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  • Keep RC Beautiful Staff

KRCB teams with Keep America Beautiful

Updated: Aug 2, 2023

Jan 20, 2023

KRCB reached a milestone this week it officially became an affiliate of the national Keep America Beautiful organization.Pictured are, (left-right): Row 1: Mallory Coffey, director of Affiliate Development, Keep America Beautiful; Jenna Bailey, Keep RC Beautiful executive director; Row 2: Rocki Raccoon; Don Cason, chairman of the board, TDA executive director; Taylor Hardin, treasurer & secretary, TDA; Gabe Issac, board member, Rutherford Outdoor Coalition Outdoor programs director; Maddie Summers, board member, town of Rutherfordton Public Works; Marian Moyer; George Moyer, board member; Amanda Byers; Roxi Raccoon; Row 3: Doug Barrick, town of Rutherfordton town manager; Dayna Causby, Mrs East Coast Earth; James Kilgo, Solid Waste; Steve Garrison, county manager; Eddie Mote, Solid Waste

RUTHERFORDTON — Because of an increase in roadside trash and illegal dumping in Rutherford County, in 2018 local leaders saw the need for organized clean-up efforts. That led to the beginning of the local Keep Rutherford County Beautiful (KRCB) committee, which was eventually absorbed by the Tourism Development Authority (TDA).

KRCB reached a milestone this week, when on Tuesday, it officially became an affiliate of the national Keep America Beautiful organization. KRCB officials are excited to see the efforts grow as they find more creative and effective ways, to keep and enhance the beauty of Rutherford County.

Mallory Coffey, national director of affiliate development for Keep America Beautiful was in Rutherfordton Tuesday conducting training for the local KRCB volunteers.

“Don Cason (TDA executive director) and his team, working in conjunction with other key leaders and community partners including Jenna Bailey have done a phenomenal job rolling out programming and marketing strategies as well as coordinating multiple annual roadside trash pickup events since this organization’s formation back in 2018,” said Rutherford County Manager Steve Garrison. “Their leadership has moved us into the next phase of collaboration with the national Keep America Beautiful initiative, which I believe will greatly enhance our local efforts.”

Jenna Bailey was, and remains, a key figure in KRCB. She began organizing trash pickup events before the official KRCB was formed, and has remained a leader with KRCB. Because Keep America Beautiful affiliation requires a separate board and executive director, Bailey now serves as KRCB executive director.

Bailey says the original litter pickup events have become a larger movement. “After our first few litter sweeps, it was apparent that our efforts were just part of a bigger solution,” Bailey said. “With a team of dedicated volunteers, partnership with Rutherford Outdoor Coalition and financial backing from Rutherford County commissioners, TDA, and local municipalities, we grew to incorporate student focused programs and awareness campaigns.”

Bailey believes being a Keep America Beautiful affiliate will enable the KRCB to do even more.

“Now that we have joined the network of 700 other Keep America Beautiful affiliates, we are looking forward to the benefit of their experience, to connect with and learn from them,” Bailey said. “We also aspire to add beautification projects, run existing programs more efficiently and obtain grants that support our mission.”

Affiliation with Keep America Beautiful will give KRCB training and networking opportunities in addition to new grant opportunities.

Local leaders say KRCB is by most measures, a big success.

“In the big picture KRCB has done an awesome job in recruiting volunteers for litter pickup which have picked up tons and tons of litter from our streets and highways over the last few years,” said Don Cason. “KRCB has provided education to the citizens. KRCB will continue to educate and conduct littler pickup events, and hopefully some day this issue will be minimized or eliminated.”

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