Imagine a clearing or roadside, once green and full of life, strewn with scrap metal, appliances and other illegally dumped items. This might include food wrappers thrown from car windows, or bottles and cans left behind by pedestrians passing through. Now picture that same area spotless, its health returning, inspiring people to enjoy its natural beauty.

Since 1997, Keep Lowndes/Valdosta Beautiful has collected more than 2.6 million pounds of litter across the county. Its volunteers have recovered 3,389 scrap tires and recycled nearly 19,000 Christmas trees. Thanks to the organization’s electronics recycling events, residents have been able to drop off over 5,000 monitors, 6,000 PCs and 800 TVs, keeping them out of the landfill.

Through its cleanup and beautification programs, like Adopt-A-Road, Rivers Alive, the Great American Cleanup and Make-A-Difference Day, KLVB has transformed waterways, parks, trails and neighborhoods. It has inspired local businesses to keep their areas clean and educated students of all ages.

KLVB makes a tangible difference in the lives of local citizens. Its initiatives have only grown in size in recent years, and none of this would be possible without local support and engagement.

Over the past two decades, KLVB has enlisted over 13,662 volunteers in environmental preservation efforts. Today, it continues to work in partnership with schools, organizations, local companies and families to end litter, reduce waste, promote recycling and beautify communities.

These accomplishments improve quality of life. Studies show that tidy and well-kept streets deter crime, encourage sociability and allow businesses to thrive. KLVB not only unites residents in this crucial work, but strives to create a lasting effect by changing individual attitudes.

KLVB is part of a nationwide movement made up of passionate environmental advocates striving for cleaner, greener community spaces. Here in Georgia, it’s one of more than 70 city and county programs that work together to make our state a better place to live.

Although it’s part of a larger network, KLVB relies on your continued support to endure. I urge you to give your time and commitment to this organization. Everyone should have access to a clean, green and beautiful environment, and KLVB, and its volunteers, remain a vital part of that effort.


Natalie Johnston-Russell is the executive director of the Keep Georgia Beautiful Foundation.

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