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Executive Director Report

Keep Mississippi Beautiful has been busy.  We were all energized as we all shared our best practices with each other during our Keep Mississippi Beautiful/Keep Alabama Beautiful Conference that was held in Hattiesburg.  I want to give a shout out to Mayor Toby Barker and to our Keep Hattiesburg Beautiful Director Nkrumah Frazier for welcoming all of us to this amazing city. This Conference would not have been possible without our amazing sponsors for this year’s conference support – Nucor Steel and Mississippi Beverage Association. THANKS! 

Congratulations to new affiliate director, David Depreo and all of his committee in making Hancock County our newest Keep Mississippi Beautiful Affiliate. Great job to these leaders in their community.
Neeley and I hope to see everyone in Oxford for the Annual State Recycling Conference where we will find out how recycling is going from the best recycling leaders in the southeast.  We get many calls on where to take glass recycling--- come see us on November 15 --- info in this newsletter.

I can’t close without saying how thankful I am for all of you that care and support Keep Mississippi Beautiful with everything you do to continue to keep our state BEAUTIFUL!  

  HAVE A BLESSED & HAPPY THANKSGIVING.

Sarah

Pictured here is Evelyn Copeland, Keep Simpson County Beautiful Affiliate Director, and Sarah Kountouris, Executive Director, sharing the Wildflower Trails of Mississippi project at the Genuine MS booth inside the Trademart during the MS State Fair.
2019 Keep MS/AL Beautiful Conference
We want to thank everyone who attended this year's Keep Mississippi/Alabama Beautiful conference in Hattiesburg, MS.

We had Keep America Beautiful's Grace Keegan, Central Regional Director and Jerred Jones, Program Director share with us the best practices for capturing program metrics and how to use as fundraising leverage, Great American Cleanup and Cigarette Litter Prevention Program information, Employee/Corporate Engagement and new KAB reporting guidelines.

Thank you to all that shared on the Grants Panel, "Steel This" session and Round Table Topics discussions. We hope that everyone learned a lot and took home great ideas for their communities!


Next year's Keep MS/AL Conference will take place in Decatur, Alabama.
Stay tuned for the conference date in 2020!

Keep Mississippi Beautiful Board Retreat
Thank you to Keep Mississippi Beautiful Board Chairman, Cindy Duvall with Mississippi Power, for hosting our 2019 Board Retreat at Centennial Plaza in Gulfport.

We had a very engaging board meeting as we planned our new fiscal year and was followed by wonderful fellowship.

Pictured is KMB Board Members Joel Yelverton, Brandon Wynn, Ron Aldridge, Steve Gray and Lauren Fordice with KMB Staff Neeley Jones and Sarah Kountouris.
Welcome Our Newest Affiliate
 Keep Hancock County Beautiful
For the past year, Affiliate Director, David Depreo has been working on Keep Hancock County Beautiful's Migration Application for their Keep America Beautiful certification to transition from a city program to a county program.

Keep Bay Saint Louis Beautiful will now work with all areas in Hancock County. They also plan to partner with Keep Diamondhead Beautiful and Keep Waveland Beautiful on future projects.

Congratulations Keep Hancock County Beautiful and welcome to our KMB family!
Keep Starkville Beautiful Receives AARP Grant
Keep Starkville Beautiful has been one of the 159 awardees of the 2019 AARP Community Challenge Grant Program.

With this grant, Keep Starkville Beautiful will implement The Whitfield Corridor Beautification Project making improvements to a busy transportation corridor through middle Starkville, creating more of a Complete Streets experience. This heavily travelled street connects two major transit stops, nearby neighborhoods, schools, parks and businesses. The Whitfield Corridor will receive both aesthetic and safety improvements including repairing existing retaining walls, adding pollinator patch gardens and adding two crosswalks to help calm traffic flow, increase pedestrian safety, and make the route more pleasant to travel.

To find out more about the AARP Grant program and other grantees click here.

Keep Mississippi Beautiful Presence
at the Mississippi State Fair
We'd like to give a shout out to our friends at with the Mississippi Department of Agriculture on another memorable year at the Mississippi State Fair in Jackson!

Keep Mississippi Beautiful had over 35 "Don't Litter... Can It, Mississippi" banners throughout the fair- all entrances, inside the Trademart and along the ice skating rink inside the Coliseum. Thank you to our Board Chair, Cindy Duvall, and Board Member Steve Gray, for helping the KMB staff hang the banners!

Keep Mississippi Beautiful also exhibited our Wildflower Trails of Mississippi program with Genuine Mississippi inside the Trademart. Over 700 wildflower seed packets were given out for pollinator beds. Thank you Keep Simpson County Beautiful Affiliate Director, Evelyn Copeland, for sharing your wildflower success to all of those that visited the exhibit!

Pictured here is Sarah Kountouris, KMB Executive Director, Mississippi Department of Agriculture Commissioner Andy Gipson, Kimberly Thompson, KMB Education Outreach, Neeley Jones, KMB Assistant Director, and Cindy Duvall, KMB Board Chair.

America Recycles Day - November 15
Mississippi Recycling Coalition
School Grants & College Scholarships

SCHOOL GRANTS:
The Mississippi Recycling Coalition (MRC) is offering up to $10,000 in grants to schools to support new or expanding recycling programs. Both $500 and $1,000 grants are available to public and private K-12 schools in Mississippi. 

This grant program supports the mission of MRC, a non-profit organization that works to promote and grow recycling efforts in the state. Many of these grants spur recycling not only in the school but in the broader community.

The deadline for submitting applications is November 15.

APPLY AT MSRECYCLES.ORG  for the 2019-2020 school year.

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.
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.

Mississippi Affiliates that plan on attending the conference please let the KMB office know.
KEEP AMERICA BEAUTIFUL GRANTS AVAILABLE
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. 

WALMART COMMUNITY GRANTS
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:
Nov. 15 America Recycles Day- Glass & E-Waste Recycling Event, Jackson
Nov. 15 Mississippi Recycling Coaltion's school grant deadline
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
Apr. 30, 2020 KMB Annual Awards Luncheon, Jackson, MS

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