mississippi event. Wildflower seeds will be sown in a green space on the corner of N. Jefferson Street and High Street in Jackson, adjacent to the hundreds of daffodils planted this spring at this location by the fairgrounds.

Friday, April 22, the Ridgeland High School garden team will host Miss Ikaiddi at their Earth Day event. In its inaugural year, over 150 students at the school have participated in the flourishing school garden program so far.

Miss Mississippi Earth Udeme Ikaiddi

2022 Spring Bulb Planting in Full Swing

Keep Mississippi Beautiful affiliates around the state are working with volunteers, gardeners, and local governments to plant tens of thousands of narcissus bulbs this spring. Various varieties KMB provided to our affiliates include Carlton, a golden yellow bloom; Narcissus Las Vegas, with ivory petals and a yellow trumpet; fragrant Ice Follies, a white petal and flared yellow trumpet; and the frilly orange trumpet and white-petal Narcissus Parisienne.

2021 Great American Cleanup State Kickoff and Award Presentations

This year we had an exciting Great American Cleanup State Kickoff Event with Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves and First Lady of Mississippi Elee Reeves kicking off the Great American Cleanup season, partnered with Keep Jackson Beautiful on the steps of our Mississippi State Capitol.

Keep Mississippi Beautiful honors individuals and organizations throughout Mississippi who are making a difference and this year we couldn’t think of a better way than to have our Governor and First Lady present these awards on the steps of our State Capital.

Having these two events linked together will show how a hands-on approach to community improvement serves as a catalyst for ongoing civic engagement and promotes personal responsibility.

During the cleanup event, 103 volunteers dispersed to various sites across our capital city and planted 8 trees and 200 flower bulbs, weed eating and picking up over 3,700 pounds of litter. This event totaled to over $10,700 in benefits from volunteer hours and in-kind and monetary donations.

We appreciate our sponsors who made this event possible:

Nucor Steel Jackson, Inc.

Mississippi Power

REAL Christian Foundation

Mississippi Beverage Association

Clark Beverage Group, Inc.

Lowe’s Home Improvement

2020 and 2021 Louise Godwin Award recipients, KMB Board Members Cindy Duvall and Joel Yelverton

2020 Keep America Beautiful Conference


What an inspirational conference in Memphis, TN! We had over 30 conference attendees representing Mississippi who heard sessions on partnerships, recycling, Keep America Beautiful programs, everyday technology programs, fundraising, volunteerism and non-profit management practices just to name a few.
Mississippi also received several national awards:
    • Mississippi Department of Transportation
    • Mississippi State University Extension Service


  • Educator Award – Chuck Rhoads, Brandon, MS
Chuck Rhoads recently retired as an art teacher at Puckett High School in Rankin County, MS. Chuck teaches his students about art not only in the classroom, but also in the landscape around campus. He launched the “Gardens of Puckett” project challenging students to improve the aesthetics and sense of place on campus. Additionally, he shows his students how to recycle and transform discarded items into something new. Although not connected to an affiliate, Chuck and his students work closely with Keep Mississippi Beautiful, Keep the Rez Beautiful and Keep Jackson Beautiful on a variety of efforts. For instance, his students used recycled granite remnants and leftover copper to make awards for our Keep MS Beautiful awards ceremony.


    • Diamond Level – Keep Mississippi Beautiful
  • 2019 President’s Circle Recipients:
    • Keep Belzoni Beautiful
    • Keep Brookhaven-Lincoln Co. Beautiful
    • Keep Byram Beautiful
    • Keep Canton Beautiful
    • Keep Clarksdale Beautiful
    • Keep Clinton Beautiful
    • Keep Columbia/Marion County Beautiful
    • Keep Copiah County Beautiful
    • Keep Corinth/Alcorn County Beautiful
    • Keep Desoto County Beautiful
    • Keep Diamondhead Beautiful
    • Keep Flora Beautiful
    • Keep Greenville Beautiful
    • Keep Harrison County Beautiful
    • Keep Hattiesburg Beautiful
    • Keep Indianola Beautiful
    • Keep Jackson Beautiful
    • Keep Kosciusko Beautiful
    • Keep Leake County Beautiful
    • Keep Madison the city Beautiful
    • Keep Mendenhall Beautiful
    • Keep Meridian/Lauderdale Beautiful
    • Keep Morton Beautiful
    • Keep Mount Olive Beautiful
    • Keep Natchez/Adams County Beautiful
    • Keep New Albany Beautiful
    • Keep Oxford/Lafayette County Beautiful
    • Keep Panola County Beautiful
    • Keep Pearl Beautiful
    • Keep Pike County Beautiful
    • Keep the Rez Beautiful
    • Keep Ridgeland Beautiful
    • Keep Picayune Beautiful
    • Keep Simpson County Beautiful
    • Keep Starkville Beautiful
    • Keep Tupelo Beautiful
    • Keep Waveland Beautiful

Keep Mississippi Beautiful’s 2019 Annual Awards Luncheon

59339659_2376772522383850_977742621965287424_oOur annual awards luncheon honors Mississippians who have demonstrated outstanding leadership in their communities in the areas of litter prevention, recycling, waste reduction, beautification and community improvement.
Pictured above are the 2019 KMB local affiliates. Additional photos can be found here.

We would like to thank Commissioner Andy Gipson, Mississippi Department of Agriculture and Commerce for giving the innvocation as well as saying a few comments on his support of our organization as well as our local affiliates. Thank you to Sue Smith, Keep America Beautiful Affiliate Director and Keep Chicago Beautiful Director, for giving an inspiring keynote address. Thank you to our First Lady Deborah Bryant and Keep Mississippi Beautiful Board Chairman, Cindy Duvall, for presenting the awards.

Congratulations to all of 2019 award winners:

3rd Place- Madison the City Environmental Court
2nd Place- Judge Jeremy Belk
1st Place- City of Picayune
3rd Place- MS State Extension Simpson County
2nd Place- MS Dept. of Environmental Quality- Right Way to Throw Away
1st Place- Mississippi Department of Transportation Litter Prevention Program
1st- Enid Lake Volunteers for Waste Management
3rd Place- Starkville Community Church
2nd Place-GFWC-MFWC Civic Women’s Club of Picayune
1st Place- Lauderdale County Homemakers Association
3rd Place- Bill Allen, Bank Plus
2nd Place- MS Power & Keep Picayune Beautiful
1st Place- Mississippi Power – Environmental Stewardship Council
3rd Place- Phi Theta Kappa Chapter/Co-Lin Simpson Co.
2nd Place- Puckett Art Department
1st Place- 2018-19 Ridgeland High School Recyclers
1st Place Elementary- Southside Elementary School’s SSU Litter Busters
2nd Place- Keep Jackson Beautiful Month
1st Place- Keep Tupelo Beautiful – 10 for Tupelo
1st Place- Ridgeland Chamber of Commerce Karen McKie 2018 President
3rd Place- City of Oxford – Recycling
2nd Place- St. Catherine’s Village Green Team
1st Place- Joy Dodson – Keep Canton Beautiful
AFFILIATE (by population)
Under 5,000
1st Place- Keep Flora Beautiful
1st Place- Keep Picayune Beautiful
3rd Place- Keep Keep the Rez Beautiful
2nd Place- Keep Brookhaven-Lincoln County Beautiful
1st Place- Keep Tupelo Beautiful
2nd Place- Keep Jackson Beautiful
1st Place- Harrison County Beautification Commission
Keith Chamblee
Theron Bishop
Deputy Fire Chief Barry Lee
Mayor Shirley Sandifer
Rachel R Collier
Kathryn Rhea
John Sigman
Keep Belzoni Beautiful
Keep Brookhaven-Lincoln County Beautiful
Keep Canton Beautiful
Keep Clinton Beautiful
Keep Corinth-Alcorn County Beautiful
Keep Diamondhead Beautiful
Keep Flora Beautiful
Keep Harrison County Beautiful
Keep Holmes County Beautiful
Keep Jackson Beautiful
Keep Leake County Beautiful
Keep Madison the city Beautiful
Keep Magee Beautiful
Keep Mendenhall Beautiful
Keep Oxford Lafayette County Beautiful
Keep Pearl Beautiful
Keep Pike Co. Beautiful
Keep the Rez Beautiful
Keep Ridgeland Beautiful
Keep Simpson County Beautiful
Keep Starkville Beautiful
Keep Tupelo Beautiful
Keep Waveland Beautiful

Mississippians Win National Awards from Keep America Beautiful

Keep Mississippi Beautiful (KMB) and its community-based affiliates recently took home several top awards from Keep America Beautiful, the nation’s leading organization for litter prevention, recycling, and beautification. Mississippians across the state were recognized by Keep America Beautiful at its national conference on Feb. 7.


“Mississippi continues to show the nation that we are serious about fighting litter, promoting recycling and beautifying our communities,” KMB Executive Director Sarah Kountouris said. “We are proud of the Mississippians who were recognized by Keep America Beautiful.”

Recipients include:

  • Jeannine May won the Sue Smith Professional Leadership Award for building and sustaining an exceptional affiliate. Jeannine serves as Affiliate Director of Keep the Rez Beautiful, known for its efforts to improve the water quality and beauty of the Ross Barnett Reservoir and its shores. Jeannine is the fifth Mississippian to win this award since it was created in the 1980s.
  • Brett Rushing won the Young Professional Award, which recognizes an outstanding volunteer, under the age of 40, who demonstrates exceptional leadership in helping his or her community. Dr. Rushing was integral in KMB’s launch of the Wildflower Trails of Mississippi project, and he has worked with KMB and KAB affiliates across the state to support wildflower plantings. Brett is the second Mississippian to win this award since it was created in 2013.
  • Keep Starkville Beautiful won the Bill Nash Award, which honors an affiliate less than three years old for exceptional success. Since its launch in 2017, Keep Starkville Beautiful has made significant investments to end littering, beautify public spaces, and improve recycling. Affiliate Director Amy Counterman accepted the award. Keep Starkville Beautiful is the third Mississippi affiliate to win this award in recent years.
  • Keep Mississippi Beautiful and Keep Ridgeland Beautiful both won Innovation Partnership Awards. KMB was recognized as a state affiliate for its new anti-litter campaign, “Don’t Litter… Can It Mississippi,” created in partnership with Dak Prescott and Pepsi. KMB Executive Director Sarah Kountouris accepted the award. Keep Ridgeland Beautiful was recognized as a local affiliate for its citywide zinnia beautification effort in partnership with the Ridgeland Chamber of Commerce. Affiliate Director Jan Richardson and Board Members Ginger Cocke, Rachel Brantley and Lea Anne Stacy accepted the award.
  • Mississippi Department of Transportation won the State Agency Partnership Award for its ongoing support of Keep Mississippi Beautiful and litter prevention efforts across the state.
  • Keep Mississippi Beautiful received the Diamond Level recognition for sustained success in the Keep America Beautiful network.
  • 30 local affiliates in Mississippi won the President’s Circle Award for sustained success. They include: Keep Belzoni Beautiful, Keep Brookhaven-Lincoln County Beautiful, Keep Canton Beautiful, Keep Clinton Beautiful, Keep Columbia/Marion County Beautiful, Keep Corinth-Alcorn Beautiful, Keep Desoto County Beautiful, Keep Diamondhead Beautiful, Keep Flora Beautiful, Keep Harrison County Beautiful, Keep Hattiesburg Beautiful, Keep Holmes County Beautiful, Keep Indianola Beautiful, Keep Jackson Beautiful, Keep Kosciusko Beautiful, Keep Leake County Beautiful, Keep Madison the city Beautiful, Keep Magee Beautiful, Keep Mendenhall Beautiful, Keep Natchez/Adams County Beautiful, Keep Oxford/Lafayette County Beautiful, Keep Pascagoula Beautiful, Keep Pearl Beautiful, Keep Pike County Beautiful, Keep Ridgeland Beautiful, Keep Simpson County Beautiful, Keep Starkville Beautiful, Keep the Rez Beautiful, Keep Tupelo Beautiful, and Keep Waveland Beautiful.

KMB Now Accepting Nominations for 2019 Awards



  1. Mayor of the Year Award: Honors a mayor in Mississippi who supports the KMB mission.
  2. Law Enforcement Official of the Year Award: Honors a law enforcement official in Mississippi who supports the KMB mission.
  3. Pat Fordice Award: Honors a leader of beautification, recycling and litter cleanup in Mississippi. This award is given in honor of the former First Lady who was a dedicated supporter of Keep Mississippi Beautiful.
  4. Louise Godwin Award: Honors a leader of beautification, recycling and litter cleanup in Mississippi. This award is given in honor of one of the key founders of KMB.
  5. Ron Aldridge Volunteer of the Year Award: Honors a superior volunteer who dedicates time and energy to further the KMB mission.

Download nomination form for Individual Achievement Awards.


  1. Great American Cleanup Award: Recognizes a Keep Mississippi Beautiful affiliate, community group, or entity who used a Great American Cleanup to impact positive change.
  2. Wildflower Trails of Mississippi Award: Recognizes a Keep Mississippi Beautiful affiliate, community group or other entity that has helped broaden the reach of the wildflower program.
  3. Recycling in Mississippi Award: Recognizes a Keep Mississippi Beautiful affiliate, community group or other entity that has had made significant investments to expand or broaden recycling.
  4. Affiliate Award: Recognizes a Keep Mississippi Beautiful affiliate that embodies the spirit of Keep Mississippi Beautiful through active beautification, litter cleanup and recycling efforts.

Download nomination form for KMB Program Awards.


These awards recognize entities with achievements in beautification, recycling and litter cleanup. KMB affiliates are encouraged to nominate partners for awards in this category.

  1. Business/ Industry Award: Recognizes a business, company or association.
  2. Government Award: Recognizes a state or federal agency or local government.
  3. Youth Groups and School Award: Recognizes a youth group or school.
  4. Civic Organizations: Recognizes non-profits, churches and other civicorganizations.

Download nomination form for Mississippi Partnership Awards.



Download KMB Awards Overview.