Container Gardens Help 'Keep America Beautiful' and Healthy
Since the Keep America Beautiful (KAB) organization was founded 51 years ago, it's spearheaded initiatives from litter prevention to highway beautification to recycling – and, most recently, community gardens and container gardens.
Each spring, Keep America Beautiful launches The Great American Cleanup, the nation's largest community improvement program. As part of that program, 1,500,000 flower bulbs, 87,000 trees, 2,100 community greening projects, and 1,200 edible community gardens were planted in 2013 alone.
Self-watering container gardens are becoming an increasingly common component of The Great American Cleanup. Recent projects in Hot Springs, SD, Greenville County, SC and Denton, TX have all relied on EarthBox container gardens because they're durable, portable, and make gardening easy for even a novice gardener. Volunteers note that when gardening is easy, it's more likely to become a long-lasting sustainable community feature.
The Hot Springs, SD KAB project was chosen to receive a grant from the Lowes Charitable and Educational Foundation, which was used to fund an EarthBox Giveaway program. The EarthBox containers and vegetables were distributed to individual applicants based on need, while businesses received EarthBox containers and flower seedlings to beautify the area around their buildings.
The gardens are proving sustainable in more ways than one. Beth Spitzer, Keep Hot Springs Beautiful President, notes appreciatively, "The EarthBox Gardens will last for years, so participants can continue to grow for many seasons."
In South Carolina, Keep Greenville County Beautiful incorporated EarthBox container gardens into their program several years ago. The container gardens were installed at a local women's shelter to help rebuild the lives of women and children affected by substance abuse. Assisted by a local Girl Scout troop, the shelter residents now enjoy continuous access to fresh, nutritious food and have gained lifelong gardening skills. The Girl Scout troop member who organized the effort earned a Gold Award for her contribution.
Molly Philbin, EarthBox Education Director, finds participation in Keep America Beautiful projects gratifying. "There is something very beautiful in the KAB EarthBox Container Garden projects that link the KAB communities to their neighbors, while all reap the harvest of their mutual efforts."
Keep America Beautiful has come a long ways since its inception as an anti-litter initiative. Thanks to the efforts of millions of volunteers, public spaces across the country are being transformed into beautiful gardens that nourish both body and soul.