Guest post by Pam Carswell, President & CEO of Keep Macon-Bibb Beautiful Commission
When it comes to the pillar of Place, oftentimes it’s the community beautification efforts that are the first part of creating that sense of place noticed. In OneMacon’s approach to community and economic development, the strategic recommendation of beautifying our most visible places – our corridors, neighborhoods and activity centers – is at the top of the list.
That also ties into strategic recommendation 3.6: “Promote travel and tourism by developing new tourism product, enhancing existing product, and supporting the implementation of the Macon-Bibb County Convention and Visitors Bureau’s (CVB) Vision 2017 Strategic Plan.
Keep Macon- Bibb Beautiful Commission (KMBB), is a nonprofit organization founded by Carolyn Crayton in 1974 whose mission is “Improving the quality of life in our community through litter prevention, recycling, and beautification.”
Comprised of a member-appointed Board of Commissioners representing all areas of the city/county, KMBB is an affiliate of Keep America Beautiful and Keep Georgia Beautiful and works in partnership with the City of Macon Public Works, Bibb County Engineering Department, Code Enforcement, state and federal litter enforcement, green space maintenance agencies, private industry and local community groups.
It has been the aim of the commission to strive to be a model program that teaches and motivates adult volunteers and the youth of our community to clean up and improve their neighborhoods thus creating a safer more desirable and livable community – and create a cleaner, greener Macon-Bibb.
Among its annual programs is July’s Litter Index, which provides step-by-step methods of assessing current litter in the community. For the last two years, KMBB implemented a series of anti-litter billboards throughout the community.
Opportunities to make an impact on community beautification are readily available through volunteer programs KMBB organizes, like the Great American Clean-Up, Arbor Day, Earth Day, Adopt-a-Spot and Neighborhood Clean-Ups.
In this guest post from Keep Macon-Bibb Beautiful Commission (KMBB) President Pam Carswell, she gives an update on the nonprofit organization’s efforts, which include not just litter removal but also re-using and recycling:
Keep Macon -Bibb Beautiful Commission has been on the forefront of promoting tourism in Macon for 35 years. We received a continuous grant from the Fickling Family Foundation to revitalize the Cherry Blossom Trail, which will replace over 400 trees along the trail. In addition, since 2012, over 4,000 saplings have been donated and 8,000 plus have been sold to community residents. Macon now has over 350,000 cherry trees, more than our nation’s capital.
Since 2012, our community has removed 612 tons of litter by 8,000 volunteers. The current educational component has served 5,225 second graders utilizing retired Bibb County Educators. We have partnered with Macon-Bibb Solid Waste to provide curbside recycling for all residents, thereby reducing solid waste from our landfill.
Congrats to KMBB in recently receiving the following state and national awards:
State of Georgia:
- Governor’s Circle Award
- Affiliate of the Year
- Litter Prevention Award for “Meet in the Middle”
- Community Improvement and Greening Award – Amerson River Park
- Public Works Employee of the Year – Kevin Barkley
- Student of the Year – Tara Ajjan
- Carolyn Crayton “Woman of the Year” – Beverly Knight Olson
National Awards- Keep America Beautiful:
- Carolyn Crayton Award – The Coca-Cola Company
- Affiliate Award of Excellence
- National Community Improvement Award for “End Littering”