August 2019
Message from the Executive Director
The Value of a Volunteer
August seems to be an in-between. It still feels like summer, but schools are starting again, and life returns to the routines we set for ourselves. At this time, it is good to remind ourselves what in our lives makes us happy. Let’s focus on the value of volunteering, and in particular the value of being a Keep Manatee Beautiful volunteer. 

The government has set a monetary value of volunteer time as $25.43. I heartily disagree. I know that what volunteers do for this community is priceless. In the past year, we have had just shy of 10,000 volunteers donate their sweat equity to keeping Manatee County beautiful. We have together taken over 14,000 pounds of trash and debris off the roads and beaches. But I know that these volunteers also talk to their friends and family about what they have done. They show up to other events in the community and brag about how they have helped make the area clean and safe. I also know that you find pride in yourself for a job well done. These things are priceless to us at Keep Manatee Beautiful.
Everyone agrees with the saying, “It takes a village.” Well our village shows up. We do what others won’t do when we pick up litter. We find satisfaction in knowing our job makes everyone’s life better. As August rolls on and you get back into the swing of normal, remember that feeling you get when you volunteer. There will always be more trash to pick up, but the friendships we make and the good feelings we get from doing a great job are the real value of volunteering. 

Keep Manatee Beautiful thanks you for all you have done, and all you are going to do in the future. We are happy to help you put a group together to volunteer at any time. Please take a few minutes this month and give us a call. Let’s see what we can do to put value in your lives, and in our community.

--Jennifer Hoffman--
Note from the KMB Board
Dr. Janice Novello
Dr. Janice Novello has been volunteering with Keep Manatee Beautiful (KMB) for six years. She has been on the KMB Board of Directors for two years and currently serves as the secretary. She believes when she joins other volunteers, they get things done. “I enjoy meeting others who like keeping our environment clean and safe. The makeup of our board is unique and important. We have so many resources to draw on to help solve problems. From publicity to pulling permits, we make things happen quickly with a lot of support.”

Dr. Novello represents KMB well on many projects. She participates in road cleanups at Lakewood Ranch on the east side of the county. She looks for business owners and residents to plant native species that do not need a lot of water. 

Dr. Novello also enjoys working with youth groups. She teaches them about plants and taking care of the space around them. “I hope I am making a difference as I spread the word and educate others about taking care of the environment.”

Her enthusiasm is contagious. This volunteer goes into area schools using Keep America Beautiful curriculum. Students are learning by doing hands-on projects. They are learning about what items are most hurting the environment.
The classroom is not her only setting. Dr. Novello hosts popup sessions or informal sessions. She works with children in parks and at the beach so they can see and learn first-hand about the environment.  

She strongly encourages everyone to get involved and volunteer with KMB. “Take pride in the beauty of your community. You have to participate. When you do, you develop a whole new pride for your community. For example, when you take ownership of adopting a street or spot and you see your name on the sign, you are not going to let anything to happen to area. If you see trash, you will probably stop and pick it up.”
International Coastal Cleanup
Get ready for the International Coastal Cleanup. The Ocean Conservancy sponsors the annual event to collect trash along the coastline.

We will pick up debris on Sept. 21 from 9 a.m. – noon. Join us at the following locations:
  • Anna Maria City Hall - 10005 Gulf Dr.
  • Kingfish Boat Ramp - SR 64 W., west of drawbridge in Holmes
  • F.I.S.H. Preserve - 11601 Cortez Rd. W.
  • Historic Wares Creek - 1705 Manatee Ave.
  • SR 64 Boat Ramp - SR 64 E., west of bridge across Braden River
  • Coquina Beach - Main Entrance

We will be “Fighting for Trash Free Seas.” Please bring your own gloves and wear sunscreen. Wear closed-toe shoes. We will provide trash bags and drinks. Please visit for more information.
Volunteer Recognition
Mike Meehan
Mike Meehan loves his community. He often hops on his golf cart and goes on litter patrol along the Causeway. “I think the highway should be beautiful. I don’t want to see cans and bottles on the roadway. Litter attracts more litter.”

Mike started volunteering with Keep Manatee Beautiful (KMB) in 2016. Over the years, he has seen garbage, palm fronds and landscape debris along roadways in Manatee County. He wanted to be a part of the solution. So, he became an active participant to improve the situation. 

You have probably seen Mike up and down the Causeway doing what he calls his civic duty. The trash he has collected may surprise you. He has picked up a grocery cart, a bike, a weed whacker and a bucket filled with oil. He has even seen dead chickens in two boxes.

Since he began his journey with KMB, Mike has logged 300.5 volunteer hours and has received the Presidential Volunteer Service Award. Amazing! Drivers have honked their car horn at him, and others have given him the thumbs up. Keep the encouragement coming as he cleans the roadway and keeps Manatee County beautiful!
KMB Updates
Annual Awards Celebration
J oin us for a cruise on the beautiful Anna Maria Princess as we recognize our volunteers. The Riverboat Sunset Cruise Awards Celebration will be held Sept. 12 from 6 - 9 p.m.

Each volunteer can receive two free tickets. Seating is limited, with 50 tickets available. Please email to reserve your spot for the Sunset Cruise Awards Celebration as soon as possible.
The Lasting Impact
Your footprints disappear. Your trash does not go away. Please recycle and put trash where it belongs. Let’s keep our beaches clean. Glass bottles last a thousand years. Plastic bottles stick around for 450 years. When you flick those cigarette butts on the ground, they stay with us one – five years. Please put trash where it belongs.
Recycle that Line
Don’t leave your line behind when you are fishing. Be a part of the monofilament solution. Here are a few tips to keep in mind:

  • Be “line-conscious"
  • Recover your fishing line
  • Recycle your fishing line
  • Build a monofilament recycle bin
Connect With Us