We’ve accomplished a great deal over the past Sixty years. And yes, it has been six decades since the Virginia Anti-Litterbug Council became the Keep Virginia Beautiful that you know and love today. We’ve awarded grants, recognized greatness in areas like recycling, litter prevention and beautification, and seen a whole bunch of Virginians grow up to raise the next generation of concerned and active citizens.
2012 was certainly no different. Here are some highlights:
- We participated in the Great American Cleanup. This state-wide event saw Keep America Beautiful choosing us to lead Virginia, and the Nation, in a National Day of Action. Starting in Hampton Roads, groups like Ask HR Green joined us in uniting thousands of volunteers in hundreds of projects across the state. And that was just a small portion of what got accomplished during the Great American Cleanup.
- Year Two of our Thirty in 30 Grant Program. To celebrate Earth Day, each April we award thirty grants in 30 days to deserving civic groups, non-profits, schools and neighborhood associations across the Commonwealth. Each of these groups are committed to the Keep Virginia Beautiful impact areas of beautification, litter prevention, recycling, education, and waste reduction. From the ocean to the Western mountains, groups got a little seed money for trash cans, recycling bags, educational programs, community gardens and more.
- We gave a great gift to our State Parks for America Recycles Day. Our State Parks do a great job of showcasing the most beautiful aspects of our Commonwealth, educate many about what our natural expanses have to offer, and try to do their best to keep Virginia beautiful. They’re understandably eco-minded, and do a great job with litter programs and reducing their footprint, but recycling has been hard for them. With a generous grant from Dominion Virginia Power, we were able to install the first of many recycling bins in some of the parks. By the end of 2013 we hope to have bins in all 35 of our parks.
- We got our groove on at the Richmond Folk Festival. One of our favorite opportunities is participating in events and festivals where we can meet large groups of people and enlist them in our mission to Keep Virginia Beautiful. The Folk Festival is the perfect opportunity. It brought hundreds of thousands of people to Richmond to enjoy folk, world and ethnic foods and music on the banks of the James River over the course of three days. Many of them signed our pledge to Keep Virginia Beautiful, and we were able to spearhead an effort to place recycling bins throughout the event, sending tons of trash out to be reused instead of sending them to the dump.
And 2013 promises to be as exciting a year as we’ve ever had. We’ll once again hold our annual Golf Tournament, we’re gearing up for another fantastic Great American Cleanup, and we’ll be at the various fairs and festivals throughout the state. We’ll be back and stronger with more grants with our third Thirty in 30 program, and so much more. We’re especially excited about an event that we just started planning: Our 60th Anniversary Gala. This will be a blow-out event to meet many of you, raise some funds to move some of our programs forward, and recognize some groups and individuals who have done so much to keep Virginia Beautiful. As part of that celebration, we’ll be catching people in a Beautiful Act, we’ll be holding an art auction, and partnering with some of the many like-minded groups and organizations across Virginia.
Thank you to all who have helped to make 2012 such a banner year for Keep Virginia Beautiful, and keep your ears open as our 2013 continues to unfold.