Learn How You Can Take Action


KAB / KOB Midwest Regional Meeting
Mohican State Park Lodge & Conference Center
1098 Ashland County Road 3006 / Perrysville, Ohio 44864
November 3-4, 2022

Summary page:                 https://cvent.me/1ll2yq

Registration page:            https://cvent.me/bggQGb

The Midwest regional meeting brings affiliates together to share, learn and celebrate. In conjunction with the meeting, we are excited to partner with Midwest affiliates and Keep America Beautiful to celebrate America Recycles Day, host networking opportunities, and enjoy the company of fellow affiliates and partners to End Litter, Beautify Communities, and Improve Recycling in America.

Sponsored by:

more to come…

Thursday, November 3

8:00 – 9:00 am                

9:00 – 9:15 am                
Welcome & Introductions
Keep America Beautiful / Keep Ohio Beautiful / State Affiliates

9:15 – 10:15 am              
Tackling Trash Together: Preventing Marine Debris through Research, Outreach, and Education
Presenters:         Jill Bartolotta, Extension Educator, Ohio Sea Grant
                            Sarah Orlando, Clean Marinas Program Manager, Ohio Sea Grant

Ohio Sea Grant, The Ohio State University Stone Laboratory, and Ohio Clean Marinas Program have been working on the issue of marine debris in freshwater environments for many years. During this time, we have identified the best waste removal strategies, developed educational tools and outreach programs, and conducted research on consumer behavior change. This presentation will cover current research on trash in our waterways, single-use plastic reduction efforts, and innovative outreach approaches to engage users in solutions.

10:15 – 10:30 am            

10:30 – 11:00 am            
Affiliate Sharing – Litter Prevention
The Litter League
Presenters:          Aryeh Alex, Executive Director, Keep Columbus Beautiful
                             Adam Cassi, Executive Director, Keep Toledo-Lucas County Beautiful

Who doesn’t love a good competition?  The Litter League is a competitive, summer long, litter abatement program aimed at striking out litter (and is baseball themed).  Teams of community groups, non-profits, businesses, and even individuals compete all summer long to see who can collect the most litter.  Keep Columbus Beautiful and Keep Toledo/Lucas County Beautiful have both seen success in this program and in fact, this year also competed against each other.  The Mayors of each city even placed a side bet on the competition.  Come learn the logistics of this program, what we have learned over the past few years, and how to implement it in your community.  The more affiliates that join in on the competition the better!

11:00 – 11:30 am        
We Completed the Litter Index, Now What? Using Story Maps to Reducing  Littering Behavior

Presenter:           Kandace L. Cave, Program Coordinator, Keep Aiken County Beautiful. SC

Learn how one South Carolina affiliate turned raw data into actionable information by using the annual Litter Index to create a comprehensive Story Map. By studying data gathered during the Litter Index and focusing on a data-driven action plan, Keep Aiken Beautiful was able to guide waste reduction and litter prevention programming and better customize strategies to create an effective anti-litter messages for the county.

11:30 – 12:00 pm
Keep Cincinnati Beautiful Presentation GAC Presentation
Presenter:           Megan Beck, Volunteers Program Director, Keep Cincinnati Beautiful

12:00 – 1:00 pm              
Networking Lunch & share upcoming Grant Opportunities

1:00 – 2:00 pm                
Discover the “Key Neighborhood Identification Tool” (KNIT)
Presenter:           Karl Selm, GIS Analyst, Keep Indianapolis Beautiful

“Key Neighborhood Identification Tool” (KNIT), which helps KIB use different data sets to determine which Census Tracts are most in need of environmental benefits, so we can apply our resources to the places that need (and want) them the most. This tool won the KAB Innovation Award this year, and was developed by Karl with how it can vbe used in regional applications.

2:00 – 2:15 pm                

2:15 – 2:45 pm                
Affiliate Sharing – Beautification
Great Streets Initiative in the City of Akron

Presenter:           Leah Heiser, Flowerscape Director, Keep Akron Beautiful

Learn how Akron is beautifying our business districts through a City partnership and collaboration. 

2:45 – 3:15 pm                
Urban Greenspaces Create Healthier, Safer Spaces: Research into Lead Reduction and Violence Reduction

Presenters:          Karl Selm, GIS Analyst, Keep Indianapolis Beautiful
Jeremy Kranowitz, CEO, Keep Indianapolis Beautiful

KIB has a title partnership with our electric utility, AES Indiana). They have developed and maintained 60 different GreenSpaces around the city, turning previously vacant or abandoned lots into thriving community spaces. KIB is currently conducting research with IUPUI and U. Michigan on determining the additional health benefits and violence reduction benefits that accrue when new green spaces and pocket parks are developed.

3::15 – 3:45 pm               

3:45 – 4:00 pm               

4:00 – 5:00 pm               
New Keep America Beautiful Affiliate HubTraining & KAB Update
Presenters:          Isaac Nicholson, KAB Central Region Representative
                            Randy Hartman, Senior Director of Affiliate Operations

5:30 pm                             
Celebration of Recycling Reception
sponsored by Keurig Dr Pepper

Friday, November 4

8:00 – 8:30 am                
Continental Breakfast / Networking

8:30 – 9:00 am               
Keep America Beautiful Outlook
Presenter:           Jenny Lawson, new KAB President/CEO

9:00 – 10:00 am              
State of Recycling throughout the Midwest                              
Presenter:           Jeff Snyder, Director of Recycling. Rumpke Waste and Recycling

He will discuss the current state of Recycling in the Midwest Region with a focus on material and industry changes.

10:00– 10:15 am             

10:15 – 11:15 am            
Pathways to Zero Waste
Presenter:           Mary Leciejewski, Zero Waste Manage, The Ohio State University

One of Ohio State’s most ambitious goals is to achieve Zero Waste by diverting 90% of waste away from landfills through recycling, composting, reuse, food rescue and waste prevention. The goal is aimed at transforming the linear economy, which operates in a take-make-waste model, to a more circular economy, where waste is designed out of the system and byproducts become the raw materials for new products. This presentation will review how Ohio State changes purchasing practices to change the materials used on campus, as well as downstream practices to transform the destination of the materials after their useful life.

11:15 – 12:15 pm            
Trends in Public Space Recycling
Presenter:             Randy Hartmann, Senior Director, Keep America Beautiful

With approximately one-third of all beverage containers consumed on the go, public space recycling plays a critical role in getting “every bottle back” to support the circular economy.  Public space recycling has numerous challenges, including higher contamination rates, lack of consumer awareness, inconsistent messaging, and limited performance data.  This session will explore the role of technology innovation in recycling receptacle design as well as share information about KAB resources and programming to support public space recycling, including the launch and partnership to form the National Recycling League to increase recycling awareness at several major sporting stadiums and cost-free resources to address the number one littered item in the U.S., cigarette butts, for recycling.

12:15 – 12:30 pm            

12:30 – 1:00 pm              

1:00 – 2:00 pm             
Every Bottle Back: The Beverage Industry’s Commitment to Circularity
sponsored by the American Beverage Association
Presenters:         Megan Daum, VP Sustainability American Beverage Association
                           Kimberly McConville, Executive Director Ohio Beverage Association

Learn more about how beverage companies are working together to reduce their plastic footprint. Panelists will discuss the industry’s commitments, partners, strategies, and recent investments in efforts to use less new plastic and get more plastic bottles remade into new ones.

2:00 – 2:15 pm                

2:15 – 2:45 pm                
Affiliate Sharing – Recycling
Reduce, Reuse, Confuse
Presenter:           Adam Cassi, Executive Director, Keep Toledo/Lucas County Beautiful

For recycling to work, it has to be done correctly.  Unfortunately, as we all know, many people who think they are doing the right thing are recycling incorrectly.  Keep Toledo/Lucas County Beautiful (KTLCB) and the Lucas County Solid Waste Management District have launched an Ohio EPA Grant Funded, community-wide education campaign, to help educate the general public on how to recycle correctly.  Adam will be sharing resources and ideas from this campaign.  Additionally, KTLCB has been working to increase recycling of items not accepted curbside (i.e. Styrofoam, campaign signs, boat wrap, and more) as well as assist with Zero Waste Events and Composting.  Bring some of your own success stories, and we can share best practices to help improve all of our communities.                                       

2:45 – 3:15 pm                
Keep Cincinnati Beautiful Presentation – TBA
Presenter:           Jonathan Adee, Executive Director, Keep Cincinnati Beautiful                          

3:15 pm                             
Adjourn / Wrap-up

3:30  – 5:00 pm               
Optional: New & Refresher Executive Director Training
Presenter:           Isaac Nicholson, KAB Central Region Representative

Registration Cost will be $100.00 per person for the 2-Day Regional Meeting 

The Mohican Lodge and Conference Center, overlooking Pleasant Hill Lake, is the ultimate year-round meeting and event destination and we’re pleased to offer attendees a discounted rate ($99 plus fees and taxes) for our meeting.

Guests are required to make and pay for their own room reservations.

To make a reservation, call the reservation line at 419-938-5411 and request the Keep America Beautiful Mid-West Conference rate ($99 plus tax and fees).

  • A deposit of the first night’s room, taxes, and fees are due at the time each reservation is made and the room deposit remains fully refundable up to 72 hours prior to arrival.
  • Rooms will be made available to the group at the contracted rates until Sunday, October 2, 2022.
  • Reservations requested after the release date are subject to availability at the time of reservation (average rate from $99-$189). Rooms are subject to availability at the time of reservation.

New Seabin Devices will Help Remove Marine Debris from Lake Erie
New partnership funds pilot project at four Lake Erie marinas

Keep Ohio Beautiful (KOB) has partnered with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR), Ohio Sea Grant and the Ohio Clean Marinas Program to provide a network of automated litter and debris removal devices across the Lake Erie region. The funding for installing and maintaining four devices, known as Seabins, came from several Keep America Beautiful grants.

“Our exciting new collaboration with KOB and Ohio Sea Grant enables ODNR to use new technology to continue our efforts to protect the waters of Lake Erie,”  said ODNR Division of Parks and Watercraft’s Chief Glen Cobb. “Not only will boaters benefit by the removal of litter and debris, but cleaner waters are critical for all users.”

An Australian product, the Seabin works 24/7 to skim and collect marine debris from the water’s surface, as well as filter out gasoline, oils and microplastics from the water. Each device can remove up to 1,000 pounds of marine debris a year, which will mean that when all four devices are operational in the Lake Erie watershed, those devices will have the potential to remove 4,000 pounds annually, which is the equivalent weight of an average camping trailer.

“Until now, all of our work has only been able to prevent microplastics in our waterways, so we are thrilled to be making an effort to actually remove microplastics from the water,” said Michael Mennett, Executive Director for KOB. “We’re grateful to Keep America Beautiful and to our partners who will be maintaining and recording Seabin data to make this trailblazing project possible.”

As part of the grant, marina staff at four Seabin sites will document the amount and types of litter collected so that the data can be analyzed. Two Seabins will be located at the Geneva Marina in Geneva and Mentor Harbor Yacht Club in Mentor. An additional two will be placed at marinas located near Huron and Lorain.  

Seabins have been used in Australia, Europe, and Asia for years. KAB selected three local affiliates to introduce the Seabin devices in the United States. KOB was chosen for its vicinity to Lake Erie as an inland lake pilot project. Keep Hanover Beautiful will be testing the devices along the ocean and Keep the Tennessee Beautiful program will be testing them along an inland river. 

KOB will be compiling the litter data reported by each site and using the data to identify litter trends and sources so that steps can be taken to stop litter flow into Ohio waterways.

Keep Ohio Beautiful’s Paint Grant Program Winners Announced

Keep Ohio Beautiful is pleased to have announced the five grant winners of our eighth Paint Grant Program sponsored by The Sherwin Williams Company.  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 June through September, the five (5) grant winners will transform their structure utilizing up to 40 gallons of exterior paints. 

The five (5) grant winners are as follows:

Keep Cincinnati Beautiful – West Fourth Renewal Project

Keep Columbus Beautiful – The Olentangy Trail Mural Project

Keep Geneva Beautiful – City of Geneva on the Lake Crosswalks

Keep Southeast Ohio Beautiful – Village of Chauncey – Water Plant Building

Keep Southeast Ohio Beautiful – Wayne National Forrest Beautification

“Through our partnership with the Sherwin-Williams Company, Paint Grant Program of 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.”



Please enjoy our 2021 Keep Ohio Beautiful Annual Report.  Click Here