Recycle-Bowl Competition

By: Johanna Barnowski, Community Outreach & Program Manager

Recycling has paid off for six Akron schools who are winners of this year’s Recycle-Bowl Competition. Keep Akron Beautiful in conjunction with River Valley Paper Company hosted the competition, which lasted from October 22 to November 16. This year, 23 Akron Public Schools, three charter schools, and seven private schools participated. This competition is a mixed paper drive that helps celebrate America Recycles Day, educate about recycling, and encourage recycling to the students and community.

recycle bowl competition logo

Altogether, these 33 schools were able to collect 24.36 tons or 48,720 pounds of paper, which is just slightly more than in 2017. The winning elementary school, with 7.1 pounds per student (pps) and .80 tons recycled, is McEbright CLC. Their prize includes $250 and a pizza party. The winning middle school with 5.3 pps and 2.20 tons recycled, is Hyre CLC. The winning high school, with 3.52 pps and 1.48 tons recycled, is Kenmore-Garfield High School. The middle and high school winners will receive a cash prize of $500. The winning multi-grade school is Emmanuel Christian Academy, who recycled 7.61 pps and .95 tons overall. Their prize will be $250. These schools all recycled the most paper per pound per student in their respective category.

This year’s Most Improved winner is St. Vincent-St. Mary High School, who recycled 1,120 more pounds in 2018 than in 2017. Their total this year was 3.26 pps and 1.10 tons recycled. They will receive a $250 prize. Finally, this year’s OVERALL winner is Saint Mary School, who recycled 20.61 pounds of paper per student and 1.87 tons total! They will receive a $500 prize. All prizes will be awarded in early January 2019.

This paper drive was designed to prove that Akron’s school staff and students, parents, community members, and local businesses can help save trees, which purge the atmosphere of greenhouse gases just by giving our trash a second life. The receptacles are still in place and are accessible 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Filling up the collection bins helps the schools raise money for clubs, their recycling efforts or team uniforms. For more information on the competition or on paper recycling at the Akron school locations, contact Johanna Barnowski at Keep Akron Beautiful, (330) 375-2116.

Thank you to all of the schools who participated this year, including: Betty Jane CLC, Buchtel CLC, Case Elementary School, East CLC, Ellet High School, Findley CLC, Firestone Park Elementary School, Forest Hill CLC, Hatton CLC, Helen Arnold CLC, Hyre CLC, I Promise School, Innes CLC, Jennings CLC, Resnik CLC, Kenmore-Garfield High School, Leggett CLC, McEbright CLC, Miller South School VPA, North High School, Sam-Salem CLC, Seiberling CLC, and Voris CLC. The following charter schools also have bins: Akron Preparatory School, Main Preparatory Academy and Middlebury Academy. The following private school locations are also included in our competition: Chapel Hill Christian School, Emmanuel Christian Academy, Hoban High School, Old Trail School, Our Lady of the Elms, Saint Mary School and St. Vincent-St. Mary High School.


Where Donor Dollars Go at KAB

By: Johanna Barnowski, Community Outreach & Program Manager

Keep Akron Beautiful, like many nonprofits, relies heavily on private donations from individuals to fund programs. These programs include beautification and litter eradication programs, such as Clean Up Akron Month, Graffiti Wipe-Out, Flowerscapes, Illegal Dump and Litter Clean Ups, and more.

civic mall

From  July 1, 2017-June 30, 2018, KAB had 26,275 volunteers donate 762,458 hours to planting trees/bulbs/shrubs/plants/flowers, litter/graffiti removal, source-separating recycling, cleaning & improving lakes/canals/wetlands (incl. Nesmith Lake, Summit Lake, Wilbeth Wetlands and Ohio/Erie Canal), education, environmental promotion, painting/landscaping public venues and parks, and more as part of the Keep Akron Beautiful mission. (Numbers come from a detailed analysis called the “Cost Benefit Analysis” which is a report from Keep America Beautiful.)

The volunteer value-of-time invested in Keep Akron Beautiful for the time period of July 2016 through June 2017 has an estimated value of $37.40. Meaning that Keep Akron Beautiful leveraged community resources to return back into the community $37.40 for every $1 donated or awarded towards programming in 2016-2017!

Your donation helps us be able to make a cleaner, healthier, and more beautiful Akron for all who live, work, and play in the city. Without our donors, we would not be able to accomplish as much as we do.

In April, 3,509 volunteers, of whom 937 were students, removed 17.77 tons of litter from all around Akron. This includes the annual Earth Day cleanup at Summit Lake, where 282 volunteers removed 3.47 tons of litter and 20 tires in 3 hours. This is only one month’s work!

Our Litter Crews are out cleaning up litter M-F all year round. Our Flowerscape crew planned, planted, and maintained 32 public urban Flowerscape sites this season. We are able to do so much for the community because of your donations.

Please consider the impact KAB makes as you plan your giving this season. We appreciate you and cannot do what we do without you.



How to Design A Sensory Garden Part 5: Touch

by Leah Heiser, Flowerscape Director

fountain grasses

Fountain grass offers plumes that are soft to the touch.

This post is the last of a 5-part series to offer suggestions on designing a sensory garden. The flower suggestions here will appeal to the sensory garden design for touch.

Plants that look so interesting that your urge is to touch them. Or, leaves and petals that have to be touched, rubbed or crushed to create their smell are fun your garden experience.

Appeal to Touch

Lambs ear, Artimesia, ornamental grasses with big  plumes like the fountain grass, and pussy willows offer a soft texture.

Herbs, like mints*, rosemary and basil, and the leaves of scented geraniums give off stronger smells when touched rubbed or crushed. So it’s fun to add these to your garden so that you can use your hands, beyond garden maintenance, in order to really enhance your garden experience.

Creating Your Oasis With Other Features

Apart from including trees and shrubs of various textures, look for other ways to stimulate a tactile response. Water features add relaxing sound a beauty, Stones, moss, mulch and other accents have varied textures that can stimulate a sense of touch in various ways.

alexander park

Alexander Park’s water fountain is a Keep Akron Beautiful favorite.

pink hibiscus

Pink Hibiscus growing in the Alexander Park Flowerscape.

Don’t forget to include a sitting area so that you can immerse yourself fully in the garden while sipping your Hibiscus tea made from the plants petals or Echinacea tea made from the entire Purple Coneflower (petals, leaves and stem) harvested from your own organic sensory garden.

So now that I have talked about how to design for the five senses and offered plant selections for each sense, let me close by saying:

Engaging the senses has benefits for everyone, whether it helps you to relax, is a fun space for children to play or just encourages people to be out in the garden! The great thing about sensory gardens is that elements can be incorporated into any space, with all five senses able to be dispersed throughout the garden or concentrated in a dedicated sensory area.

I hope you have all enjoyed reading and feel inspired to create a healing space in your garden by appealing to your five senses.

*Be aware that mint plants can spread and overtake your garden, so plant in the ground inside a plastic pot with drainage in order to control the spread of its roots.

Re-read past sensory garden blogs:

How to Design a Sensory Garden Part 1: Sight
How to Design a Sensory Garden Part 2: Smell
How to Design a Sensory Garden Part 3: Sound
How to Design a Sensory Garden Part 4: Taste

How to Design A Sensory Garden Part 4: Taste

Leah Heiser, Flowerscape Director

This post is the fourth of a 5-part series to offer suggestions on designing a sensory garden. The plant and flower suggestions here will appeal to the sensory garden design for taste.

Food is linked to powerful memories and feeling thanks to a connection between the mouth and nose and the part of the brain dealing with emotions.

Discover the pleasure of growing food with your own hands, having only to walk out your back door to access it, and then sharing your homegrown delights with your friends loved ones. It’s an interactive experience.

Choose Plants That Appeal to Taste

Include fruit-bearing trees and shrubs into your landscape. Blueberries offer wonderful spring blooms and fall color for wet sunny sites.

Strawberries can create a low maintenance ground cover.

ohio maple syrup

Sugar Maples will produce sap that can be turned into maple syrup.

If you have Sugar Maple trees in your yard, tap them each February for maple syrup. Black Walnut trees can also be tapped; however they have a 60:1 ratio compared to the 30:1 ratio of sugar maples.

Vegetables can be intertwined with perennials to make the most of small spaces. Rubarb and asparagus are great perennial vegetables that produce year after year and add nice texture to gardens. Produce can be harvested from early spring to late fall, depending on the crops planted.

Plant herbs in pots near your kitchen door. You will use them more if they are easily accessible. Plants like Allium schoenoprasum (chives) are great, cause they produce fun purple flowers that are  edible, along with the stalks, and add to the visual of your garden as well.

Echinacea (Purple Coneflowers), Hibiscus, Rose and Calendula are useful plants, too,  as they can be harvested for tea.

Past posts:
How to Design A Sensory Garden Part 1: Sight
How to Design A Sensory Garden Part 2: Smell
How to Design A Sensory Garden Part 3: Sound

Next and final post in this sensory garden series:
How to Design A Sensory Garden Part 5: Touch