Dreamscape Raffle 2017 Tickets On Sale Now

by Morgan Looney, Communications Intern

2016 Dreamscape Winner

Tickets for our 14th annual Dreamscape Raffle are now on sale! Tickets are $25 each of five for $100 and can be purchased online, at the KAB office in Akron, or at the following locations: Dayton Nurseries, Inc., Donzell’s Flower & Garden Center, Inc., Graf Growers Garden Center, and Suncrest Gardens.

All ticket sale proceeds will be used to fund Keep Akron Beautiful’s Flowerscape Program. The program has 34 Flowerscape sites that are planted and maintained yearly using more than 35,000 flowers at different public property sites around the City of Akron. The Flowerscape Program promotes civic pride and landscape beauty while helping to improve the quality of life for everyone in our community!

One of our beautiful Flowerscapes

The hard work and talent that goes into the beautification of our Flowerscape sites will be used in this year’s makeover as KAB Flowerscape Director Leah Heiser is the lead landscape designer for the 2017 Dreamscape Raffle. This marks the first time a Flowerscape director has taken on the role! Leah’s background, expertise, and eye for beautification will be a tremendous asset to the makeover team and we can’t wait to see what they come up with!

The winning ticket will be drawn on Thursday June 8, 2017 at 10:30 a.m. at Alexander Park on West Market Street. In addition to the grand prize ticket, there will be three runner-up prizes which include 4 yards of mulch or compost blown into landscaped beds by TerraScape, LTD and a basket of gardening supplies courtesy of Graf Growers Garden Center.

Other sponsors and vendor partners for the Dreamscape Raffle are: Advanced Arboriculture, Cascade Lighting, Circle K, Graf’s Landscape & Design, Hitchcock Fleming & Associates, Inc., Main Street Gourmet, Naragon Irrigation, Nick’s Landscaping of Ohio, LLC, Pam’s Perennial Plant Farm, KB Bio Energy, Inc., R.G. Thomas Landscape and Design, Inc., Star Printing Co. Inc., Tim’s Custom Electric, Wilson Plumbing & Heating, Inc., W.L. Tucker Supply, YES Press Printing Co., Blooming Designs, and Lewis Landscaping.

Thank you to all of those who help make the Dreamscape Raffle a success. We cannot wait to see the transformation of the winner’s yard!

Keep Akron Beautiful Says: Please Try to Put Us Out of Work!

by Cindy Pantea

keep america beautiful logoJanuary 23-26, 2017, I had the pleasure of attending the annual Keep America Beautiful conference along with CEO, Jacqui Ricchiuti, and Helen Dauka of the Keep Akron Beautiful staff.

I was prepared for taking away ideas on how to engage more people to take responsibility for the community in which they live, work or visit. Keep America Beautiful did just that, so I want to share the main idea with you:

We want you to put us out of work!

Here’s what we mean:

People Litter with Intent

Part of day two of our conference involved listening to a panel discussion with social/behavioral psychologists who performed the nation’s largest study on littering behavior in 2009 and who are currently updating their findings. They have determined that most people who litter do so with intent. As such, it was clear to me that the responsibility of our agency remains important in reducing garbage in our public spaces.

Litter Pickup/Beautification Important

Why? Because even though individuals choose to litter, they are still more likely to trash an already littered environment, but by removing it promptly, it can help limit the littering and keep trash buildup from spinning out of control. In addition, beautification plays an important role in helping to control litter. Plus, constant reminders of what is expected of individuals, either by education, enforceable laws or public signage, has an effect on how much litter shows up in our public spaces…and it’s what we do.

Litter Requires a Behavioral Change

Unfortunately, the fact remains that the majority of litter is purposeful and reasons for littering can range anywhere from:

  • How you’re feeling that day to
  • Temperature or time of day to
  • Not knowing what to do with the item in hand to
  • Expecting that someone else will handle to
  • Pure laziness with regards to receptacle convenience to
  • No consequences for the crime

…and more!

Not Surprising/Surprising

cigarette butt litterNot surprising of the professionals’ findings is that cigarette butts remains the most littered item (seemingly due to the lack of available cigarette butt receptacles). This was followed by food wrappers or remnants and paper. What may be surprising is that public trash cans do not keep an area completely litter free. Take, for example, those who shoot, miss and leave their trash next to a receptacle. Yet, the placement of cans fewer than 10 feet from an individual did play a significant role in the amount of litter in the public space. This may be important for your next event litter and recycling needs, and we have the loan-a-receptacle program to help. Side note: I recently took a beach vacation where cigarette butt recycling and no cigarette litter signs were prominent and trash/recycling was less than. Result: No cigarette butts, but instead, a whole lot of empty water bottles at the sand volleyball courts!

Bad News/Good News

Bad news is that while you would think our youth are more environmentally conscious, those 30 and younger tend to litter more often. Also, people who believe that litterbugs should be held legally responsible for their actions actually have admitted that they themselves are guilty of littering! Good news is that there has been a reduction in overall litter over a 40-year span.

Your KAB

Keep Akron Beautiful helps to provide public litter control year round. In the winter months, the crews are out removing debris from highways, parks, and roadways. If there is heavy snow on the ground causing litter to become invisible, the crews are still busy helping the city to shovel sidewalks.

Knowing how littered the streets could be is why there are many folks who say to us frequently, “What would happen if you didn’t exist?!” Yet, we urge you to try to put us out of work by putting litter in its place and encouraging your friends, kids and neighbors to do the same.

Thank you for doing your part to end littering and to keep Akron beautiful. It’s up to all of us.

See key findings of 2009 litter study: https://www.kab.org/sites/default/files/News%26Info_Research_LitterinAmerica_FactSheet_LitteringBehavior.pdf

Read the 2009 litter study: https://www.kab.org/sites/default/files/News%26Info_Research_LitteringBehaviorinAmerica_2009Report_Final.pdf


Welcoming Spring 2017 KAB Intern

by Morgan Looney, Communications Intern

My name is Morgan and I’m currently a senior at The University of Akron studying Business and Organizational Communication. I grew up in a small town in Southwest Oklahoma, but I moved to Ohio three and a half years ago and have truly felt a sense of home since the moment I got here. In my spare time, I enjoy spending time with friends and family and traveling whenever I can. I’ve been to a few different countries in the past few years, but my favorite is Ireland. My dad is originally from Ireland and his family still lives there, so I enjoy being able to go over to Ireland and see my aunts, uncles, and cousins, while also exploring a new part of the country each time I go.

I’m very excited to start my internship with Keep Akron Beautiful! I’m not entirely sure what I would like to do once I graduate in May, so the opportunity to work with a nonprofit organization is amazing. I can’t wait to see what I learn and see how I can contribute to the amazing work they do. I’m looking forward to learning more about the things KAB does in the community and having a hand in keeping Akron beautiful!

Morgan Looney Communications Intern

Flowerscape Notes II: Planting and Maintenance

by Cindy Pantea

Flowerscape Cotter Park

Keep Akron Beautiful Flowerscape at E Market and Buchtel’s Cotter Park location

Welcome back to part two of Flowerscape Notes, which are tips based on the long-time expertise of retired Flowerscape Director Polly Kaczmarek. We hope yesterday’s blog helped with choosing flowers for your garden

The following suggestions have to do with planting and maintenance:

Deadheading and Weeding

Removing the dead flowers from your perennials (called deadheading) is necessary to keep your flowers in continuous bloom throughout the season. Some particular flowers that need deadheading are Ageratum, Marigold, and Cannas.

Obviously, weeding is necessary task for keeping beds beautiful. Polly says to remember that hoeing is not the same as weeding. You need to pull the weeds from the roots. She also suggests not putting weeds in your compost pile due to weed seeds that may contaminate your composting soil with weeds you don’t want.

Mulch is not Weed Control

Adding mulch to your flower bed is not a good source of weed control and can actually prohibit your flowers from spreading properly.

Side Note: Flowerscape Director, Leah Heiser, suggests an alternative to suppressing weeds, which is a product called Sweet Peet. Unlike mulch, Sweet Peet will not rob your soil of necessary nutrients, instead this organic materials adds them. Leah said that even if your bed is full of clay soil, a few years’ worth of Sweet Peet applications can improve your soil! The only con is that it is expensive, but yet may be well worth the cost, so shop around for best pricing.

Be a Careful Bed Planner

This one is especially necessary for our Adopt-A-Site volunteers but could be applicable to all. When planning your bed, be cognizant of roadways and signs. Flowers that grow tall, like Cannas for example, can cover entryway signage or block the views of drivers.

Downy Mildew Still Around

It seems that Downy Mildew on Impatiens plants can be controlled in greenhouses, so it is still being sold in stores. But beware, these Impatiens will likely breed the Downey Mildew fungus and affect your garden and even surrounding beds up to 8 miles!

Polly says that there is an alternative, which is the New Guinea Impatiens. New Guinea Impatiens have larger flowers and are doing well in the Keep Akron Beautiful Flowerscapes.

Planting and Watering

Polly suggests watering your flowers well before planting, while still in the container. When ready to plant, remember to loosen the root balls so the plants will be able to take hold of the ground and spread out. Once planted, water again. Watch your plants closely one to three weeks after planting (they will need to be watered more often when they are newly planted).

Once your flowers are established, water every once or twice a week. Investing in a sprinkler system is best.

Here’s to a blooming 2016!