Today, March 10, Keep Philadelphia Beautiful released its 2014 Annual Report, which tracks the nonprofit’s work over the last year. It has engaged with over 600 volunteers in community beautification activities, reached 800 students and adults, and worked with over a dozen different partners to help keep every section of the city beautiful and clean.
KPB led or assisted 11 different cleanups in the city, in every neighborhood from Fishtown to Chestnut Hill. This included kicking off its cleanup season with Philly Spring Cleanup in Strawberry Mansion at Gideon School with Mayor Michael Nutter, the Philadelphia Streets Department, the Eagles Youth Partnership, and The Dow Chemical Company. KPB’s first cleanup of 2015 will be a part of the Philly Spring Cleanup on April 11.
In addition, KPB partnered with the Delaware River Waterfront Corporation last year to install 30 new cigarette trash receptacles along the waterfront. Within three months there was a 30 percent reduction in cigarette litter on the waterfront, according to the report.
KPB also released its Community Beautification Resource Guide in 2014. The guide aims to provide information about existing resources for beautification as well as provide a guide for holding community cleanup events.
In early 2015, KPB launched its Volunteer Teacher Initiative, in which volunteer teachers are placed in two classrooms a month to speak to students about litter, recycling and composting.
“The volunteer teacher program has been a huge success so far. We only started in January and have already reached more than 200 students in seven schools. This week alone, we have four presentations scheduled,” said Michelle Feldman of KPB, in an email. “We have been sending out surveys to in-classroom teachers as well, and have gotten great feedback about student interest and engagement.”
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Another program KPB is working on this year is its Litter Free School Zone. KPB is partnering with Science Leadership Academy’s Beeber Campus in Overbrook, where over the course of six months students will meet with KPB weekly to identify a community beautification concern in Overbrook and then design and implement a plan to address it.
“We are working with a core group of eight Science Leadership Academy Beeber students who have split up in to two teams to run two different projects surrounding community beautification. After a series of expert speakers in February who addressed everything from the role of storytelling in community organizing to developing an effective social media campaign, the two teams are just starting to get down to work,” Feldman said.
“The goal of this program is to work with students to think critically about the importance of community beautification as well as to foster civic engagement beyond our class, and our cohort of students is pro-active, engaged, and learning new and concrete skills.”
Other projects for 2015 include a microgrant program designed to provide seed funding to community and civic organizations with projects aimed at reducing litter, and a research project to explore best practices at the community level for dealing with litter and beautification.
Images via Keep Philadelphia Beautiful-30-
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