Keep Ohio Beautiful 2015 Annual Meeting and Awards Program

By Helen Dauka

IMG_0625On Friday, July 10th the office staff from Keep Akron Beautiful travelled to Franklin Park Conservancy and Botanical Gardens in Columbus Ohio for the 2015 Annual Keep Ohio Beautiful meeting & Awards Program! One of the best parts of the day was how much information was shared from a national, state, affiliate and sponsor level. The variety of programs given from the speakers was as diverse as their backgrounds!

Bill Dawson from the Franklin Park Conservatory & Botanical Gardens shared his thoughts on Partners & Projects. He encouraged the crowd to, “think outside of the flowerbox” when it comes to planning events. Successful collaborations bring opportunities for shared resources.

Jennifer Jones of Green Youngstown spoke to fighting blight and crime. Green Youngstown is currently concentrating their efforts on one street, South Avenue. While only one street, South Avenue makes a large contribution to the crime rate in Youngstown. Fortunately, Jones along with the City of Youngstown are working to engage the South Avenue residents and business owners to take advantage of a variety of services that can help turn the area around.

Image source:

Image source:

One of the ways Green Youngstown has been able to accomplish their goals on South Avenue is thanks to RUBY (Revitalization and Urban Beautification of Youngstown). Jennifer obtained funding for RUBY after hearing about KAB’s Community Pride Trailer during a Keep Ohio Beautiful meeting two years ago!


John Woodman, Community Program Specialist II of Montgomery County Environmental Services spoke on their County Tire Buyback Program. Patty Fowler of Keep Wickliffe Beautiful shared about their Annual Clothes collection & Distribution. Linda Holterhoff of Keep Cincinnati Beautiful spoke on partnering with your local government.

Jeff Griffiths spoke on utilizing volunteers as leaders to manage projects. Griffiths who is now heading Keep Cleveland Beautiful brought his expertise from his work with HandsOn Northeast Ohio. Keep Akron Beautiful’s own Jacqui Flaherty-Ricchiuti presented on how to expand the RecycleBowl through your local school district. Jennifer Jehn, President & CEO of Keep America Beautiful spoke to all in attendance of the outlook for the affiliates from the national level.

IMG_0627Finally, former intern, Nalee Vang received the Keep Ohio Beautiful Student of the Year award, presented by Jehn. Nalee was unable to accept her award, however it was clear she was deserving of the award not only because of her professional development but for her development as an environmental steward in the community. After a day-long share-a-thon, Keep Akron Beautiful is bringing back lots of information and fresh ideas!

According to the Keep Ohio Beautiful 2014 Annual Report:
KOB & its affiliates removed 4,420,421 pounds of litter and debris saving the state approximately $400,000 annually on highway cleanups. Ohio affiliates saved 561,000 gallons of gasoline by recycling 374 tons of plastics and kept 10,844,222 pounds of solid waste out of landfills. Our state recycled enough paper to save 9,435 trees, 210,900 gallons of oil, 1,665 cubic yards of landfill space, 2,220,000 kilowatts of energy and 3,885,000 gallons of water. If you volunteered with Keep Akron Beautiful, you contributed to the 184,258 Ohio residents that participated in community beautification programs. KOB volunteers return $24  in measurable benefits!

Keep Akron Beautiful would like to extend a huge THANK YOU to all of our volunteers and community members who helped make 2014 such a successful year for Ohio!

Image Source: Keep Ohio Beautiful

Image Source: Keep Ohio Beautiful



Great Tips For A Green Graduation

By Helen Dauka, Communications and Volunteer Project Manager

Green Graduation

‘Tis the season for graduations! No matter what milestone you are reaching, it’s a time for celebration as you reflect on all you have accomplished and all that is yet to come. But this year, before you get swept up in all the excitement read up on these easy ways to make your graduation a green affair.

1. The Gown
Graduation gowns are typically made of polyester, a material that is not recycled and is destined for a landfill (or the back of your closet). Gowns can make a great keepsake or helpful hand-me-down (if you’re lucky enough to find someone your same height!). GreenerGrads is a great solution to this problem. They will recover, reuse, repurpose and recyle your gown 10-12 times. What’s really cool is that you can track the journey of your gown!

2. How You Feed Your Party 
Make small steps to make your party zero waste—cloth napkins & tablecloths, reusable flatware & silverware. If you’re feeding a large crowd, it could be more feasible to opt for finger foods which remove the need for silverware!

3. Set Yourself Up for Success!
Keep Akron Beautiful has a great Receptacle program. You can rent recycling & litter receptacles from our offices for free!

4. Going Green from the Start
Opt to send announcements & invitations via email! Why waste the paper & postage? Save yourself some money while being kind to the environment!

5. Better Safe Than Sorry…
While this might not be a green tip, it could still be a life saver when it comes time for your party.
You can register your graduation party with police departments in Bath, Copley, Fairlawn and Richfield. By registering your get-together, police will step up patrols in your neighborhood to ensure the safety of younger graduates, parking hazards and other safety concerns. To register a party:

    • in Bath, go and follow the link to the Bath Police Department page;
    • in Copley, call the police department’s administrative office at 330-666-4218 during normal business hours;
    • in Fairlawn, call 330-670-4300 or 330-666-8871; and
    • in Richfield, email

What are your tips for a successful celebration?


Gardening Tips from KAB Adopt-A-Site Clinic

by Cindy Pantea

adopt a site clinic volunteers Wednesday, April 8, 2015, KAB Flowerscape Director, Polly Kaczmarek, gave a presentation on Adopt-A-Site (AAS) bed preparation, planting tips and site maintenance to a crowd of some of our wonderful volunteers at her yearly AAS clinic.

polly kab flowerscape directorPolly’s Powerpoint, filled with blasts of blooming color, showed examples of our amazing KAB Flowerscapes and volunteer Adopt-A-Sites. These pictures went along with her planting advice for beautiful beds and long-lasting blooms.

Since these volunteers told us how much they learned from our knowledgeable Flowerscape Director, we wanted to share some of her gardening tips with KAB blog readers.

Adopt-A-Site Clinic Takeaways

Along with Polly’s written planting tips, which are located on our Adopt-A-Site website page, here are some further explanations of those tips or additional takeaways from last night’s clinic:

  • Make sure to loosen root balls before planting, otherwise the roots might not spread out. (This was an actual issue at a site location, Polly explained.)
  • Hoe around plants to get air to roots.
  • Using PREEN (be certain to get the type for flowerbeds) after weeding will provide a barrier to weeds in your bed.
  • Edging makes a big difference to beds!–Just use a straight edge shovel.
  • Take the advice of the spacing requirements included on the card with your flowers. Though it looks sparse in the beginning, they fill in fast. – Just a couple of weeks is all it may take!
  • Downy Mildew is still a problem with impatiens, yet some stores are still carrying these flowers. Until the Downy Mildew is no longer a problem, Polly’s advice is to stay away from impatiens and use other flowers for the shade like begonias.

Some of the AAS volunteer guests even had tips…

Laura, a volunteer who assists with the Friends of Schneider Park site said that planting catnip intermittently in her personal garden attracts cats, which in turn keeps out the bunnies and rodents.

Keep Akron Beautiful AASs

For those of you who don’t know. Our KAB Adopt-A-Sites are flower garden sites which are planted and maintained by volunteers. For anyone wishing to start an AAS through KAB, you must first meet the basic criteria:

  • metro rta keep akron beautiful adopt a siteMust have a piece of public land in mind for a site
  • Site must have close, convenient access to a fire hydrant
  • Must be a location that is visible to the public
  • Topography must be suitable for planting
  • Site must be safe for those doing the gardening
  • Start small and grow with success
  • Must have a group of 5 volunteers with one contact person in mind
  • The volunteer group’s commitment must be for more than one growing season

Then, if you meet these basic criteria, the next step is to call or email Keep Akron Beautiful between January and March. Each March, the Flowerscape Director checks the site location. If all is okay, the Flowerscape Director will invite you to the next Adopt-A-Site clinic, usually in April.

2015 Adopt-A-Sites

We want to thank all of our Adopt-A-Site volunteers, some of whom have been helping to beautify Akron for ten years or more.

The Akron Masjid – at corner of Old South Main and Main
APS Administration Building – at 500 E. North St.
BARC – at the Akron Dog Park
Bella Dora Mgt. – at 525 Carroll St., NE corner of Fountain St. and Carroll
Blooming Designs – at Fairlawn Heights Island (Brice & Hampshire)
Bravo! United Disability Services – at Chief Memorial / Fire Station #4 – 24 E Thornton St
Brooklands Triangle – at Brooklands and Tonowanda
Brookshire Garden Club – at 1840 Brookshire Rd
Cadillac & Storer Neighbors – at corner of Storer and Little
The Canyon Trail Garden Club – at end of Canyon Trail (circle)
Castle Blvd. Garden Club – at Castle Blvd Median
Donnie Kammer and Neighborhood Friends – at Brown St. and Wilbeth
People of Dodge and Payne – at corner of Dodge & S. Portage Path (N.E. corner)
Dorothy Francis and Sylvia Martin – at Ely Rd & W. Fairlawn Blvd triangle
Fairlawn Heights Neighborhood Association – at E. Fairlawn median @ Stockbridge intersection (2 sites)
FDR Group – at Manchester Rd Pump station in front of Nesmith Lake
Friends of Boss Park (a UA Off-Campus Student Svcs div under NEOBio) – at Boss Park on Allyn St side
Friends of the Circle – in Hadden Circle grassy area (in the bed)
Friends of Schneider Park – Mull and Crestview Schneider Park
Friends of Teagle Park – at Highland Square
Goodyear Heights Community Church – at Reservoir Park
Hartford/Greenwood Block Club – at the Schumacher School marquee corner of Lawton & Hartford
Hereford Park Neighborhood Association – Hereford Park
Residents of HertfordShire – Paddock and Revere Rd. (HertfordShire Development)
Highland Square Garden Club – Highland Sq. library (both sides Market St. Driveway)
Indian Hills Condominium Association – at Smith Road
Summit County Juvenile Court Community Service – at Juvenile Court on Dan St.
The Kane Family – at Glenwood & Fouse
Friends of Parkway Estates (Karona Park) – at corner of Karen and Barcelona
Lillie Hill-Robbins and Neighborhood – at Romayne Blvd at Portage Path
Mason CLC – at Mason CLC
Mayfield & Market by the Foltz House – at Mayfield & Market
Mayfield Avenue Homeowners – at Mayfield & Twin Oaks
Merriman Hills Garden Club – at Letchworth and Canyon Trl
Merriman Hills Garden Club – at Delaware & Mayfair
Merriman Hills Garden Club – at Lafayette & Malvern
Merriman Hills Garden Club –at Merriman & Palisades
Merriman Hills Garden Club – at Palisades & Lafayette
Merriman Woods – at Kingswood & Rocky Hollow
Metro RTA Employees – at 416 Kenmore
Mineola Ave. Block Club – (Forest Lodge) at Park Mull Ave & Hawkins near lodge
Moms Club of West Akron – at Braewick Circle
Morgan Park Lovers – at Morgan Park
North Howard Street Neighborhood – Triangle at Avon / N. Howard
Northwest Akron Block Watch Club – 444 N. Hawkins across from Armory and Methodist Church
Staff of the Ott SDC – at Ott Staff Development Center
Overwood Neighbors – at triangle at Brookshire and Overwood Rd
Overwood Neighbors – at N. Wheaton & Overwood
Project Ujima – at Kerr Park
Residents of Parkway Estates – at corner of Coral & Portage Path
Ridgewood Road Neighbors – at Ridgewood & Halifax Triangle
Rising Meadow – at Rising Meadow
Crouse School Neighborhood Group – at Diagonal & Grace
Peerless, Cordova Block Watch Club – Storer/Bellview/Mercer/Peerless Block Club
St. Sebastian Knights of Columbus Council #14255 – at rotary at Mull & S. Hawkins/circle island near Forest Lodge
The Sunnyside Neighbors – at Sunnyside & Merriman (Sunnyside Ave Triangle)
Triangle Garden Club – at Highland & Edgerton
Turfscape – at Resnick School
Waters Park Renewal Society – at Shuffle Board courts
Westover & Kenwick Neighbors – at Kenwick, Westover & Sheldon Streets
Woodbrook Place Neighbors – at entrance to housing development in Akron (at the sign)
Woodland United Methodist Church – at Northwest Akron Comm Ctr (along driveway off Shatto Ave Entrance)
Haven of Rest – at Grace Park (entrances)
First Congressional Church – under the UPA at UAK (middle of Perkins)
Holy Trinity Lutheran Church – at Flagpole

These sites are eligible for Beautification Watch Awards. If you like a site, remember to nominate in July.

Clean Up: Make a Difference in Your Community

By: Nalee Vang, Communications Intern

This spring, do something worth your while – something that your whole community will thank you for. In an effort to make a difference in our community, we’ve taken the national Great America Cleanup and turned it into a month-long event known as Clean Up Akron Month.


For 34 years, Keep Akron Beautiful has been planning and implementing this citywide litter prevention and collection public awareness campaign. Clean Up Akron Month, happening APRIL 2015, helps us serve the needs of the neighbors in our community who utilizes community centers, parks, etc. Be a part of that TODAY.



Instead of ONLY being able to clean up the city during a week in April, you will now be able to choose ANY DAY of the entire month to do your spring cleaning! KAB will still provide all of the supplies and trash pickup and will still host our annual Super Saturday Event at the Akron Zoological Park, which will take place on Saturday, April 25, 2015.


for this amazing event, or call us at 330.375.2116! We look forward to seeing you and your group out there helping to #KeepAkronBeautiful!

NOTE: If you register online, you still must turn in safety waivers to KAB upon picking up supplies.