YOUTH ADVISORY COMMITTEE
Prairie View Green Team!
Keep America Beautiful Awards Keep Keith County Beautiful the Youth Advisory Committee Grant
At the Keep America Beautiful national conference in Orlando Florida, February 1 through 3, 2016, Keep Keith County Beautiful was awarded a $2,500 grant for facilitating the youth advisory committee, known around here as the Prairie View Green Team.
The Green Team is comprised of thirty students from the 6th, 7th and 8th grades at Prairie View School. These students are the leaders of recycling and litter reduction efforts not only in the school, but throughout the whole community.
The students have already begun their efforts at the school and after school sporting events. The Green Team announces at the games the school’s Litter Free designation and informs the audience about the recycling bins in the common area.
Keep Keith County Beautiful has followed the protocol of Keep America Beautiful starting the Youth Advisory committee in Ogallala. There are three required components to the KAB Youth Advisory council Elements. 1) Follow the Litter Free Schools curriculum; 2) Conduct a waste and recycling audit 3) Develop a Trashless Tree Trail.
The Green Team will also participate in the Great American Cleanup up and America Recycles Day activities through Keep Keith County Beautiful and will continue to encourage and educate through the Pepsico Recycle Rally.
Chris Vail, director of Keep Keith County Beautiful said; “Our school children are the future. Through their education and efforts we have seen continued improvement in litter reduction and recycling. This grant will allow us to focus on areas that we have never done before, like the Tree Trails and allow the students to see a tangible value for their efforts!”
America Recycles Day- November 15th
Keep Keith County Beautiful will hold classroom presentations to educate grades kindergarten through 6th grade in Keith County during America Recycles Day on November 15th talking about litter reduction and the benefits of recycling. The key benefit to this outreach is the behavior change instilled in the school children. They respect the recycling effort and seek the challenge KKCB brings to increase recycling in their families.
We coordinate a coloring contest and t-shirt design contest for the students and hold a business/education seminar with the support of Pinnacle Bank and The Ogallala Keith county Chamber of Commerce. The kids are excited about this program and look forward to being the winner of the contest. The student who designs the winning t-shirt gets to present his or her class with a copy of the shirt.
PepsiCo Recycle Rally- For the past three years, KKCB, has been integrally involved in the PepsiCo Recycle Rally in cooperation with the Ogallala Public Schools and The South Platte Schools. This program is a nationally recognized effort to increase education about recycling and add a competition to the efforts of the school children. In 2014, our local elementary School, Progress Elementary placed first place in the nation in the Challenge division of the Dream Machine Recycle Rally and in 2015, south Platte School place first in the nation in the Universal Division, with Progress Elementary in second place. Keep Keith County Beautiful was involved in the organization, counting, promotion, collecting, sorting and reporting for both of the school programs. At each school we had a key person responsible for the weight counting and reporting to the Pepsico web site. in 2016, Prairie View is trading first place with a school in North Carolina. A strong push will put them over the top!
KKCB is the single source of recycling bins in the area. We are called for most events to bring out our recycling bins and assist in finding groups to collect litter and receive funding.
In the News/Publications– The Keith County News has partnered with Keep Keith County Beautiful to run a monthly news column, ‘Going Green’ along with ads and inserts. The Keith County News reaches 8,000 residents every week. Local radio stations, KOGA and KMCX, have also agreed to help us get the message out about keeping Keith County beautiful. KOGA/KMCX invites Keep Keith County Beautiful to come onto a daily talk show to talk about upcoming events and to raise awareness of projects coordinated by Keep Keith County Beautiful. KNOP Television of North Platte has covered Keep Keith County Beautiful events in the past, such as the Lake McConaughy Cleanup and Tire Amnesty Collection and the “Slab” Painting. Keep Keith County Beautiful will strive to utilize these media resources.
Our fireworks litter information sheet will continue to be distributed to the local fireworks stands in the area at the end June when they become on sale. This will encourage residents not to leave their fireworks debris in the streets and to pick them up after they have cooled off. We also place advertising the newspaper for Litter prevention of firework garbage.
With the cooperation from the local businesses, residents and schools, we will continue to collect and recycle used ink cartridges for printers and used cell phones. The drop off sites are in highly visible public places in the area such as the Ogallala Post Office, Brule Post Office, the Ogallala/Keith County Chamber of Commerce, Office Service (local office supply store), Pony Express Community Bank, Keith County Courthouse and US Recycling LLC and Western Resources Group. The Funding Factory allows for the creation of labels via their website. Each cartridge is worth a certain amount of points and we then turn those points into cash to help pay for items grant funding cannot cover. Since we have begun using program in 2004, we have diverted over 3,750 pounds of ink cartridges, cell phones & laser cartridges from the landfill.
Leave only your Footprints Logo:
This important logo will continue to be printed on promotional items such as bumper stickers, note pads, etc. for distribution to the tourists of the Lake McConaughy area. Keep Keith County Beautiful will partner with the Nebraska Game and Parks office at Lake McConaughy to distribute these items. Last year, 2015, the Lake saw over 1,400,000 tourists and we intend to continually educate tourists and local residents on the importance of picking up their litter after they enjoy spending time at the lake. We have repainted the sign that is located in Martin Bay at Lake McConaughy. We have created car decals for the lake entry booths for a pre-introduction to our litter and clean-up activities. Keep Keith County Beautiful will also partner with the Ogallala/Keith County Chamber of Commerce and Visitor’s Center to distribute these items also at hunting, boating, RV and camping shows that are attended each year by the Chamber of Commerce. Two shows are attended in Denver and one show is attended in Omaha during January, February and March. These shows draw large crowds to Lake McConaughy during the year and the shows provide a great way to educate potential visitors to the Keith County area about the importance of litter reduction.
For years trash has been an issue at the lake. The increase in visitors subsequently means an increase in litter, trash, garbage and all the stuff that goes with it. Any Monday morning you can visit a lake trash site and you see the abundance of garbage place in and out of the trash receptacles. This year, Colby Johnson, superintendent of the lake, contracted for an additional 30 receptacles, that are full each weekend.
It is a known fact: more people, More garbage. We know this is true for Lake McConaughy.
Nebraska Game and Parks continue to add receptacles to keep up with the volume of trash that over a million people create, but it is often not enough.
Lets get that trash turned into recycling!
Keep Keith County Beautiful, in our effort to keep Lake McConaughy clean, green and beautiful, is providing recycling at Martin Bay, Arthur Bay and Cedar Vue in 2016.
Keep Keith County Beautiful is working hard to make it easy for you to recycle this summer!
America Recycles Day-Keep Keith County Beautiful will partner with local schools to offer a coloring contest to children in Preschool-3nd grade in the county with a “Family Movie Night” basket. A “Design Your Class a T-shirt” contest will be offered to students in the 5th The winner will receive t-shirt printed with their design for their whole classroom. America Recycles Day is celebrated on November 15th and is sponsored by Keep America Beautiful, who provides flyers, pencils and other items.
Social Media- Keep Keith County Beautiful will use social media such as Facebook and Twitter to educate residents about environmental issues such as litter, cigarette litter, recycling, etc. Social Media will also be utilized to find new volunteers, publicize events, display pictures and much more. Current followers that follow us on Facebook include high school students, local residents, past residents, etc.
The Great American Cleanup– Keep Keith County Beautiful will coordinate efforts to participate in this Keep America Beautiful international event. Events held during the Great American Cleanup will include: requesting proclamations by local public entities (Keith County, City of Ogallala, and Village of Paxton & Village of Brule), Arbor Day celebration, tree planting, parking lot flower planting & mulching, roadside cleanups, Nebraska Motorist Litter Awareness Day, and an education booth at Kiwanis Kids Safety Day. As an affiliate of Keep America Beautiful and Keep Nebraska Beautiful, Keep Keith County Beautiful receives in-kind donations of trash bags, flyers, posters, banners, T-shirts, etc. to help promote the Great American Cleanup.
Lake McConaughy/International Coastal Cleanup- In conjunction with Keep McConaughy Beautiful (a task force under Keep Keith County Beautiful), the Nebraska Game and Parks, Central Nebraska Public Power and Irrigation District, and local Lake Businesses, we will assist with the cleanup of Lake McConaughy after the summer season by providing volunteers to pick up trash on a date in late summer. We usually have over 50 volunteers come out and help clean up the beaches and camping areas. Awards will be given out for the most recyclables, most trash, largest piece of trash, most unique and the oldest piece of trash. Sands Edge, a local lake restaurant will provide lunches to our volunteers.
City Wide Cleanup- Through a partnership with the City of Ogallala, Western Resources Group, Keith County, Keep Keith County Beautiful, and Waste Connections, a free city wide cleanup has been held the past ten years. Large roll-off containers will be provided for residents and they are only allowed to place materials that cannot be recycled or hazardous in the roll-offs. This has proven to be a very successful event for KKCB, as the roll-offs are usually full within a few hours. This event has eliminated some of the illegal dumping that takes place in Ogallala. It also has eliminated waste sitting in alleys for months or years before it is disposed of properly. Through advertising in the local newspaper and on the local radio stations, residents are urged to first consider if their trash could be recycled, if not, the containers are there for everything else except for hazardous materials and scrap tires. Residents have been very receptive to this program offered by Keep Keith County Beautiful, City of Ogallala, Western Resources Group, and Waste Connections.
keepkeithcountybeautiful.com- Christine Vail, Director of Keep Keith County Beautiful, has redesigned and changed the web address for the KKKCb web page. Included on the website is a calendar for upcoming events, information about the board of directors, annual report, etc. This website is linked on outside websites such as the City of Ogallala, the Ogallala/Keith County Chamber of Commerce website, Keep America Beautiful, and Keep Nebraska Beautiful. Our website also lists links to outside websites such as the Keep America Beautiful, Keep Nebraska Beautiful, Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality, Environmental Protection Agency and the Funding Factory.