To honor its commitment to the Commonwealth, Keep Virginia Beautiful announced “30 Grants in Thirty Days” recipients for 2016 each day during the month of June.
This year, however, Keep Virginia Beautiful (KVB) multiplied the impact of its actions by awarding an additional 15 grants — 45 grants, in total — between $500 and $1,000 per grant award. Moreover, the KVB mini-grant program added a new category for Cigarette Litter Prevention. Since 2011, KVB has provided $145,000 for 195 different projects throughout Virginia.
These grants were given to primary and secondary schools, colleges, parks organizations, counties and towns, environmental groups, associations, and Keep America Beautiful affiliates in four different categories: Litter Prevention, Recycling, Cigarette Litter Prevention, and Community Beautification.
Keep Southwest Virginia Beautiful in Abingdon is expanding its Cigarette Litter Prevention Program to two other counties (Lee and Dickinson) across the Southwest. Efforts will focus on county fairs where the affiliate will educate the general public about cigarette butt litter through social media outreach and handing out pocket ashtrays. Volunteers will conduct litter scans to count and pick up cigarette butts before the county fairs, then install ash receptacles for the public to use. Another count and cleanup of cigarette butts will be made after county fairs to show the decrease in litter, and an increase of public awareness.
Keep Suffolk Beautiful was awarded a grant in the Litter Prevention category to help with its thriving Adopt-a-Street and Adopt-a-Spot programs. Eight new Adopt groups have formed since January 2016. Each group must commit to a minimum of two years, with four cleanups a year, throughout parks and streets.
In the Beautification category, Keep Bristol Beautiful has invited volunteers, including Boy Scouts and civic organizations, to install plants and implement cleaning retreats at local parks. With the grant funds awarded by Keep Virginia Beautiful, they will purchase cleanup and gardening supplies, as well as trees and flowers.
Keep Loudoun Beautiful in Leesburg has been awarded a grant in the Cigarette Litter Prevention category. Keep Loudoun Beautiful’s“Clean the Corner” project will put trained volunteers with appropriate safety gear in place to clean up corners, gutters, and left-hand turn lanes in some of the most cigarette-polluted areas. The affiliate plans on posting informational signs on traffic lights and in gas stations to educate the public. They will also distribute portable cigarette devices and install ash receptacles in areas where cigarette butts are most often found.
Check out additional grant-recipient project descriptions here.