Help Your Home, Your Akron

By Cindy Pantea, Keep Akron Beautiful Staff

summit lake debris cuam2015We gotta talk trash

It was more than 35 years ago that former Akron Mayor Roy Ray and his former Special Assistant, now KAB Emeritus Board Member, Vince Lobello, helped kick off what bloomed into the Keep Akron Beautiful agency, under the direction of first Executive Director Judith Isroff.

Why? Mainly because the garbage and dumping in Akron was out of control. The pictures can still be accessed through The Akron Beacon Journal archives.

Never again! It’s unhealthy for you and our hometown, which is why the Keep Akron Beautiful litter crew continues to pick up debris year round — in order to help keep it from accumulating. It’s so important to us.

Want to know how important? Want to know exactly how we feel?…

Chad Pregracke Passion

Meet Chad Pregracke, who grew up along the Mississippi River and noticed the accumulation of trash in and around the river he loved, played and worked as he grew into early adulthood. So, he called government agencies to notify them of the dumping, trash and neglect affecting the natural water sources around his home.

Nothing was done.

So, he decided if no one else will clean up these waters, he would, but it was a bigger job than he expected. He then went on a mission to enlist more help from volunteers and find bigger vessels, in order to complete his self-promise.

Because of his resolve, willingness to take on the responsibility and cleanup successes, he was named CNN Hero of the Year in 2013. See a look at this amazing person in the piece here via CNN on YouTube:

As you can see from the video clip, Chad Pregracke’s goals and passion turned into his life’s work, and his determination is an inspiration.

Chad’s story is one that relates so well to the Keep Akron Beautiful vision, too!

Clean UP Akron Month

volunteers clean up akron After the snow completely melts, and we are able to get into some of the nooks and crannies around town, we all begin to observe what has been hidden under the snow and the leaves. We begin to notice that some people have been neglecting our great city.

As such, Keep Akron Beautiful needs your help during our month-long spring cleaning event called Clean Up Akron Month, which coincides with Keep America Beautiful’s Great American Cleanup.

Not only will you be beautifying an area of your city, you will come from the experience with a renewed awareness. This will make you want to do right in caring for your health through the health of your environment by taking the time to:

  • Find a trash can or recycling bin for your trash or recycling
  • Secure your lids on garbage day
  • Encourage your friends and family to dispose and recycle properly
  • Use the Hazardous Household Waste (HHW) Recycling Center through ReWorks for tires and other items
  • Explore ways of repurposing items before disposing
  • Take advantage of the DUMP by Summit County Public Health for unused medications
  • Do regular cleanups in your neighborhood on daily walks
  • Pick up and throw away a piece of trash that found its way into parks and other public areas
  • Call Akron Police at 330-375-2181 if you see a dumping in progress
  • Call City of Akron Customer Service at 330-375-2311 if you see dumping on private property
  • Call Keep Akron Beautiful at 330-375-2116 if you see dumping on public land

Who knows…you may even find a new passion from the feeling of pride you get from making your city a better, cleaner place to live.

Register for #CUAM17

So, won’t you, your family, and/or your friends register for Clean Up Akron Month today! Registration process:

  • Register your team here: Make sure you receive a confirmation. Then print and distribute the waivers to your team from the registration packet that can be downloaded from our homepage at Waivers need to be filled out before supplies are picked up during supply distribution week.
  • Or, you can call the office at 330.375.2116 and give us your address and we’ll mail the registration packet to you so you can fill out the forms to register (mail in or drop by as soon as you’ve filled the forms out). Waivers need to be filled out before supplies are picked up during supply distribution week.

Meanwhile, if you’d like to learn more about Chad, his agency, and even how to purchase his book, “From the Bottom Up: One Man’s Crusade to Clean America’s Rivers,” visit his agency website: Living Lands & Waters. Look for his cleanup crusade along the Ohio River!


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.

Clean Up Akron Month: Success at Super Saturday!

By Helen Dauka

Success Super Saturday

Keep Akron Beautiful had the pleasure of bringing Clean Up Akron Month to a close by celebrating with all of our litter cleanup volunteers at the appreciation picnic on Saturday April 27 at the Akron Zoo. And the weather couldn’t have been better!

Throughout the month of April, more than 4,959 Akron residents and students participated in Clean Up Akron Month/The Great American Cleanup™ 2013. On Super Saturday, we took the time to celebrate all their achievements. 112 public sites were cleaned, collecting 83 tires, 10.1 tons of trash and a slew of other unusual items in the process!

Registered volunteers received free admission to the Akron Zoological Park on Saturday, April 27, for our annual Volunteer Appreciation Picnic. Firestone High School Jazz Band entertained the crowd, while Akron City Council Members, Jeff Fusco, Donnie Kammer, Marilyn Keith; Summit County Council Member, Bill Roemer; and State of Ohio Representative, Anthony DeVitis offered warm words of encouragement and congratulations to the assembled volunteers! City of Akron Service Director John Moore took to the podium and presented a Clean Up Akron Month proclamation from Mayor Plusquellic.

The picnic was a result of the generosity of the following local sponsorship: Acme Fresh Markets, Akron Zoological Park, Bruegger’s Bagels, City of Akron, D-A Specialty Co. Inc., Eat’n Park, Firestone High School, First Watch, GOJO Industries, Hitchcock Fleming & Associates, Inc., House of LaRose, Junior Women’s Civic Club, 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.

Thanks to them, our volunteers got to experience some awesome entertainment and tasty snacks!

Success at Super Saturday

Throughout the month, items such as tires, traffic cones, trash cans, construction equipment and debris were collected along with tons of garbage in GLAD bags throughout the entire month of April, with large cleanups taking place each Saturday. “Super Saturday” took place Saturday, April 27, with the bulk of cleanups happening that day.

Check out more pictures from Super Saturday and Clean Up Akron Month on our Facebook page.

Thanks for everyone who helped make it Super!

Clean Up Akron Month off to an AWESOME start!

Did you notice it’s looking a little cleaner around Akron?
We’d like to think it’s thanks to all the volunteers who have helped Clean Up Akron Month get off to a fantastic start!
We’ve had groups going out each weekend to clean up sites like Alexander Park, Hope Academy University, Perimiter of House of the Lord, Davenport  Park, Summit Lake, Goodyear Boulevard, Glenwood Triangle Park, Wilbeth Arlington Park, East South Street, Prentiss Park, Patterson Park, Frederick Boulevard, the Kenmore area along the Towpath, Goodyear Metro Park, Youth Build Street, Leeser Park, Lane Field and Lawton Street Community Center.

St. Vincent-St. Mary Baseball team took on the challenge of cleaning up the North Street area near their school on April 2. These boys really put in a team effort to clean and their hard work payed off! The Team picked up over 70 bags of trash!Clean Up Akron Month Off to an AMAZING Start!

Here’s the crew from Goodyear cleaning up around Summit Lake. Employees of Goodyear enlisted the  help of their family and friends (even the four legged ones!).Clean Up Akron Month Off to an AMAZING Start!

We can’t say how much we appreciate all our volunteers! There are more clean up scheduled and we’re looking forward to seeing the results!

If you have any photos of your group during CUAM, please send them our way. We’d love to share your story and congratulate your group for all the hard work!