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Executive Director Report
The Dog Days of summer are here ---- hope everyone has had a wonderful summer and ready to start a new chapter– Fall will be here before we know it. As my grands are off to school and are always asking me what is going on with “Keep Mississippi Beautiful” - my thoughts are toward their new experiences. I encourage everyone to volunteer at your schools in your communities to help make our schools clean and beautiful. This teaches our youth to take pride and gain experience in caring for their environment. All school entrances should look attractive – it is proven that children learn better with beautiful surroundings.

I want to thank Commissioner Andy Gipson for inviting me to talk about Wildflower Trails of Mississippi on the Genuine Mississippi Podcast. Keep Mississippi Beautiful is excited to be a member of Genuine Mississippi and promote Wildlfower Trails of Mississippi. Help us plant our native wildflowers.

In closing, I want to give a great big SHOUT OUT to 31 of our Keep Mississippi Beautiful Affiliates that made the Keep America Beautiful President’s Circle. CONGRATULATIONS !  They continue to amaze me with their diligence.

Genuine Mississippi Podcast
Be sure to listen to Genuine Mississippi's podcast - Keep Mississippi Beautiful's Executive Director, Sarah Kountouris, and our Wildflower Trails of Mississippi project is featured on episode 4, Beauty and the Bees with host, Mississippi Department of Agriculture and Commerce Commissioner, Andy Gipson.
Also in the podcast, you can hear
bee expert Dr. Jeff Harris with Mississippi State University Extension Service and
Leilani Rosenbaum of Shroomdom and MisBEEhaving Bees.
Keep Mississippi Beautiful Grant Opportunity
Keep Mississippi Beautiful offers grants to nonprofits and local governments (i.e. cities, counties) to expand or develop litter prevention and cleanup programs as well as beautification programs.

Grant proposals are accepted on an ongoing basis. Grants are only available to non-affiliate communities.

Download the  Grant Application Guidelines .
Affiliate Reporting for Good Standing due Sept. 15
Good Standing Requirements:
Affiliates must complete the requirements by September 15 of the reporting year.

  1. Has an active board
  2. Has an Executive Director
  3. Six hours of training annually
  4. Governance Report
  5. Update Affiliate Profile Annually
  6. Community appearance Index
  7. Event Reporting and Cost/Benefit Analysis - Implement a minimum of one activity in each Impact Area - End Littering, Improve Recycling, and Beautify Communities
  8. Pay Annual Fee (Based on population)
Keep MS/AL Beautiful 2019 Conference
We are trilled to be hosting this year's Keep Mississippi Beautiful/Keep Alabama Beautiful conference this year in Hattiesburg, MS. The conference will take place at the new Holiday Inn from Thursday, October 10 - Friday, October 11 and is open for all Keep MS/AL Beautiful affiliates and their board members. The hotel is now taking reservations at the below link for $103/night. The conference registration site is also live and everyone must RSVP at the below link. We look forward to seeing you there!

Keep America Beautiful 2020 Conference
This year's Keep America Beautiful National Conference will take place in Memphis, TN, February 12-14, 2020. The historic Peabody Hotel in downtown Memphis, legendary for its elegance and gracious Southern hospitality, will host KAB affiliates, partners, and guests for a three-day conference.

Hotel Reservations can be made online at HERE.
7 Simple Back to School Recycling Tips

Seven tips from wastemasters.com that can save you time and money.
1.Rethink how you purchase your child’s school supplies and reuse what you can from last year. While it might feel good to start the school year off with all new stuff, such as clothing, binders, folders, pens and pencils, think about what a waste it is. All that stuff uses the earth’s resources; trees, water, energy, etc… If you do have to buy new stuff, make an effort to buy supplies made from recycled content, such as pencils made from  newsprint.

2. Don’t brown bag it.  According to  EarthShare , the average student who brings their lunch to school produces 67 pounds of waste a year. That adds up to 18,000+ pounds of waste produced by an average elementary school in one year. Invest in a lunchbox, reusable plastic containers, cloth napkins and a thermos. Avoid buying individually packaged foods – that adds up to a lot of unnecessary trash.

3.Ditch the Disposable Water Bottles.  It’s bad for you and the environment. Don’t take my word for it, read this article by  hydralife  about why bottled water is so bad for you.  Plastic water bottles  produced in the US alone use 17 million barrels of oil each year, contribute to 3 billion pounds of wasted per year and are killing the ocean and its  inhabitants . Save the planet and save some money by using filtrated tap water and stainless steel insulated sports water bottles, they keep the water cooler.

4.Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions. Have your child ride the bus, when possible. If the bus is not an option, set up a carpool with neighbors or arrange for a chaperoned “walkpool”. You’ll save gas and get some exercise in the process!

5.Recycle as Much as You Can.  This should go without saying, but many  households across the US  have failed to embrace recycling. Parents need to set a good example. The earth’s resources are limited and the more we recycle, the better it is for all of earth’s inhabitants.  Click Here  for some recycling facts.

6.Recycle Old Cellphones and Batteries.  Recycling batteries is much better for the environment than dumping them in landfills. Batteries can release toxic wastes or metals into ground water and into the air when not properly disposed.  Click Here  to find a battery and cellphone recycling center near you.

7.Minimize Electrical Waste. There are many ways to reduce electrical waste. Some are as simple as getting family members to turn off lights, unplug cellphone, tablet and laptop chargers when not in use. Buy Smart Power Strips that will stop drawing electricity from appliances that are turned off.

Keep America Beautiful's Community Restoration and Resiliency Fund 
Rolling Deadline 
Keep America Beautiful's Community Restoration and Resiliency Fund benefits Keep America Beautiful Affiliates that serve communities directly affected by natural and environmental disasters. The fund provides immediate and long-term support for initial and ongoing cleanup efforts and helps rebuild vital public spaces: parks, greenways, community gateways, Main Street/downtown areas, open spaces and more. 

From $250-$5,000

Through the Community Grant Program, our associates are proud to support the needs of their communities by providing grants to local organizations. 

  • The 2019 grant cycle deadline is Dec. 31, 2019.
  • Application may be submitted at any time during this funding cycle. Please note that applications will only remain pending in the system for 90 days.
Future Dates:

Sept. 15 Keep America Beautiful Good Standing Deadline
Sept. 25 Keep MS/AL Beautiful Conference registration/reservations deadline
Oct. 10-11 Keep MS/AL Beautiful Conference, Hattiesburg, MS
Oct. 29-30 Mississippi Recycling Coalition Conference, Oxford, MS
Jan. 20 Keep America Beautiful Conference registration/reservations deadline
Feb. 12-14 Keep America Beautiful Conference, Memphis, TN
Feb. 26, 2020 KMB's Legislative Day, Jackson, MS

To add an event to our "Future Dates" email neeley@keepmsbeautiful.com