Keep Ohio Beautiful 2016 Annual Report
Click here to read the Keep Ohio Beautiful 2016 Annual Report

 2017 Great Ohio Planting Day

Celebrate Arbor Day at the Great
Ohio Planting Day at Mohican State Park

Families are invited to celebrate Arbor Day by participating in the Keep Ohio Beautiful (KOB) annual Great Ohio Planting Day on Saturday, April 29, at 10 a.m. at Mohican State Park.

Columbia Gas of Ohio, The Davey Tree Expert Company, Mohican Lodge and Conference Center, Mohican Trails Club and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) are inviting the public to help ODNR staff and volunteers to beautify and enhance the Class A campground at Mohican State Park, which was recently impacted by the emerald ash borer.

To improve the Class A campground, people will plant 108 new trees in honor of Arbor Day.  All necessary equipment and supplies will be provided at the event. Staff from sponsoring agencies will be assisting volunteers in digging holes and planting trees. In addition to tree plantings, the Arbor Day celebrations will include a hike and naturalist-led activities for participants of all ages at the park. The event will be held at the Class A campground of Mohican State Park, located at 3116 State Route 3 in Loudonville.

Funding and in-kind support for the project was awarded to KOB through Columbia Gas of Ohio’s Columbia Cares Community Engagement Program, The Davey Tree Expert Company, Mohican Lodge and Conference Center, Mohican Trails Club and ODNR. Coffee and doughnuts will be available during registration, compliments of the Mohican Trail Club. After the trees have been planted, lunch will be provided by the Mohican Lodge and Conference Center.

Ohio Turnpike’s Mahoning Valley Service Plazas to feature Ohio-native plant gardens this May

Two more of the Ohio Turnpike’s Service Plazas will soon feature “Ohio Turnpike Native Pollinator Plant Gardens.” Located at the Mahoning Valley (westbound) and Glacial Hills (eastbound) Service Plazas in New Springfield, the gardens will feature 17 different Ohio-native plant species.

The Ohio Turnpike is partnering with Keep Ohio Beautiful and The Davey Tree Expert Co. on the beautification project and students from the area will help install the gardens at an event on May 19.

Native plants are adapted to Ohio soil and climate, are easy to care for and are naturally drought-resistant. They attract birds, butterflies and other wildlife. The garden design plans are being provided by Davey Tree.

“The native plant gardens will serve as a model to educate and encourage people to grow native species in their own gardens,” said Ohio Turnpike Executive Director Randy Cole. “These plants and shrubs will display a sense of beauty and place that is uniquely Ohio.”

“We are proud to join with the Ohio Turnpike, Davey Tree, Keep Mahoning County Beautiful and our other partners to educate Ohioans and those traveling our beautiful state about the role of native plants in a healthy ecosystem, as well as in community beautification and pride,” said Michael Mennett, Executive Director, Keep Ohio Beautiful. “Our focus this year on pollinators will bring attention to their important role in Ohio’s food supply and the delight they can bring to residential gardens.”

The Gardens will have 17 different species of plants and shrubs plus an Ohio Buckeye tree at each plaza:

Swamp Milkweed
Sullivant’s Prairie Milkweed
Butterfly Weed
New England Aster
White Turtlehead
Purple Cone Flowers
Rattlesnake Master
Swamp Rose Mallow
Northern Blue Flag
Great Blue Lobelia
Bee Balm
Prairie Cone Flower
Ohio Goldenrod
New Jersey Tea Shrub
Common Buttonbush
Ohio Buckeye Tree

Native Pollinator Plant Gardens were first installed by the Ohio Turnpike, Keep Ohio Beautiful and Davey Tree at the Middle Ridge and Vermilion Valley Service Plazas in 2016. This year, the Mahoning Valley and Glacier Hills Service Plaza gardens will also function as a “bioswale,” which is a landscape element designed to slow, collect and filter storm water.

Pollinators are critical to maintaining our ecosystems and putting food on our tables.  Yet honeybees, monarchs and native pollinators are in decline.  Habitat loss has been identified as a significant factor in this decline.  Fortunately, transportation rights-of-way can provide habitat corridors for pollinators to reproduce, forage and migrate.  With a nearly 90 percent population decline in just 20 years, and as an iconic, charismatic species, the monarch butterfly has become a flagship species for pollinator conservation, according to the Monarch Joint Venture.

Ohio plays a vital role in the annual migration pattern of monarch butterflies as they fly from South America to Canada. Pollinators such as milkweed are among those attractive to the monarch.  As described earlier, it’s one of 17 different species of plants and shrubs featured in the gardens.

Keep Ohio Beautiful’s National Painting Week Ohio
Grant Winners Announced

Keep Ohio Beautiful is pleased to have announced the ten grant winners of our fifth National Painting Week Ohio Program sponsored by Sherwin Williams.  Designed to provide community groups with paint and painting supplies, the program enables these groups to renew a community structure in need into something beautiful through the application of fresh paint and a lot of elbow grease.  This annual event is held in partnership with support from The Sherwin-Williams Company.  During the months of April through September, the ten (10) grant winners will transform their structure utilizing up to 40 gallons of exterior paints and painting supplies.

The ten (10) grant winners are as follows:

  • East Toledo Family Center – East Broadway Wall Painting
  • Geneva Clean & Green – City Project
  • Green Youngstown (1) – Youngstown Mooney H S Mural
  • Green Youngstown (2) – Ron’s Tree Service
  • Keep Cincinnati Beautiful – Hanna Playground Mural
  • Keep Hardin County Beautiful (1) – Merchant’s Building, Fairgrounds
  • Keep Hardin County Beautiful (2) – Will’s Costume Shop
  • Keep Montgomery Beautiful – Dayton Mural 
  • Keep Wickliffe Beautiful – Intihar Park Deck Revitalization
  • Platt R. Spencer Historical Society – Platt R. Spencer House 

    Two of the awardees will receive an additional $100 gift card at the end of the project for community improvement projects, based on reporting and the winner of two criteria; best visual impact and best community revitalization story

    .”We are proud supporters of National Painting Week in Ohio,” said Angela Brackmann-Holzschuh, Market Segmentation Manager, Sherwin-Williams.  “It is a valuable program and I really want to encourage community groups in Ohio to take full advantage of this great opportunity.””Through our partnership with the Sherwin-Williams Company, National Painting Week in Ohio empowers community groups to take a direct role in community revitalization efforts,” explains Michael Mennett, Executive Director of Keep Ohio Beautiful. “Something as simple as a fresh coat of paint on a public library or community center sends a strong message that we care about our communities.”

Check out this article about “Why Its Important to Have Clean and Green Neighborhoods” written for us by Modernize.

Why Its Important to Have Clean and Green Neighborhoods



Do you have any community eyesores? How many times have you passed by a litter-strewn park or graffiti-splashed building and wished it would go away? Perhaps it’s the local playground plagued with garbage or maybe a recycling effort needs a jump-start. Whatever the concern, a solution is just around the corner. All it takes is someone to say “enough is enough” and work with community members to eliminate the problem. It’s a great way to improve your local community and be one of the millions of volunteers involved in the Great American Cleanup!

Contact us on how you can become involved in Ohio’s Great American Cleanups!

Our Focus Areas

Studies have shown that a beautified community translates into a safe, healthy community and improves quality of life. Projects supported by Keep Ohio Beautiful encompass the three focus areas described below and include creating community gardens, preventing and cleaning up litter and graffiti, recycling and waste reduction.
Litter Prevention

In 2016, KOB and its affiliates removed 4,420,421 pounds of litter and debris from Ohio’s landscape.

Why It’s Needed:
While litter prevention campaigns have helped improve the litter picture over the past 40 years, it remains a significant and costly problem for communities and businesses. The Ohio Department of Transportation, for example, spends nearly $4.5 million every year to clean up our state roadways.

Litter also lowers assessed property values, drives away homebuyers and hinders business development.

How KOB Helps:  
We identify the causes of litter and reduce its impact by organizing cleanups and promoting proper waste handling in our communities.

Waste Reduction and Recycling

10,844,222 pounds of solid waste kept out of landfills in 2016.

Why It’s Needed:
Recycling creates more jobs than landfills and incineration. Recycling conserves our natural resources, saves landfill space, conserves energy, and reduces water pollution, air pollution and the green house gas emissions that cause global warming.

How KOB Helps:
We help reduce the impact of solid waste in our communities through integrated programs and education about responsible consumerism, source reduction, reuse, and recycling, and landfills, composting and waste-to-energy technologies.

Beautification and Community Greening

Approximately 184,258 Ohio residents were touched through Keep Ohio Beautiful and its affiliates’ programs in 2016.

Why It’s Needed:
Community greening improves quality of life, lowers crime and engages citizens. Buildings with high levels of greenery had 48% fewer property crimes and 56% fewer violent crimes, according to the 2009 National Visible Litter Survey and Litter Cost Study, commissioned by Keep America Beautiful.

How KOB Helps:
We improve the visual aspects of our communities through programs that beautify and naturally clean our environment – creating community gardens, restoring vacant lots, beautifying highways and shorelines, urban forests, planting native flora, and preventing and abating graffiti.

In Memory of Dan Weisenbach 

We are sad to share the news of the passing of Dan Weisenbach, President Of Weisenbach Recycled Projects, and long-time supporter of Keep Ohio Beautiful and Keep America Beautiful.  Many of you may have spoken with Dan at Keep Ohio Beautiful events and programs along with past KAB Conferences or watched him shine as the emcee of our KOB State Awards Program & KAB National Awards Ceremony. He served as President and Board member of Keep Ohio Beautiful and was appointed by the Governor to the ODNR Division of Recycling and Litter Prevention Board on which he served since 1992.

We will fondly remember Dan as an innovative leader in environmental awareness and recycled products and by his fun loving attitude and kindness.

Daniel G. Weisenbach

Dan & Amy



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