Keep Arkansas Beautiful Program Review:  January – December 2002

 

 

The year 2002 proved to be another year of challenge and accomplishment for the Keep Arkansas Beautiful Commission.  This report will highlight significant  activities and achievements of the KArB Program.

 

Continuing interest and growth in our Statewide Affiliate Network resulted in a year-end membership total of 86 organizations, representing 66 separate communities within 45 counties.  As more communities are increasing their efforts toward litter control, better waste management policy and scenic beautification improvements, they are attracted by guidance and support opportunities from KArB.  Accordingly, new Affiliate Guidelines were approved defining affiliate responsibilities and establishing a July through June  reporting year. These were presented at a reception in the Governor’s Conference Room where new coordinator for Affiliate Services, Jack Singleton, was introduced.

 

KArB Program  Accomplishments: At the January Commission meeting, committee goals were established and timelines were developed to aid in planning and coordinating the following events and activities:

 

KArB Statewide Affiliate Conference (February):

 

Our third annual conference, held in Hot Springs, was well attended and received high marks from attendees.  In addition to multiple concurrent sessions covering the three mission areas of litter prevention, recycling education and beautification, highlights included dinner at Garvan Woodland Gardens with the theatrical presentation Clean Getaway performed by students from Fort Smith Northside High School.

 

KAB Great American Cleanup (March-April):

 

Our five KAB local affiliates were joined by 17 other communities and/or groups in conducting 270 cleanup events involving some 3,600 volunteers who collected over 72 tons of bagged trash.  Additionally, 10 communicites held events involving planting, painting or recycling elements.

 

Keep Arkansas Beautiful Month (April):

 

The Governor's proclamation event was enhanced by a performance of fifth grade students from Cabot who sang our new campaign signature song, Take It Back!  The launch of the spring media campaign utilizing the theme followed.  The KArB Statewide Awards program was changed from the traditional, elegant Luncheon-in-Little Rock format in favor of public presentations to award winners in their communities, featuring receptions and press coverage to publicize locally, as well as statewide, the projects and those involved.  During April, the Commission awarded 42 awards in 26 different venues across the state.  These included 12 Awards of Excellence, 18 Distinguished Service Awards and 12 Student winners, six each for the KArB Poster Contest and Essay

Competition.

 

Great Arkansas Cleanup 2002 (September-October):

 

Rewarding growth, surpassing even the GAC 2001 successful campaign, resulted in 60 cleanup events in 54 of the state's 75 counties with increases in trash bag collection up 400% to more than 125,000; highway miles, up 63%, to over 3,700; and park/public areas cleaned, up 9%, to 135 sites.  Miles of shoreline cleaned decreased to 196 from last year's high of 556.  The nearly 16,000 participants collected more than 1,289 tons of trash and closed 14 illegal dump sites.  Approximately one-fourth of the refuse was recycled.

 

Mission Information Accomplishments: A colorful field guide to Arkansas wildflowers, Wildflowers Forever Handbook, was produced and introduced through media publicity. The popular booklet is distributed through request fulfillment and by purchase at State Parks' Gift Shops.  Additionally, a five-year anniversary book, Keeping Arkansas Natural Forever: Amendment 75 – Promises Kept, was produced and distributed by ADPT, AG&FC, DAH and KArB, the four conservation agencies sharing the 1/8-cent tax revenue. The book detailed how each agency utilized these funds over the course of the five year period, with KArB programs enacted in each of the state’s 75 counties. Volunteer involvement in these programs result in KArB returning a cost-benefit to Arkansas of nearly five dollars to each one dollar in program costs.

 

A  Speaker’s Bureau guidebook was also produced, containing sample speeches and an accompanying new four-minute video that comprehensively covers the KArB mission, program and activities.  Scripts, posters and program covers were produced to support the 17 minute theatrical production, Clean Getaway, an anti-littering and recycling focused play available free to schools and groups wishing to perform it.

 

Keep America Beautiful Support:  KArB provided four grants to Affiliate representatives to attend new Coordinator’s training at the KAmB Conferences, three in New Orleans in July, and one in Washington D.C. in December. Additionally, KArB staffer, Jack Singleton, received new coordinator training at the December conference. KArB also dispensed a $1,000 KAmB Liberty Garden Grant, from Home Depot, to one Affiliate. State Leader Robert Phelps participated in both conferences, two Liberty Garden dedications and the two annual meetings of the KArB policy advisory board, the State Leaders Council, where he serves as Secretary.

 

Two new Commissioners were appointed during the year by Gov. Mike Huckabee: 

Rev. Thurston Lamb represents the 2nd Congressional District and chairs the Minority Committee. Gelene MacDowell, representing the 3rd District, chairs the Wildflowers Committee.

 

In August, Jack Singleton joined the KArB staff, bringing  his valuable experience and fresh energy to our Affiliate Services position. Additionally, the KArB Media and Public Relations RFP solicitation resulted in seven advertising agencies submitting interest and qualifications for consideration. The Commission retained the services of the Mangan Holcomb Rainwater Culpepper Agency, recognizing their valued performance and contribution to the KArB information and public awareness efforts.

 

Commission Outreach and Support:  KArB Commissioners and Staff attended the Governor’s Conference on Tourism and the Arkansas Recycling Coalition Annual Conference, participating in programs and holding a Commission meeting in conjunction with each. In keeping with its desire to offer more communities the opportunity to familiarize themselves with the work of the KArB Commission, six of its 11 meetings were held in new venues this year: Fayetteville, Hot Springs (two different sites) and Conway, and at the Arkansas Arts Center and Quapaw Council Boy Scouts of America in Little Rock. During 2002, KArB Staff and Commissioners participated in over four-dozen allied events and activities sponsored by governmental agencies, schools, communities and civic organizations in support of our mission goals.