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Executive Director Report
I know that our Keep Mississippi Beautiful Affiliates are resilient – and this was shown as March came in like a lion. We had many of our affiliate communities that were affected by the recent Pearl River flooding and we want to thank First Lady Elee Reeves and her team that made us know that all of Mississippi pulls together with our recent partnership. Be watching for future Pearl River flood cleanups on “Team up 4 Clean Up” with the First Lady.

As I was accepting the Diamond Level Award during the 2020 National Keep America Beautiful Conference and looked out to all of our Mississippi delegation – it made me so proud to represent the best affiliate network in the nation. You are awesome!

So many of you have a story to tell – now with our State Awards due in a couple of weeks – share these stories and enter our Awards program.

Join our Great American Cleanup and  KEEP MISSISSIPPI CLEAN & GREEN.

Sarah
2020 Keep America Beautiful Conference

What an inspirational conference in Memphis, TN! We had over 30 conference attendees representing Mississippi who heard sessions on partnerships, recycling, Keep America Beautiful programs, everyday technology programs, fundraising, volunteerism and non-profit management practices just to name a few.

Mississippi also received several national awards:

NATIONAL AWARD WINNERS:

  • STATE AGENCY PARTNERSHIP AWARDS:

  • Mississippi Department of Transportation

  • Mississippi State University Extension Service


  • Educator Award - Chuck Rhoads, Brandon, MS
Chuck Rhoads recently retired as an art teacher at Puckett High School in Rankin County, MS. Chuck teaches his students about art not only in the classroom, but also in the landscape around campus. He launched the "Gardens of Puckett" project challenging students to improve the aesthetics and sense of place on campus. Additionally, he shows his students how to recycle and transform discarded items into something new. Although not connected to an affiliate, Chuck and his students work closely with Keep Mississippi Beautiful, Keep the Rez Beautiful and Keep Jackson Beautiful on a variety of efforts. For instance, his students used recycled granite remnants and leftover copper to make awards for our Keep MS Beautiful awards ceremony.

  • STATE AFFILIATE RECOGNITION AWARDS

  • Diamond Level - Keep Mississippi Beautiful

  • 2019 President's Circle Recipients:
2020 Legislative Day with First Lady Elee Reeves
Keep Mississippi Beautiful and our network of 49 affiliates held an awareness event for our Mississippi legislators to meet and learn about the state's leading organization for litter prevention, recycling and beautification.

During this time we kicked off our signature program the Great American Cleanup, the nation's largest community improvement project - where we join volunteers across the nation cleaning, picking up and beautifying. We are honored to be partnering with First Lady Elee Reeves, as she leads the "Team Up 4 Clean Up" Task Force to cleanup litter that has been left behind in areas due to the recent flood. Each year with our strong partnership with Mississippi Department of Transportation, employees have the opportunity to volunteer with one of the six Trash Bash events across the state.

Our partnership with Mississippi State University Extension Center in Newton under the direction of Dr. Brett Rushing, has lead to increase our Wildflower Trails of Mississippi program, which enhances communities across Mississippi. Keep Mississippi Beautiful is a member of Genuine Mississippi under the leadership of Ag Commissioner Andy Gipson, as we increase the planting of wildflowers to provide pollinators.

Keep Mississippi Beautiful works with Mississippi Recycling Coalition to promote and grow recycling. Recycling supports 5,000 jobs in Mississippi, of which nearly 2,000 are manufacturing jobs.

We thank everyone who joined us and helped make this event a great success!
Keep Mendenhall Beautiful Receives KAB Grant
Keep Mendenhall Beautiful received a Keep America Beautiful Community Restoration and resiliency grant in the form of a $500 Lowe's Gift card.

Traffic safety cones will be purchased from the grant monies and given to local law enforcement for emergency situations.
KMB Now Accepting 2020 Awards Nominations
Awards Nominations are now available on our website, that recognize the best of the best among our network of community-based affiliates, leading corporate partners and individual volunteers across Mississippi who have committed to delivering cleaner, greener and more beautiful communities.

Our awards program is open to everyone in Mississippi, not just Keep Mississippi Beautiful Affiliates, that have demonstrated achievements in beautification, recycling and beautification.

Nominations should recognize accomplishments from January 1 to December 31, 2019.

Nominations are due March 20, 2020 and the awards will be presented at Keep Mississippi Beautiful Awards Luncheon on April 30, 2020 at the Country Club of Jackson.
Governor and First Lady Reeves Launch Cleanup for Pearl River Flood
Governor Tate Reeves and First Lady Elee Reeves joined volunteers to begin the clean-up effort to help remove litter in communities impacted by the recent flooding of the Pearl River. 

Rolling up their sleeves, Governor and First Lady Reeves led the initial launch of the "Team Up 4 Clean Up" campaign on February 28 in partnership with Keep Mississippi Beautiful, Keep Jackson Beautiful, and the Mississippi Beverage Association, the Governor and First Lady picked up trash left behind by floodwaters at two sites - near Jim Hill High School and Gallatin Street in Jackson.
 
"Mississippians are strong and resilient, but they should never have to go it alone. People deserve to know that they're not alone in this recovery. We want to be out there with the people affected by this disaster, lending a hand in this trying time. I'm so blessed that my family and I are able to give back and help our state," said Governor Tate Reeves.

Over 123 volunteers cleaned up over 60 bags totaling over 1,200 pounds of litter and debris during the February 28 event. This was the first of many cleanups that will be held in Keep Mississippi Beautiful Affiliate areas who were impacted by the 2020 Pearl River flood. Stay tuned for upcoming cleanup event dates!
Keep Jackson Beautiful Receives Entergy Grant
Projects and programs that help improve the environment are getting a boost from Entergy. Through the company's Environmental Initiatives Fund, Entergy's shareholders contributed $1 million in grants to environmental partners with projects in five states including eight in Mississippi.

One of these recipients includes Keep Jackson Beautiful who received $10,000 for its Eco Ambassador High School Challenge. Keep Jackson Beautiful's  Eco Ambassadors Program  is a hands-on, action-based environmental stewardship program that fosters a new breed of environmental stewards for the future of our Planet while encouraging environmental careers. The program will strengthen and increase partnerships by providing youth and communities with the tools to implement and produce creative and innovative solutions that affects our natural and built environment. The goal of the program is to help lift communities out of poverty through sustainable environmental solutions. The Eco Ambassadors will be the environmental change in their communities.

See a complete list of 2019 EIF grant recipients  here
Organizations interested in partnering with Entergy on environmental improvement programs and projects can apply for grant consideration  here .
Keep Mississippi Beautiful Distributes Day Lily Bulbs Across the State
Keep Mississippi Beautiful Affiliates had the opportunity to receive hundreds of day lily bulbs on February 26 and 27.

Pictured here is Keep Richland Beautiful, Keep Mount Olive Beautiful and Keep Columbia/Marion County Beautiful affiliates picking up their bulbs.
SWANA/MRC 2020 Conference
The 2020 Joint Solid Waste Management & Recycling Conference will be held April 14-16, 2020 at the Island View Casino Resort in Gulfport, MS.

Registration is now open for attendees, exhibitors and sponsors at the CONFERENCE WEBPAGE.

For any questions about the conference, contact Jennifer Jackson at 662.934.7992 or jjackson@panolacoms.com.
KEEP AMERICA BEAUTIFUL GRANTS AVAILABLE
Keep America Beautiful Cigarette Litter Prevention Program
Application Deadline: April 10, 2020
Keep America Beautiful announced the opening of the  grant application  period for the 2020  Cigarette Litter Prevention Program  (CLPP), designed to help communities combat the most commonly littered item in America.   

In 2020, Keep America Beautiful will offer individual merit-based grants in amounts of $2,500, $5,000, $10,000, and $20,000 , not to exceed $200,000 in total funds. Keep America Beautiful community-based affiliates, local governments, business improvement districts, downtown associations, parks and recreation commissions, and other organizations dedicated to eradicating litter and beautifying their communities are encouraged to apply.  

The deadline for all applications is Friday, April 10, 2020 . All interested organizations should complete the  online application . Grant winners will be announced by April 24, 2020. In addition, Keep America Beautiful will focus on three primary types of interventions. Applicants will have the opportunity to focus on cigarette litter reduction through public messaging, infrastructure placement, or a combination of both.


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. 
Future Dates:
Mar. 13 SWANA/MRC Conference early-bird Registration Deadline
Mar. 20 KMB Award Nominations Due
Mar. 28 Keep Picayune Beautiful's Great American Cleanup Event
Apr. 9 MDOT District 3, 5, 6, and 7 Trash Bash Events
Apr. 14-16 SWANA/MRC Conference, Island View Casino, Gulfport, MS
Apr. 23 MDOT District 2 Trash Bash Event
Apr. 18 Keep Holmes County Beautiful's Great American Cleanup Event, Jackson Spring Sweep 2020 Cleanup Event
Apr. 30 KMB Annual Awards Luncheon, Jackson, MS

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