Don’t miss out on your chance to be part of Clean Up Akron Month

 By Jacqui Flaherty, Program Manager

A large group cleaning event during Clean Up Akron Month 2013

5,282 volunteers participated in last year’s Clean Up Akron Month, and whether you were one of them or not, now is your chance to be part of the second annual Clean Up Akron Month! Keep Akron Beautiful has been picking up litter and illegal dumping each spring for 33 years through Clean Up Akron Week/ Great American Cleanup. For the second year in a row, Keep Akron Beautiful is responding to the needs of the citizens in Akron and expanding our cleanup to a month-long event. Summit County residents can still register online or by calling. There will be free admission zoo passes for those who register early. Don’t miss out on this great community service opportunity where all volunteers receive free clean up supplies and trash disposal.

The first 1,000 registered volunteers will receive free admission to the Akron Zoological Park on Saturday, May 3, for our annual Volunteer Appreciation Picnic. The picnic is a result of the generosity of the following local sponsorship’s: Acme Fresh Markets, Akron Zoological Park, City of Akron, D-A Specialty Co. Inc., Eat’n Park, GOJO Industries, Hitchcock Fleming & Associates, Inc., House of LaRose, Junior League of Akron, Keep Akron Beautiful Board of Directors, Little Debbie Snacks, Sandra Smith, Schwebel’s Bakery, Shearer’s Branded Snacks, Sully’s Party Rental, Pepsi-Cola, The University of Akron, The Volunteer Center of Summit County, Waste Management of Ohio.

In 2013, Keep Akron Beautiful recruited close to 5,000 volunteers to clean 112 public sites and remove 10.1 tons of litter! We are proud that we can express our gratitude with an appreciation picnic for the volunteers at the Akron Zoological Park on the first Saturday in May.

Last year’s Great American Cleanup resulted in over 4 million volunteers in more than 20,000 communities nationwide. These volunteers built more vibrant communities across America, which is why many of America’s leading companies have become national sponsors.

“We serve as a powerful voice and solution provider for communities looking to unlock their potential,” said Jennifer M. Jehn, president and CEO of Keep America Beautiful. “During the Great American Cleanup, our volunteers’ work returns on average $175 million in measurable benefits annually across the communities we serve.  It’s clear that through our actions and impact, we help create communities that are socially connected, environmentally healthy and economically sound.”

To register for a cleanup site call 330-375-2116 or register online at www.keepakronbeautiful.org. Registrations will be accepted until May 1, 2014.

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4th Annual Mixed Paper Drive in Akron Public/Private Schools was a SUCCESS!

By Jacqui Flaherty, Program Manager

recylce bowl

It’s that time of the year again! Keep Akron Beautiful is proud to announce the winners of our 4th annual mixed paper drive competition, in which the  Akron Public Schools (APS) and selected private schools in the Akron area participated in.  St. Mary School, Innes CLC and Kenmore High School were declared the winners of the month-long competition by recycling the most paper per pound, per student. St. Mary School recycled 21.1 pounds per student or 1.99 tons total of paper to win a school-wide pizza party and $250 cash prize courtesy of the River Valley Paper Company. Innes CLC came out strong, in the middle school division, and recycled 4.26 pounds per student which is equal to 1,730 pounds total. Kenmore High School recycled 3.848 pounds per student or 1.35 tons total to each win a $500 cash prize courtesy of the River Valley Paper Company and a field trip tour of the River Valley Paper Company plant for 50 students and faculty.

For the first year since the birth of the paper drive, two new categories were added. With the most pounds of paper recycled overall, North High School was our Overall winner, with 2.12 tons of paper. Case Elementary School was the winner in our Most Improved Category, recycling 1,900 pounds more in 2013 than in 2012! Overall, we are proud to announce that 25.62 tons or 51,250 pounds of paper was recycled citywide.

To help celebrate America Recycles Day on November 15, 2013, Keep Akron Beautiful (KAB) in conjunction with the River Valley Paper Company sponsored the 4th annual mixed paper drive competition in 19 Akron public schools and 8 private schools in the Akron area. From October 21 to November 15, community residents and local businesses helped participating Akron schools attempt to win this competition by taking their magazines, phone books, paperboard, catalogs, junk mail, office paper, newspaper and cardboard to a school parking lot bin. Currently, bins are located at the following Akron Public School Locations: Helen Arnold CLC, Betty Jane CLC, Case Elementary School, Firestone Park Elementary School, Forest Hill CLC, Glover CLC, Seiberling Elementary School, David Hill CLC, Leggett CLC, Judith Resnick CLC, McEbright CLC, Sam Salem CLC, Voris CLC, Findley CLC,  East 7-8 CLC, Miller South School of the Visual & Performing Arts, Hyre CLC, Innes CLC, Mason CLC, Litchfield Middle School, Kenmore High School, North High School, Ellet High School, and Buchtel High School. The following private school locations are also included in our competition: Chapel Hill Christian School, Discovery Montessori School, Hoban High School, Imagine School, Old Trail School, Our Lady of the Elms, Saint Mary School and The Edge Academy.

For the second year, Keep Akron Beautiful sponsored a poster contest. Over 100 students submitted art for the poster contest. The winner was Montana Cheek, a student from Ms. Jodi Apple’s class at Innes CLC. Montana received a $50 American Express gift card, and Ms. Apple received a $50 American Express gift card as well. Montana will be the featured artist for our 2014 America Recycles Day campaign. All of the posters were hung for residents to see at Earth Fare, Fairlawn, from November 1-15, 2013, courtesy of Earth Fare Community Relations Manager, Helen Dauka.

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.

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Lowe’s Community Improvement Grant Park Day was a huge SUCCESS at Davenport Park and Erie Island Ballfield

By Jacqui Flaherty, Program Manager

On August 21, 2013 after months of planning, the Fairlawn and Alliance Lowe’s Heroes banded together to carry out a park spruce up project at two City of Akron Parks: Davenport Park and Erie Island Park. In just a few hours many tasks were completed.

At Davenport Park, Lowe’s volunteers replaced lumber and stained all of the benches by the restroom and on the t-ball fields. The Lowe’s Heroes also stained all of the new picnic benches and bleachers, planted 10 trees, and spruced up the park signs. The park sign spruce up included a new coat of brown and yellow paint, as well as new plantings placed around the signs.

At Erie Island Park/ball fields, the Lowe’s Heroes spread gravel around the new picnic tables and planted (along with the Keep Akron Beautiful flower crew) a new bed alongside the concession stand.

Six City of Akron parks received new trash and recycling receptacles, including Davenport Park and Erie Island Park/Ball field, where the projects took place. These receptacles will encourage recycling and were exclusively placed in parks that have youth sporting activities happening in the park! The six parks receiving these receptacles include: Copley Road Soccer Complex, Davenport Park, Erie Island Ball Fields, Lane Field, Patterson Park and Prentiss Park.

Keep Akron Beautiful appreciates all of the assistance of the City of Akron Parks Department, as well as the Fairlawn Lowe’s store. We are so proud to show off all of the good being done in our community! Thank you, Lowe’s for funding our $20,000 Community Improvement Grant and to the Fairlawn Lowe’s store for choosing us as your “Lowe’s Heroes” project!

Thank you to Keep America Beautiful and Lowe’s for this grant opportunity.

Check out some of our wonderful photos from the great Lowe’s Heroes work day that we had! 

Keep Akron Beautiful Places Recycling Bins at the Akron Marathon

By Jacqui Flaherty, Program Manager

Keep Akron Beautiful in partnership with the Akron Marathon received 25 litter recycling bins designed specifically for placement at the finish line of the Akron Marathon. The recycling bins are thanks to a grant made possible by Keep America Beautiful and The Coca-Cola Foundation. In 2012, The Akron Marathon earned certification from the Council for Responsible Sport for efforts to reduce the event’s environmental footprint and increase its social impact. The Akron Marathon’s sustainability program is titled Environmental Endurance.

At the 2012 race, 77.7 percent of all waste was diverted from the landfill; of the 7.25 tons of waste, 0.17 ton was composted and 5.46 tons were recycled. The grant that the Akron Marathon and Keep Akron Beautiful has received will assist litter recycling at the event, in which over 15,000 runners participate. Recycling is a key component in the Akron Marathon and we are so excited to have been able to assist them in their recycling efforts.

“The Akron Marathon is thrilled to receive this grant,” said Anne Bitong, executive director. “We have put a lot of effort into providing a community event that is socially and environmentally responsible, and thanks to our partnership with Keep Akron Beautiful, we will be able to continually improve our recycling efforts at the finish line this year.

President & CEO of Keep Akron Beautiful, Paula Davis added, “This is a fine example of how our agency can promote recycling-on-the-go in our community to reinforce personal recycling behavior outside of our homes, schools and places of work. Thank you to our national organization, Keep America Beautiful, for providing these funding opportunities to address our local sustainability goals.”

Keep Akron Beautiful is proud to be partnered with the Akron Marathon, and we cannot wait to show how these bins will improve our recycling effort in 2013.

Keep Akron Beautiful places recycling bins at Akron Marathon 2013

The Finish Line at the Akron Marathon 2013 will have 25 bin’s provided by the Coca-Cola Foundation and Keep America Beautiful. Keep Akron Beautiful is proud to be partnered with the Akron Marathon for this grant.