If a community has litter, illegally dumped solid waste, overgrown lots, poorly maintained business and residential buildings, graffiti and broken windows it acts as a drain on the economy and the social fabric of the place. When people don't care it shows!
HOWEVER, when we teach local residents the best ways to keep our community and its natural surroundings clean and beautiful and we instill a sense of personal responsibility for keeping it that way, it creates a synergy. We develop pride in our surroundings, we become stewards for our neighborhoods, our parks, wildlife and natural resources. Visitors recognize that almost instantly. Our community becomes an attractive place, folks want to be here. They spend time and money; they tell their friends and family. Good things happen!
Keep America Beautiful (KAB) affiliates like Keep Citrus County Beautiful (KCCB) facilitate all kinds of projects. We bring people together to make the most of various talents and resources they have to make a project work. KAB measures the benefit to a community by comparing the actual cost with the total effort put into a project. KAB collects this information from each affiliate and calculates the nationwide cost-benefit.
For example, a group of neighbors decides to pick up litter from all the roadsides in their community. They contact KCCB; we help them plan the project, loan grabbers and safety vests, provide trash bags, and help them contact the County for a “community cleanup fee waiver”. They ask a local media outlet to help find more volunteers; they ask a local grocery to provide snacks for the volunteers. They spend $20 to hire a handyman to pick up all the bags of litter and deliver them to the landfill. They get 50 volunteers to pick up litter for 2 hours on the designated day. The total cost for the project is $20. The monetary benefit includes the $100 value in loaned equipment, $100 in donated supplies and snacks, the $100 of in-kind media coverage, the $25 value of waived fees and the volunteer time value of $740. The monetary cost-benefit of this project is $20/ $100+$100+$100+$25+$740 or $1:$53 which is a great return on investment.
The non-monetary benefits include: a spic-and-span clean community, an opportunity to get some fresh air and exercise, a teaching moment about how much litter is really on our roadsides which will probably result in changed habits plus a chance to get to know people and places in the community they might not otherwise have. Win-win-win.
- Partnered with the Save our Waters Week Committee (SOWW) of Citrus 2020 for the Coastal Cleanup.
- Held a Citrus County Recycles Tour in conjunction with America Recycles Day.
- Funds were made available for community garden projects.
- Coordinated with partners at Citrus County to provide dispenser materials and bags for the Snag'N'Bag program.
- Recycling presentations were conducted at the Coastal Region and Floral City Libraries.
Clear Stream Recycling Bins were provided to those libraries, as well as the YMCA. The Board voted to absorb the Save Our Waters Week
- Provided Snag’n’Bags to the Chassahowitzka Community Center for their Annual Fishing Tournament
- Provided in-home recycling bins and recycling education materials to new homeowners at Habitat for Humanity home dedications (on-going throughout the year as homes are comepleted).
- Worked with Citrus County, FWC and other partners on a Kids Fishing Clinic at Ft Island Trail Park to teach good fishing habits, and provided Snag'N'Bag bags to all participants.
- Provided funding to the Homosassa Garden Club for a garden project at the Stage Stand Cemetery Garden project and to the Floral City Garden Club for State Road 48 Gateway Garden project.
- Board voted to absorb the Save Our Waters Week Committee following the dissolution of Citrus 20/20.
- A recycling presentation was conducted at the Lakes Region Library and a Clear Stream Recycling Bin was provided for the facility.
- Partnered with Inverness Rotary for another “One Bag at a Time” Event for Pleasant Grove Elementary students to educate on best waste habits (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle; Never Litter and Pick It Up; Where Does the Garbage Go)
- Provided Snag'N'Bag bags to the Citrus County Builder’s Association for their Annual Fishing Tournament.
- Provided grabbers, gloves, bags, t-shirts and water to the Chassahowitzka River Keepers for their Chassahowitzka River Clean-Up event
- Provided funding to the Riverhaven Garden Club for Habitat for Humanity Home Landscaping projects.
- Held a Citrus County Recycles Tour in conjunction with Earth Day
- Worked with Citrus County Builders' Association and others to sponsor a youth fishing tournament, provided Snag'N'Bag bags to all participants.
- Partnered with Citrus County Division of Solid Waste and State Adopt-a-Highway Program for the 2018 Adopt-a-Highway Clean-Up Blitz, providing gloves, grabbers, safety vests, bags and water for participants.
- Provided Snag'N'Bag bags to the City of Inverness for their BassMasters' Fishing Tournament.
- Partnered with Leadership Citrus Class of 2015 to beautify a new facility for the Key Training Center.
- A recycling presentation was conducted at the Homosassa Library and a Clear Stream Recycling Bin was provided for the facility.
- Pride Awards presented to the following Adopt-a-Highway groups: Citrus Vettes and Camaros Club, Nature Coast Dragon Boat Club, Charlie Walpole (Litter Hikers of America), Citrus High School Air Force JROTC; and to Homosassa Wal-Mart for continued support of community beautification and clean-up efforts.
- Provided funding for a community garden project for the City of Inverness.
- Purchased T-Shirts for 2018 Save Our Waters Week.
- Planning to partner with Citrus County School Board to participate in their annual Science Nights.
- Sponsored radio ads for the Drive It Home and Keep Our Paradise Litter Free Campaigns.