MS Recycling Coalition, MS Beverage Association Offer College Scholarships

e5f9e154740eea20afc99d80a277c3c3The Mississippi Recycling Coalition and Mississippi Beverage Association are offering $1,000 scholarships to undergraduate students in Mississippi public and private colleges and universities. Up to 10 scholarships are being offered this year.

The scholarships are intended for:

  • Students majoring in agricultural sciences, biochemistry, biology, biological or environmental engineering, environmental education and technology, forestry, microbiology, wildlife management and other fields related to environmental science; or
  • Students who are active in promoting recycling, composting and related sustainable practices.

Interested applicants must complete a scholarship application form and submit with a college transcript. Find the application here: http://www.msrecycles.org/scholarship_app.

Applications are due October 19, 2016. Applicants will be notified by November 4, 2016.

If you have questions, contact Mary Love Tagert at scholarships@msrecycles.org.

Learn more.

Monsanto, Keep Flora Beautiful Clean Up Town Streets

By Keep Mississippi Beautiful staff

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Mosanto and Keep Flora Beautiful teamed up to pick up litter on the town’s streets.

Monsanto and Keep Flora Beautiful recently partnered for a town-wide cleanup as part of Monsanto Gives Back Day. Employees of Monsanto’s Flora research facility picked up nearly 50 bags of litter across a square mile of town.

On August 12, 1,500 Monsanto employees from 40 sites in the United States and Puerto Rico volunteered about 4,500 hours to local communities. Eighteen of these employees hit the streets in Flora!

“Different activities are happening across the country, but one thing all the sites have in common is that we’ve tried to direct our efforts toward an organization or cause that is important to the local community or toward a task we feel needs to get accomplished,” said Sammy Soignier, site lead for the facility.

The cleanup was also part of Keep America Beautiful’s Great American Cleanup. Keep Flora Beautiful is an affiliate of Keep Mississippi Beautiful and Keep America Beautiful, which together are working to improve communities by reducing litter and beautifying communities.

Nicole Kitchens, Keep Flora Beautiful’s executive director, said: “We’re so grateful for Monsanto’s employees who gave of their time to improve out town. We look forward to our partnership for a cleaner and greener Flora.”

Two Mississippi Communities Receive Recycle Bin Grants

dpsg_logoMany people recycle in their homes, but they find it tougher to recycle when they’re out and about. Now in its fourth year, the Dr Pepper Snapple Group/ Keep America Beautiful Park Recycling Bin Grant is helping communities install recycling bins in parks.

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CleanRiver transition recycle bins

Ridgeland and McComb are among two of the communities to receive grants this year, which will ultimately lead to 1,000 new bins placed across the country. Congratulations to Keep Ridgeland Beautiful and McComb’s Recycling One Program for receiving these awards!

“We were excited about the opportunity to increase recycling in our parks that have ball fields,” said Jan Richardson, executive director of Keep Ridgeland Beautiful. “The city has several solar powered recycle compactors on site already, but during peak game seasons, more bins were needed for empty drink containers, the predominant recyclable at the games.”

KRB will receive nine CleanRiver bins through the grant; KRB purchased three additional bins.

“With the help of Dr Pepper Snapple Group, we’re transforming public spaces into beautiful places by making sure more recyclables are being placed in proper receptacles in our parks and natural areas,” said Brenda Pulley, senior vice president/recycling, Keep America Beautiful. “Our partnership is helping to make recycling more accessible and convenient, which is one of primary factors in making recycling a daily habit.”

See Keep America Beautiful’s news release.

 

Keep Mississippi Beautiful Welcoming 3 New Affiliates

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Keep America Beautiful’s Sue Smith joined Keep Mississippi Beautiful to train Keep Yazoo City Beautiful’s new board.

Three communities are in the process of joining the Keep Mississippi Beautiful family as affiliates. Yazoo City was certified earlier this month as an official affiliate of KMB and Keep America Beautiful networks.

Sheila Trimm, Keep Yazoo County Beautiful’s executive director, said the group will greatly benefit the city. “Keep Yazoo City Beautiful is a new chapter in the lives of Yazoo Citizens and a wonderful start for our city and county to work together for the beautification of Mississippi,” Trimm said.

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Keep Canton Beautiful’s pre-certification training.

Affiliates in Panola County and Canton were pre-certified earlier this month and are in the process of readying for certification. With these three, Mississippi will have 38 communities with certified affiliates.

“As you know, a Keep Mississippi Beautiful affiliate has a tremendous impact in its community by bringing together volunteers to improve public places,” said Sarah Kountouris, KMB Executive Director. “We are excited to bring Yazoo City, Canton and Panola County into our ‘clean and green Mississippi’ family, and we are eager to see their accomplishments in their communities.”

 

 

Keep America Beautiful: Keep Mississippi Beautiful’s ‘Wildflower Trails’ Are Taking Bloom

Keep America Beautiful recently highlighted Wildflower Trails of Mississippi on their blog. Check out their post below:

AffiliateUpdate_KeepMississippiBeautiful_WildflowersMississippi is well known for its natural beauty. But over the years, the amount of native wildflowers has dwindled because of the common threats of habitat loss and invasive plants.

To address the loss of wildflowers, Keep America Beautiful state affiliate Keep Mississippi Beautiful (KMB) took action to transform its public spaces into beautiful places by launching the Wildflower Trails of Mississippi project during Keep America Beautiful’s 2015 Great American Cleanup.

After a year of working with many community partners and volunteers, the project is blooming, planting the seeds to ensure Mississippi residents and visitors to the Magnolia state — as well as pollinators — will appreciate the sights and smells of wildflowers. The project complements other KMB beautification initiatives throughout the state.

KMB got the Wildflowers Trails of Mississippi project started after receiving a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to purchase wildflower seeds. Keep Mississippi Beautiful worked closely with the Mississippi State University Extension Service to develop a seed mix that features a variety of colorful blooms and foliage, thrives in Mississippi and is easy to maintain.

The project brought together a variety of partners, including the Mississippi Soil and Water Conservation Commission, Mississippi Department of Transportation, The Garden Clubs of Mississippi, and Mississippi State University’s Extension Service. And, after a year, the Wildflower Trails of Mississippi’s flowers are showing off their colors.

Keep America Beautiful conducts its National Planting Day on the first Saturday after Labor Day each September with community-based activities happening throughout the month.

National Planting Day celebrates the critical nature of native plants and trees in enhancing biodiversity and rebuilding ecosystems. Keep America Beautiful is asking National Planting Day participants to celebrate the theme of “Keep America Bee-utiful” by focusing their efforts on planting pollinators, in addition to native species. Register your 2016 National Planting Day event today!

View Keep America Beautiful’s blog here.

Great American Cleanup in Natchez

We had a great day in Natchez last Saturday for Keep Mississippi Beautiful’s Great American Cleanup State Kickoff! Thanks to Keep Natchez/ Adams County Beautiful as well as all of the volunteers, partners and sponsors who made it possible.

The event is part of the nation’s largest community improvement program, taking place in some 20,000 communities nationwide. The event was also part of Natchez’s year-long tricentennial celebration.

Volunteers helped us landscape the flowerbeds inside of the Colonnades, the Rotary’s three “Welcome to Natchez” signs, and around the Community Alliance deck on Bluff Trails, as well as cleaning up litter downtown and other neighborhoods.

And the final results: BEAUTIFUL!

As Mississippi’s First Lady Deborah Bryant put it: “Natchez is such a beautiful city. Natchez is a city that depends so much on tourism, so it is important to keep the trash out of the street. You want to make a good first impression, so you can keep people coming back.”

We want to thank all of our partners who made it possible, including: Natchez Community Alliance, Southwest Distributors, City of Natchez, Coca Cola United of Natchez, Brown Bottling, Stine Garden Center, Miss Lou Veteran’s Coalition Honor Guard, Entergy, Mississippi Department of Transportation, Miss Lou Landscaping and Tree Service, City of Natchez Public Works Department, Magnolia Bluffs Hotel, Natchez Tricentennial Committee, Natchez High School Band and Choir, Lazarus Arts, City of Natchez Public, Transit System, Waste Pro, Natchez Convention Center, Natchez/Adams County Chamber of Commerce, United Mississippi Bank, American Medical Response, Curtis Moroney, Glad, the local Master Gardeners, Bowie’s Tavern, Walt Grayson, Tom King and the First Lady.

Check out this recent article in The Natchez Democrat on the Great American Cleanup.

 

The Great America Cleanup in Mississippi

It’s Great American Cleanup Season here in Mississippi! (See Gov. Phil Bryant’s proclamation.) Volunteers across the state are picking up litter, planting trees and shrubs and improving their communities.

The Great American Cleanup is the country’s largest community improvement program that kicks off in more than 20,000 communities each spring. This national program engages 2 million volunteers who take action in their communities to create positive change and lasting impact.

It's official! Gov. Phil Bryant issued a proclamation that it's officially Great American Cleanup Season in Mississippi.

It’s official! Gov. Phil Bryant issued a proclamation that it’s officially Great American Cleanup Season in Mississippi.

Here’s a few ways to get involved in this year’s Great American Cleanup:

KMB & Affiliates Honored for Efforts

Keep Ridgeland Beautiful leaders with Keep America Beautiful President and CEO Jennifer Jehn.

Keep Ridgeland Beautiful leaders with Keep America Beautiful President and CEO Jennifer Jehn.

Mississippians were recognized this week for their efforts in cleaning, greening and beautification. Keep America Beautiful honored Keep Mississippi Beautiful and its network of affiliates with a number of awards, including:

Keep Ridgeland Beautiful: This affiliate won the William Nash Award, which honors a young Keep America Beautiful affiliate. Organized in 2014, KRB quickly got to work, holding litter cleanups, revitalizing parks, launching a cigarette litter campaign and educating youngsters in schools.

Sarah Kountouris: Keep Mississippi Beautiful’s executive director was selected for the Sue Smith Professional Leadership Award. This prestigious award honors network leaders who have built and sustained programs for cleaning, greening and beautification. The award is named in honor of Sue Smith, Keep America Beautiful’s long-time director of education.

Keep Mississippi Beautiful Executive Director Sarah Kountouris with former Executive Director Barbara Dorr.

Keep Mississippi Beautiful Executive Director Sarah Kountouris with former Executive Director Barbara Dorr.

Old Town Middle School: The Ridgeland school’s Technology Student Association planned, designed and built a pergola for Midway Park, which won them a Youth Project Award. The pergola was installed during Keep Mississippi Beautiful’s Great American Cleanup State Kickoff last spring.

Department of Transportation Partnership Award: Keep Mississippi Beautiful and the Mississippi Department of Transportation were recognized for their continued collaboration to reduce litter, promote recycling and beautify places in the state.

Diamond Level Status: Keep Mississippi Beautiful earned the highest designation given to Keep America Beautiful state affiliates.

President’s Circle Award: Keep Mississippi Beautiful and 23 local affiliates received the President’s Circle Award for their hard work in the Keep America Beautiful network. Local affiliates include Keep Bay Saint Louis Beautiful, Keep Cleveland Beautiful, Keep Clinton Beautiful, Keep Our Coast Beautiful, Keep Columbia/Marion County Beautiful, Keep Copiah County Beautiful, Keep Corinth-Alcorn Beautiful, Keep Desoto County Beautiful, Keep Diamondhead Beautiful, Keep Jackson Beautiful, Keep Kosciusko Beautiful, Keep Madison the city Beautiful, Keep Mississippi Beautiful, Keep Morton Beautiful, Keep, Natchez/Adams County Beautiful, Keep New Albany/Union County Beautiful, Keep Oxford/Lafayatte County Beautiful, Keep Pearl Beautiful, Keep Pike County Beautiful, Keep Ridgeland Beautiful, Keep Simpson County Beautiful, Keep the Rez Beautiful, Keep Tupelo Beautiful and Keep Vicksburg Beautiful.

New Outdoor Classroom in Jackson

Keep Jackson People teaches Poindexter students about planting fruits and vegetables in the raised beds in the school's new outdoor classroom.

Keep Jackson People teaches Poindexter students about planting fruits and vegetables in the raised beds in the school’s new outdoor classroom.

Keep Jackson Beautiful is working on a new outdoor classroom at Poindexter Elementary School in Jackson. KJB volunteers did much of the work in late December to establish the gardens that are part of the classroom.

“This project is a special one to Keep Jackson Beautiful because the classroom creates a place where students can learn about the environment and allows teachers to expand the scope of their lesson plans,” KJB Executive Director Marsha Hobson said.

“KJB works to involve the community and encourages them to think of the environment as an educational component for the children and allows them to see the importance of increasing the students’ interest and awareness of their own environment,” she said.

KJB received a $5,000 Lowe’s Community Improvement Grant available to Keep America Beautiful affiliates. Volunteers also included Lowe’s Heroes, the volunteer corps at local Lowe’s stores.

“Because of Lowe’s, many young students will be learning about their environment for years to come in a natural setting,” Hobson said.

Last month, volunteers built raised beds and then planted herbs, lettuces, strawberries, onions, artichokes and blueberries in them. They also planted fruit trees. Nearby, volunteers established pollinator gardens to attract bees and butterflies, which are important to the fruits and vegetables.

The students at Poindexter will be learning about vegetables as they watch the garden grow and collect edible food grown by their own hands. In the coming weeks, Keep Jackson Beautiful will complete the grant project by adding an outdoor stage and a weather station.

“The environment has become an ever more important issue in the lives of young students today in Mississippi,” Hobson said. “By allowing them a hands-on opportunity to learn about nature, they will grow up with a better knowledge of the environment and its importance. They will learn about man’s impact upon it and how they can make a difference even in a small area such as their school and community.”