Suffolk wins environmental grant

Published 8:48 pm Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Suffolk’s is one of 15 winners nationwide of a $10,000 cash grant intended to encourage local solutions to improve community environments, officials announced this week.

The grant came from the national nonprofit organization Keep America Beautiful Inc. and was part of a nationwide effort sponsored by Waste Management.

More than 580 local Keep America Beautiful affiliates were challenged to present proposals for ambitious projects representing a wide array of stewardship, community outreach and educational projects. Suffolk was chosen from a field of 42 entries in the 2009 program.

“Keep Suffolk Beautiful should be proud, as our national organization is proud, for their initiative in developing this winning proposal,” said Keep America Beautiful president and CEO Matthew M. McKenna.

“Their work at the grassroots level exemplifies the mission of our national organization by engaging individuals to take greater responsibility for improving their community environments. We look forward to seeing this project come to fruition through the generosity of Waste Management’s grant.”

Suffolk’s winning proposal includes a Recycling Rangers program, through which students, faculty and staff at Northern Shores and Kilby Shores Elementary schools will recycle white and mixed paper.

Several students at the school in kindergarten through fifth grade will serve as Rangers and go around collecting the recycled paper.

“The Recycling Rangers program is an excellent opportunity for students to become familiar with the importance of recycling, reusing and reducing waste,” said Suffolk Litter Control Coordinator Hattie Lester, who wrote the grant proposal.

“It’s something valuable and will have a positive impact on the students. I am excited about the Rangers and have all the confidence that the students are environmentally responsible and ready to report for duty.”

Programs chosen as grant winners reflect the diverse interests and needs of the communities involved, encouraging recycling and reuse, providing hands-on environmental education, enhancing neighborhoods through community beautification and conveying the importance of stewardship to the public through a variety of means, including public service announcements, videos and booklets.

“The Think Green grants provide us with a great avenue to demonstrate how Waste Management and Keep America Beautiful think green every day,” said Barry Caldwell, senior vice president of public affairs and communications and chairman of the Keep America Beautiful board.

“After all, supporting communities — making them cleaner, safer, and helping improve their quality of life — is what our company, and KAB, is all about.”

Keep Suffolk Beautiful is the executive arm of the Suffolk Clean Community Commission. Its goals are to promote public interest in the general improvement of the environment; to initiate, plan and coordinate programs for litter control; to encourage the placement, planting and preservation of trees, flowers, plants, shrubs and other ornamental objects; and to implement programs consistent with the Keep Suffolk Beautiful program.