Daily Point of Light # 2564 Dec 3, 2003

In 2003, Keep America Beautiful, Inc. celebrates 50 years of inspiring individuals to engage in positive actions that improve American communities. Keep America Beautiful connects communities – fostering partnerships among neighborhoods, businesses and government. The organization also meets community needs by helping to build safer, cleaner, more beautiful places to live, work and play all across America.

Keep America Beautiful provides tools, education, partnership opportunities and leadership to a national network of 530-plus affiliates across the United States and five international programs in the Keep America Beautiful system.

Keep America Beautiful finds practical ways for citizens, neighborhoods, schools, businesses and organizations to collaborate in litter prevention, recylcing, beautification and other community improvement initiatives. The most visible and successful illustration of our sustained mission-in-action is Keep America Beautiful’s Great American CleanupTM, which this year engages 2.3 million individuals in more than 14,000 communities in all 50 states. The Great American CleanupTM is the nation’s largest community improvement program and President George W. Bush serves as 2003 Honorary Chair. The 2003 program (March 1 to May 31) involved all states, including a large number of National/State Parks, Monuments and Historic Sites, plus participation of Puerto Rico, District of Columbia, Winnipeg, Canada and St. John U.S. Virgin Islands.

The local activities focused on area of greatest need in each participating community, including: Litter Cleanups; Reduce, Reuse, Recycle (e.g., clothes collection programs); Community Improvement and Beautification (e.g. Adopt-A-Spot, tree & flower planting, etc.); Playground, Park & Recreational Area Renewal; Roadway CLeanup and Beautification; Tire and Battery Recycling; Waterways Cleanups; Youth/Community Educational Workshops; Litter-Free Events; and Special Promotions, Tours, Concerts and Parades. The 2003 program logged more than 7 million hours of volunteer activities through more than 30,000 events.

In addition to the Great American Cleanup, Keep America Beautiful inspires sustained national conservation efforts through the “Liberty Gardens” initiative. This program created a special opportunity for Americans to honor their country, reaffirm national pride and also to transform public spaces into neighborhood areas of natural beauty. More than 1,000 Liberty Gardens have been planted since 2001.

Keep America Beautiful is many things to many people. It is the cornerstone of community conservation efforts focused on reducing litter, improving waste handling practices, fostering respect for public lands, and providing balanced information about solid waste and its management. For elected and public officials, it is a local organization whose public confidence and ability to foster partnerships between the public and private sectors makes it a valued asset in enhancing the quality of life. To teachers, the more than one million students who use its curricula, their parents, millions of consumers, and businesses large and small, Keep America Beautiful is the educator on solid waste and litter. Keep America Beautiful is millions of Americans, educated and involved at the grassroots level, taking personal responsibility for their own actions and preparing a legacy of environmental concern for future generations.

In its 50th year, Keep America Beautiful proudly continues its commitment to the environment, to help Americans to volunteer, to partner with others, to improve communities, and to positively impact the nation by keeping America beautiful.