Keep Arkansas Beautiful Year in Review

 RESEARCH/BACKGROUND: Keep Arkansas Beautiful (KArB), a division of the Arkansas Department of Parks & Tourism, is a statewide, non-profit organization dedicated to litter prevention, recycling and beautification issues. The KArB program has “officially” been in existence for four years and has an office staff of three. It is one of more than 500 affiliates of Keep America Beautiful, a national non-profit educational organization. KArB's overall goal is to use all resources available to educate Arkansans of opportunities to make and keep Arkansas beautiful.

In 2001, KArB continued its mission to empower individuals and communities to accept greater responsibility for enhancing their physical environment and its goal to educate Arkansans of the opportunities available to them to address physical and visual aspects of their communities. Research shows that there are three main reasons people litter: they have no sense of ownership of the act or its result; they think someone else will clean it up; and they think "It’s already dirty, my litter won’t matter." The Arkansas Highway & Transportation Department surveyed the American Association of Highway Officials about litter, litter education and litter abatement programs. They found that the primary offenders when it comes to littering are males age 20-49 and pickup truck drivers.

• To raise awareness of Keep Arkansas Beautiful, its three-pronged mission and its programs

• To launch KArB’s new logo and gain statewide recognition

• To establish and launch Keep Arkansas Beautiful’s new website

To encourage and provide opportunities for participation in litter prevention, beautification and recycling activities through the Affiliate
Network (goal of 65 members by end of 2001) and the Great Arkansas Cleanup (goal to exceed last year’s figures)

• To provide recognition to individuals and groups who do their part in helping keep Arkansas beautiful through the annual awards ceremony.
Goal of 25 entries.

• To produce award-winning educational programs on the state and national level

• To educate Arkansans about the new anti-litter laws that protect the state’s environment

Target Audiences:Arkansans, potential affiliate groups, state/local government agencies, corporate entities/potential sponsors and news media

Budget: $350,000 ($220,000 for media, $130,000 for creative, production and public/media relations)

Planning: To achieve the desired objectives, the following strategies (organized by primary objective) were developed in 2001:
To raise awareness:
• Design and launch a new KArB logo, and update existing creative work with the new logo.
• Continue to grow the KArB speakers bureau program and make at least one presentation per month.
• Develop an annual strategic media plan designed to reach the most Arkansans in the most efficient manner.
• Continue to raise awareness through paid media advertising and public service announcement distribution.
• Produce a new PSA, in cooperation with Tyson Foods, featuring Arkansas Razorback Head Football Coach Houston Nutt.
• Create and produce a newsletter to distribute to affiliates, partners and sponsors.
• Continue to add information to the KArB booth, which will have a presence at key Arkansas events.
• Execute a year-round public/media relations program that promotes KArB, its mission and activities.
To encourage and provide opportunities for participation:
• Grow the grassroots outreach effort, in which community groups are asked to affiliate with KArB and pledge to successfully complete anti-litter, beautification and recycling programs within their own communities
• Conduct “The Great Arkansas Cleanup,” the traditional fall, statewide anti-litter campaign
To provide recognition:
• Conduct the second annual statewide awards program to recognize successes of community programs that keep Arkansas beautiful.
To partner with the public and private sector:
• Develop and sustain relationships with other state agencies by working on mutually beneficial projects.

New KArB Logo – The agency designed a new logo, which features three stylized hardwood leaves changing colors. Leaves signal change of seasons and the cycle of nature; three leaves represent litter abatement, recycling and beautification; and three leaves represent a constant cycle between these three missions. The leaves also represent three organizations working to keep Arkansas beautiful: the KArB Commission, Affiliate Network and Foundation. First Lady Janet Huckabee officially unveiled the new logo at the affiliate conference in February, where the Southwest Times Record interviewed her. Executive Director Robert Phelps appeared on one Arkansas television station to introduce and discuss the meaning of the new logo.

Speakers Bureau - Commissioners attended a speakers bureau training session, presented by the agency, and were provided collateral materials, including a support video, to help make presentations across the state. We achieved our goal of one presentation per month.

Paid Advertising & Public Service Announcement Program - Developed an annual strategic media plan that utilized statewide broadcast television, radio and cable; distributed the Houston Nutt television PSAs to 20 stations statewide; distributed radio public-service announcements featuring Nutt to a variety of radio stations statewide. The paid broadcast television schedule reached an average of 94.6% of the target audience an average of 6.2 times during the year. Reach and frequency were strongly bolstered with cable and radio programs. Agency negotiations also netted a dollar-for-dollar match of $73,985 in added value for KArB. Television and radio PSAs also ran statewide (this is not officially measured/tracked).

Newsletter – Two more editions of The Keepsake newsletter were distributed. The publication is sent to nearly 2,000 individuals and organizations across the state, including affiliates, partners and legislators. It is also published on the KArB website, which launched during the summer. Affiliates and other recipients have had positive comments and submitted information for inclusion in future issues.

Promotional Booth - The KArB booth appeared at the Affiliate Conference, Governor’s Conference on Tourism, the Flower and Garden Show, all KArB sponsored events and a myriad of community events. Estimated exposure of KArB booth: more than 55,000.

Governor’s Conference - The KArB booth was set up at the 2001 Governor’s Conference and packets of actual wildflower seeds custom-wrapped in KArB information were used as giveaways. Over 700 leaders in the tourism industry attended the conference.

Year-Round Public/Media Relations Activity - Nearly 50 different news releases were distributed statewide; several news conferences/media events were held; community calendars were utilized; regular appearances on broadcast news guest shows statewide (Little Rock, Jonesboro, Fayetteville/Fort Smith, El Dorado) were obtained. Total “non-paid” media coverage value garnered through all combined activities is estimated at more than $500,000.

Grassroots Outreach Effort - The Keep Arkansas Beautiful Affiliate Network - The year kicked off with a first-class, information-packed two-day conference in February in Fort Smith. The second annual KArB Affiliate Network conference boasted 13 speakers who covered topics including basic volunteer management, how to get involved in recycling, how to use indigenous Arkansas wildflowers to beautify surroundings, and many others. First Lady Janet Huckabee served as the keynote speaker. The agency designed and produced all support materials, including an Affiliate Network promotional brochure, invitation, conference packet, nametags, news releases, agendas, etc. The affiliate program exceeded its goal of gaining 20 new member organizations in 2001 by signing on more than 30 new groups statewide, including 13 in the month of July alone, for a grand total of 77 KArB affiliate members as of December 31. The conference attendance goal of 50 participants was exceeded, with a final tally of 80 attendees. Conference evaluations were utilized, with outstanding results.

Great Arkansas Cleanup - The Great Arkansas Cleanup (GAC) kicked off on July 27 with a news conference featuring Coach Houston Nutt, who was joined by the Tyson Chicken, representing our title sponsor. Coach Nutt was featured on TV and radio PSAs, and other promotional materials. The agency coordinated 11 television interviews between the GAC state coordinator and television talk shows across the state to discuss the event. The cleanup began statewide Sept. 8. This year, the cleanup involved 58 events where 14,022 volunteers and 675 organizations in 52 counties cleaned 2,391 miles of roadway, 556 miles of shoreline and 122 parks and public sites, collected 29,866 bags of trash and closed 19 illegal dumps around the state. Approximately one-third of the trash collected was recycled. These results exceeded those of all other cleanups in the event’s history

Keep Arkansas Beautiful Statewide Awards Program – The second annual luncheon event was held on April 24 at Chenal Country Club in Little Rock. Numerous dignitaries were in attendance. Gov. Huckabee and Keep America Beautiful President Ray Empson served as keynote speakers. Twelve groups from business, government, not-for-profit organizations and school/youth groups received awards from Gov. Huckabee. The agency handled the event turnkey, producing invitations, programs and much more. The goal for entries was exceeded (30 vs. 25) and the attendance goal of 300 was achieved. With at least 30 media hits, the event and award winners received excellent media coverage statewide. Ray Empson was featured on a morning-show interview with a Little Rock television station, and northwest Arkansas stations also ran spots on the awards.

Corporate/Public Sector Partnerships - Partnered with the Arkansas Highway & Transportation Department to continue fulfilling Gov. Huckabee’s vision of beautifying six major entryways into the capital city, while promoting the planting of wildflowers and other beautification projects. Released an updated wildflowers news release that was run in at least eight newspapers across the state. Began work on a 20-page wildflower promotional booklet that explains the benefits of wildflowers, different species of Arkansas wildflowers and sources on how to get more information. The booklet will be distributed at upcoming KArB events.

Partnered with Sonic Drive-In Restaurants to continue the pledge-card campaign in which students are asked to sign a card pledging not to litter. They were also entered in a drawing for a trip for four to an Arkansas State Park and were given a coupon for a free Sonic meal. The cards were distributed through the Arkansas Department of Education to all school districts along with an anti-litter curriculum teachers were encouraged to deliver during the campaign. Nearly 15,000 elementary school students participated statewide. Continued partnership with the Game & Fish Commission “Stream Team” program to co-sponsor outdoor litterbags to be distributed at canoe rental sites, trail heads and tourist information centers and other outlets throughout the state to promote keeping the outdoors clean and beautiful. Bags were distributed statewide.

Legislation - Four new anti-litter laws were passed in 2001, including anti-litter laws on roadways (Act 145) and waterways (Act 803). With the passing of the Act 145 came a statewide media-relations campaign that included distribution of news releases and other promotional materials. At least 65 stories were written about the new litter law, for a total newspaper circulation of nearly 680,000. More than 30 newspaper stories were written on the new waterway law, with a total circulation of 200,000. At least five Arkansas television stations covered the new legislation on their local news programs, with a total of 37 television news hits. A story was also printed in KArB’s newsletter, The Keepsake.