Meridian Star

April 11, 2013

Great American Cleanup Friday, Saturday

Special to The Star
The Meridian Star

MERIDIAN —     Keep Mississippi Beautiful (KMB) is recruiting volunteers to help plant trees and shrubs and clean up litter as part of a two-day community improvement effort.  KMB’s Great American Cleanup State Kickoff event has projects planned in De Kalb on Friday and Meridian on Saturday.

    “Make a difference in two wonderful Mississippi communities by helping us during our upcoming Great American Cleanup,” KMB Executive Director Sarah Kountouris said. “We are honored to partner with the residents of Meridian and De Kalb to help make a difference in their communities.”

    Key event partners include Mississippi Power, Keep Meridian/ Lauderdale County Beautiful, USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service, the People’s Garden Initiative, Mississippi Department of Transportation and Meridian Coca-Cola.

    “One of our company initiatives is to enhance the quality of life in the communities we serve,” Mississippi Power Kemper Community Affairs Manager Verdell Hawkins said. “Our employees live and work here, and we care about the environment around us. We appreciate the Keep America Beautiful organization for allowing us to partner with them to preserve a part of Mississippi’s beauty.”

    This event is part of a nationwide effort by Keep America Beautiful, KMB’s parent organization, to improve communities through cleaning and greening.

    De Kalb Day: Volunteers helping on Friday are asked to meet at 8:30 a.m. at the Barney Brown Sr. Citizen Center. Volunteers will create a new park. KMB worked with the local office of USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) to design the park, which is registered in the Department’s People’s Garden Initiative.      “NRCS is happy to help make this new park a reality,” NRCS State Conservationist Homer Wilkes said. “NRCS gives technical assistance to farmers every day, and it was a great opportunity to share our agency’s knowledge on designing an erosion-proof site and planting the best native plants. It’s important for our cities and our farmlands to conserve natural resources.”

    Meridian Day: Volunteers helping on Saturday are asked to meet at 8:30 a.m. at Highland Park. Volunteers will clean up litter and plant trees and shrubs. KMB worked with Keep Meridian/Lauderdale Beautiful to organize this event.

    “Keep Meridian/Lauderdale County Beautiful is ecstatic about the upcoming Great American Cleanup in De Kalb and Meridian,” Keep Meridian/Lauderdale County Beautiful Executive Director Betty Lou Jones said. “This project will impact our cities and counties and our citizens in a very positive way and we are grateful to Keep Mississippi Beautiful for their leadership in this pivotal project!”

    Citizens are encouraged to share how you’re making a difference in Mississippi!

    Organizers are encouraging volunteers to post photos and other items on Keep America Beautiful’s Facebook page and tweet using the #KeepAmericaBeautiful hashtag.

    People interested in participating should visit keepmsbeautiful.com to sign up. At the site, there is a form available for download that should be returned to KMB.