Atlanta, GA – Keep Bartow Beautiful received the Governor’s Circle Award on March 18th. The statewide awards were presented by Gov. Nathan Deal at the State Capitol as part of the Keep Georgia Beautiful Foundation’s Annual Legislative Day.
The Governor’s Circle Award recognizes exemplary performance by certified affiliates in reducing litter, minimizing waste and greening local communities. To qualify for the Governor’s Circle Award, affiliates must be in good standing with Keep America Beautiful; conducting an annual Litter Index, calculating the affiliate’s cost/benefit ratio and engaging volunteers to take greater responsibility for their community environment. Additionally, the affiliate must be an active member of the Georgia network.
“The affiliates receiving the Governor’s Circle Award represent the best of community improvement efforts”, said Sarah Visser, Executive Director of the Keep Georgia Beautiful Foundation, “they are doing the hard work every day to keep their communities economically vibrant and environmentally sustainable”.
Locally, Keep Bartow Beautiful is celebrating “15 Years of Volunteers” with the Great American Cleanup theme “Chalk it up to Hard Work.” This message will be incorporated into the popular Keep Bartow Beautiful t-shirt given annually to all their GAC volunteers. “We have put together some long-standing, amazing programs that have grown and evolved with the community. Missy Phillips, Programs Director, and myself put our blood, sweat and tears into these causes over the years, because this is more than just a job for us, it’s what we believe, and who we are,” said Sheri Henshaw, Executive Director. “But Keep Bartow Beautiful’s greatest asset continues to be the awesome volunteer and support base we have here in Bartow County. We can’t thank them enough for their passion, energy, and commitment to the environment.”
Henshaw added, “The partnerships we have created and nurtured over the last 15 years have enabled the long-term success of Keep Bartow Beautiful. Our Christmas tree recycling program partners, our Arbor Day event team, our Great American Cleanup champions in our various communities, and our Keep Bartow Beautiful School Recycling Program adult leaders who continually encourage and inspire their student teams to strive for excellence are the ones who have made this program successful. We also appreciate our Georgia leaders and are proud of our state program and our Affiliate Network of 80 similar programs throughout the state, Georgia ranks at the top of national efforts by Keep America Beautiful, Inc. to minimize waste, promote recycling, reduce litter, create community gardens, and encourage environmental stewardship of our air, land, and water.”
This spring, Keep Bartow Beautiful is sponsoring six area cleanups—Saturday, March 28, in Taylorsville; Wednesday, April 1, at Adairsville High; Saturday, April 11, at Georgia Highlands College, when Green Highlands and Bartow County Government partner for the Gene Thacker Memorial Cleanup; and Saturday, April 25, when both the City of Emerson and City of Cartersville hold their annual cleanups (Cartersville has their annual Ray Southern Memorial Cleanup and Atco Community Day).
The Allatoona Community will see the opening of a new recycling and trash collection site, the 12th in the county, in early summer, as part of a new Allatoona Community Complex of county government facilities, and at that time will host the annual Allatoona Junk-Dump to familiarize the community with the new resources available.
Finally, Keep Bartow Beautiful ends their reporting year, which goes from July 1 to June 30, with the results of their annual School Recycling Contest winners, announced on or near Earth Day. Annually, over 4000 volunteers engage with Keep Bartow Beautiful, and the programs reach over 35,000. For every dollar spent on Keep Bartow Beautiful, five dollars in community improvements is returned.
Keep Bartow Beautiful also sponsors 50 Adopt-a-Road programs, is part of the Adopt-a-Stream network for Bartow County, assisting those volunteers, has sponsored eight community garden projects locally, and serve as active working members of organizations such as Bike-Walk Northwest Georgia, Georgia Recycling Coalition, US Green Building Council-Atlanta Chapter, Georgia Urban Forest Council, Georgia Rivers Alive, the Great Lake Allatoona Cleanup and the Georgia River Network’s Etowah Water Trail.
For more information on Keep Bartow Beautiful programs and volunteer opportunities, go to www.bartowga.org/kbb, or call 770-387-5167.
Georgia is the first state in the Keep America Beautiful (KAB) network to create a Governor’s Circle Award modeled on KAB’s national good standing designation.
About Keep Georgia Beautiful Foundation (KGBF): Created in 1978 by Governor George Busbee, Keep Georgia Beautiful (KGB), became the first state affiliate of Keep America Beautiful. In 2011, the Keep Georgia Beautiful program merged with the Keep Georgia Beautiful Foundation, Inc. which was created in 1985 to promote private sector financial support for worthwhile educational programs that enhance the environment and the quality of life in Georgia. KGBF coordinates a number of environmental efforts including the Great American Cleanup™ and the statewide Bring One for the Chipper Christmas tree recycling program. The Foundation is based on a fundamental premise that the environmental interests of the state of Georgia and the people who live here are best served when public and private interests work hand-in-hand to achieve common goals.