Civic groups working to keep areas clean, trash free

Published 9:18 am Monday, February 20, 2012

A regional environmental beautification group now has some national ties.

Keep Southeast Ohio Beautiful is a 13-county civic organization that includes Wayne National Forest and the Lawrence Scioto Solid Waste Management District. The group was recently certified as part of Keep America Beautiful, a nationwide, community-based network of affiliates.

Established in 2012, Keep Southeast Ohio Beautiful works as a collaborative group to engage individuals in southeast Ohio to take greater responsibility for enhancing their environment.

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“As part of our Keep America Beautiful network, Keep Southeast Ohio Beautiful has pledged to act as a catalyst for positive community change, with the goal of improving the quality of life for every resident,” said Matt McKenna, president and CEO of Keep America Beautiful. “We welcome Keep Southeast Ohio Beautiful as an important part of our national affiliate movement, which is keeping America beautiful, one community at a time.”

The Keep America Beautiful network mobilizes an estimated 4 million volunteers to take positive action on environmental concerns. As a result, the organization says litter is being reduced, solid waste is being managed responsibly, citizens are adopting vacant lots, highways and other public spaces, trees and flowers are replacing trash heaps and tire compounds, and recycling and composting efforts are expanding.

“Clean, livable communities are the foundation for strong local economics,” McKenna said. “Keep America Beautiful affiliates use litter prevention as the obvious place to begin the process of instilling pride and a sense of personal responsibility in citizens for the appearance and well-being of their communities.”

Keep Southeast Ohio Beautiful will join more than 1,200 Keep America Beautiful affiliates and participating organizations, including 24 statewide affiliates in the United States and international affiliates in Canada, South Africa and the Bahamas.

“Our message is a clear and powerful one and today many of our affiliates are spearheading the revitalization of entire regions and undertaking large-scale renewal projects in partnership with concerned citizens, businesses, government and civic organizations,” McKenna said. “Keep America Beautiful thanks Keep Southeast Ohio Beautiful for taking on this immense challenge.”

On April 14, the organizations will join with the Ohio Department of Transportation to host a Keep America Beautiful Great American Cleanup event. Activities start at 9 a.m. at the Wayne National Forest Welcome Center located off U.S. 33 between Nelsonville and Athens. The event will end around noon.

“The Wayne National Forest looks forward to working collaboratively with our neighbors to engage individuals in southeast Ohio to take greater responsibility for enhancing their environment,” said Anne Carey, forest supervisor of the southeastern Ohio national forest. “It will help create a healthier and safer place to live, work and play, which will benefit local communities and the forest.”

Keep America Beautiful, Inc. established in 1953, is the nation’s largest volunteer-based community improvement organization. Keep America Beautiful forms public-private partnerships and programs that engage individuals to take greater responsibility for improving their communities. For additional information visit