Current News

 

September 8th, 2016

 

The Lower Platte River Corridor Alliance is partnering with Keep Cass County Beautiful and Platte River Rentals LLC to clean up a section of the Platte River from Schramm State Park to Louisville State Recreation Area.  We plan to meet at 11:30 a.m. and finish around 3:30 p.m. Volunteer space is limited so please contact us if you would be interested in volunteering! 

 

 

 

Keep Cass County Beautiful has launched the 2016 Great American Cleanup with a litter cleanup scheduled in Cedar Creek on Saturday, April 9th. Volunteers are needed to help the Cedar Creek Tree and Park Board clean Highway Spur 13 – H. Trash bags, safety vests and pickup tools will be provided. Volunteers should wear gloves and meet at the Cedar Creek fire hall at 8:00 A.M. In case of rain, the event will be rescheduled. The cleanup is a combined Great American Cleanup and Great Nebraska Trash Off event.

 

Entering its 18th year, the Great American Cleanup is the country’s largest community improvement program that kicks off in more than 20,000 communities each spring. Each year, the Keep America Beautiful Great American Cleanup engages more than 4 million volunteers and participants across the country to take action in their local communities to create positive change and lasting impact. The Great American Cleanup kicks off each March with events occurring from spring through fall.

 

This year’s Great American Cleanup theme is “Clean Your Block Party”. The theme encourages all volunteers and participants to take what they learn from a Great American Cleanup event and bring it home to organize an event on their own block. Keep America Beautiful is encouraging participants to celebrate their hard work and accomplishments with neighbors, family and friends. The objective of “Clean Your Block Party” is to spread the word on beautifying communities, educate and encourage volunteers to build a sense of community pride and stewardship and offer experiences that help change behaviors with the goal of making a lasting, positive initiative on communities nationwide, block by block.

Jennifer M. Jehn, President and Chief Executive Officer of Keep America Beautiful states, “It is humbling to see the millions of volunteers that turn out each year to our affiliate’s Great American Cleanup events. We look forward to a very rewarding 2016 with increased participant engagement, more impactful projects and to taking measurable steps to ensuring each community is a clean, green and beautiful place to live.”

 Keep Cass County Beautiful (KCCB) will partner with local organizations to plan volunteer events and education programs that help to renew parks and recreation areas, remove litter and debris, reduce waste and improve recycling, plus plant trees and flowers. KCCB will provide trash bags, disposable gloves and loan banners, safety vests, gloves and pickup tools to Cass County communities and organizations that wish to participate in a Great American Cleanup.

 In 2015, KCCB provided supplies for 11 Great American Cleanups in the county with the help of 201 volunteers who spent a total of 346 hours planting flowers, trees and collecting over 9,000 pounds of litter. For more information about volunteering, planning or reserving supplies for a Great American Cleanup event, contact the director at KeepCassCountyBeautiful@Yahoo.com.

 

 

Volunteer/Member Appreciation Event

 Keep Cass County Beautiful hosted its second annual Volunteer/Member Appreciation Event on Saturday, March 12 at the Louisville Senior Center. Thirty- eight guests from Cass County communities enjoyed socializing and dinner donated by Plattsmouth Hy-Vee Catering. Mindy Rush-Chipman, KCCB board vice-president, discussed the history, mission and goals of the organization.

 

 Linda Behrns, KCCB executive director, presented two member appreciation awards at the event. The first KCCB Appreciation Award was given to the village of Cedar Creek for the renovation of their local ballfield and for litter cleanups. Mitch Pearrow (above), a Cedar Creek Village Board Member, accepted the award on behalf of the board. With Pearrow’s help, KCCB received a $20,000 Keep America Beautiful/Lowe’s Community Improvement Grant for the project. The Cedar Creek Tree and Park Board sponsored litter cleanups to help beautify the Cedar Creek spur. Behrns thanked the Village of Cedar Creek for their generous membership donation and for improving their community.

 

The second appreciation award was presented to the Village of Manley for the environmental and beautification projects they have completed in the past year. Jolene Dalton, Manley clerk, and Mickey Dalton, Manley Village Board member (above)accepted the award.

Behrns explained, “The Manley board approved and now offers curbside recycling for all of its residents. They held a Great American Cleanup of the Manley spur in the spring, planted 10 new beautiful trees in their city park through the Nebraska ReTree program, and used our KCCB recycling bins to host a litter-free recycling event at their “Pillage the Village” annual event. We thank you for your membership donation and are proud to award this certificate to the Village of Manley.” 

 

Best Buy’s recycling program is changing. Here’s how and why.

February 1, 2016, Best Buy introduced changes in their in-store recycling program that allow them to continue to provide this service to customers.

Best Buy is now charging customers $25 for each TV and computer monitor they recycle at their stores. And in two states – Illinois and Pennsylvania – they are no longer recycling these particular products because of laws that prevent them from collecting fees to help run their program. All other products – such as batteries, ink cartridges, computers, printers and hundreds of other items –   continue to be recycled for free at all of our stores.

According to Laura Bishop, Best Buy’s Vice President of Public Affairs & Sustainability,"The new fees will help cover the increasing cost of managing TV and monitor disposal through our network of stores, distribution centers and recycling partners. E-waste volume is rising, commodity prices are falling and global outlets for recycled glass, a key component of TVs and monitors, have dramatically declined. More and more cities and counties have cut their recycling programs for budget reasons, limiting consumer options even further."

For more information about the items Best Buy accepts for recycling, visitBestBuy.com/Recycle.

 

 

Something new on our website:

You can now donate to Keep Cass County Beautiful

with an on-line membership form or just by clicking

the DONATE button on the right.

Help support our projects by donating today as we

kick off our 2016 Membership/Donation Drive.

Thank You!

 

Check out our Winter Newsletter by clicking on the

Newsletter tab in the menu bar.

 

 

Revising Cass County Solid Waste Plan

 

 

We need your help and feedback!

 

Cass County is currently in the process of updating and revising the 1994 Solid Waste Plan. This will provide a blueprint to follow for the next 10 years for a comprehensive approach to be sustainable, based on sound ecological and economic principles.  The end plan will seek to provide recommendations to the County and Communities to mitigate disposal costs and increase economic benefits and opportunities through better utilizing wasted resources.

 

No plan will achieve its stated goals without the support of the communities involved and so we would appreciate if you could take a couple of moments to answer the nine short survey questions below. Answers can be given anonymously, or you may fill in your details at the end of the survey if you would like to be kept updated with the progress.

 

We have composed surveys for residents, businesses and agricultural properties. The links to the surveys are:

 

Cass County Residents Waste & Recycling Survey  

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/SFTVMV7

Cass County Business, Commercial and Industrial Waste & Recycling Survey https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/SB7GJJ2

Cass County Farming & Agricultural Waste & Recycling Survey https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/Q25L9NT

 

Funding has been provided for the development of this plan through the Waste Reduction and Recycling Initiative Grant Program, Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality.

 

Should you have any queries, please do not hesitate to contact Danielle Easdale, Project Manager on 402-212-5773 or danielleeasdale@gmail.com

 

 

Keep Cass County Beautiful NCEA Forum

 

Thanks, Anne for a wonderful presentation!

 

Community boosters and new technology buffs attended a short informational meeting on December 2, 2015 from 5:30 - 6:30 P.M. at the Louisville Senior Center, 423 Elm Street, Louisville, NE

Presentation by Anne McCollister, adviser to the Nebraska Community Energy Alliance (NCEA), followed with Q & A from 5:30 – 6:00 P.M. 

Further Discussion & Networking: 6:00 – 6:30 P.M. 

Purpose of the forum was to explain how communities in Cass County could benefit from joining NCEA’s statewide effort to build an electric vehicle charging network. Nebraska communities that have already joined the NCEA include Gothenburg, Lexington, Holdrege, Seward, Central City, Wayne, South Sioux City, Nebraska City and Bellevue. 

Ms. McCollister also provided information about the NCEA organization, future plans, and opportunities for infrastructure funding for communities in Cass County. 

 

 

Cedar Creek Renovates Ball Park

 

 

Local Cedar Creek and Louisville ball players are looking forward to, “Batter –up,” when spring practices begin next year. Thanks to a $20,000 Keep America Beautiful/Lowe’s Grant, many area youth will reap the benefits of a renovated ball field in the village park. Phase II of the multi-year Cedar Creek Community Improvement Project is near completion. Forty-four conifer and deciduous trees were planted in the Cedar Creek Park last fall to complete Phase I of the plan. Keep Cass County Beautiful was awarded funding for both projects through a 2014 and 2015 KAB/Lowe’s Grant.

Twenty-four tons of Diamond Pro, an infield clay and shale soil conditioner, have been added to the field along with grading and leveling to improve field drainage. Concrete pads have been installed under the bleacher areas and in the dugouts. New chain link fencing now encloses the field along with new poles and netting added to the batting cages. Fresh brick and mound clay have improved the pitcher’s mound and home plate. While the Lowe’s Grant portion of the project has been completed, the village board will add new benches and roofs to complete the dugouts in the spring.

   

The refurbished field will provide another ball field in the area for scheduling 22 local teams for youth practices and competitive games. The Cedar Creek ball field will also offer children the opportunity to develop softball and baseball skills and will provide much needed recreation for area youth.

The project was made possible with the diligent help of twenty local volunteers and the Cedar Creek Village Board who donated over 250 hours, plus the use of personal equipment and tools to complete the field renovation efforts.

John Mohler, Cedar Creek village board member, stated, “I believe the impact of this project will be a positive addition to Cedar Creek and the surrounding communities. With the generous contribution by Lowes and the outpouring of support by the community, this field will enable the area youth to practice and actually have a field they can proudly call home. Mohler also expressed, “I would also like to thank Keep Cass County Beautiful and Linda Behrns, director, for all their help and support on this project.”

The Keep Cass County Beautiful grant was one of 50 merit-based grants awarded nationally by Lowe’s to community-based affiliates of Keep America Beautiful in support of grassroots service projects ranging from restoring neighborhood parks and planting community gardens to leading disaster restoration initiatives and large-scale cleanups.  

  “We take great pride in the work we do with Keep America Beautiful to improve the health of our communities,” said Joan Higginbotham, Lowe’s director of community relations. “We look forward to inspiring more people to join us so that we can continue to make our communities better places to live.”

Keep America Beautiful affiliates and partnering organizations received nearly 245 Lowe’s grants the past three years. Through this partnership, nearly 1 million flowers and bulbs have been planted; more than 225 playgrounds and recreational areas have been built or revitalized; and more than 1,000 community gardens have been planted.

 

America Recycles Day, a Keep America Beautiful initiative, is held on November 15. It's a day set aside to help raise awareness and the need to recycle. We encourage schools, businesses, and individuals to take the recycling pledge and help encourage others to recycle every day of the year. Let's show everyone how important recycling is in Nebraska! For more information and educational resources, visit www.americarecyclesday.org.

 

Cass County Communities Plant Trees

  

 

 

The city of Louisville and village of Manley recently received tree grants through ReTree Nebraska to improve the landscape in their community parks. Both communities received 10 free Nebraska grown trees to promote the value of healthy trees for a healthy community. Keep Cass County Beautiful helped promote the grant opportunity.

Jesse Arias (left) and David Mikell, Louisville city employees, are show above helping plant a red oak in the Louisville City Park.

“Free Trees for Fall Planting” is sponsored by the Nebraska Community Forestry Council (NCFC) and ReTree Nebraska and funded by the Nebraska Environmental Trust, a beneficiary of the Nebraska Lottery. The purpose of the grant is to enable the planting of trees during the fall in conjunction with ReTree Nebraska Week and other fall planting events. ReTree Nebraska week is the last full week of September but trees can be planted any time between September 1st , through November 15.

ReTree Nebraska, an affiliate of the University of Nebraska, is a 10-year cooperative initiative to raise public awareness of the value of trees and reverse the decline and improve the sustainability of community trees and forests. The primary goal of ReTree Nebraska is to work in partnership with citizens to foster the proper planting and maintenance of 1 million new trees by 2017. 

 

 

   Electronics Recycling Collection   

Saturday November 7, 2015

North of Football Field in Louisville from 7 A.M. - 2:00 P.M.

Enter at Cherry & First Street through the gate

Event in conjunction with Louisville fall clean-up

The clean-up is only for Louisville residents, but anyone in Cass County may bring electronics for recycling.

 

The following materials will be accepted by American Recycling for free: desktop computers, LCD monitors, laptops, keyboard and mouse, UPS battery back- up, any kind of battery, routers, switches, servers, tablets with intact & broken screens, Apple iPhones, Smart phones and land line phones. There will be a $10.00 charge for any CRT monitors (Cathode Ray Tubes) and Tube TVs are $1.00/inch.

 

 Join our America Recycles Day Event and

help keep electronics out of landfills, conserve natural resources and give new life to recovered materials.

 

 

 

  

Recycling Equipment Grants Available for 2015-16.

 

The Nebraska State Recycling Association (NSRA) still has grant funds available for municipalities, other government entities, non-profits and recycling companies (for example, waste haulers) who wish to purchase recycling equipment.Interested parties should go to www.recyclenebraska.org and call Deb Rost at 402-933-3059 in Omaha for more information. Grants can help fund the purchase of recycling trailers, semi trailers, carts, dumpsters, balers, forklifts, trucks and more. Equipment may be new, used or in need of refurbishing. In some cases, applicant’s existing equipment can be refurbished with this grant.Grants will be awarded until the funds are depleted. This is a quick-turnaround program where application-to-approval is usually completed in approximately a month.

 

This grant is one of 113 grants that will receive $19.4 million in grant awards from the Nebraska Environmental Trust. The Trust has awarded more than $233 million to over 1,700 natural resource projects in Nebraska since 1993, and the grants are funded by proceeds from the Nebraska Lottery.

The Nebraska State Recycling Association is a membership organization of public and private organizations as well as citizens, and has been a recycling advocate for Nebraska since 1980.

 

 

Thanks for support from our newest corporate sponsor... 

 

 

 Free Trees for Fall Planting Mini Grant

 

 

Applications are being accepted to plant trees this fall in conjunction with ReTree Nebraska Week and other fall planting events. Trees can be planted between September 1st and November 15, 2015.

 

All grant applications must be completed and submitted online at http://go.unl.edu/2015minitreegrant. The program provides trees to the grant recipients, not funding for trees. Anyone is eligible to submit a request for trees. Priority for trees will be given to NCFC Members, ReTree Nebraska ambassadors, Tree City USA tree boards, Nebraska Statewide Arboretum curators, individuals volunteering/supporting community forestry programs and Project Learning Tree facilitators. Schools, non-profit groups and civic organizations are encouraged to apply. Individuals must represent a group or organization. There is an educational and/or media matching requirement.

 A maximum of 10 trees will be allowed for any single request. The minimum number of trees awarded will be one. Direct questions to: Jessica Kelling, ReTree Nebraska & NFS council liaison: (402) 472-0220; jkelling2@unl.edu.

 

 

Check out our Fall Newsletter by clicking on the

Newsletter tab at the top left or follow this link....

http://www.keepcasscountybeautiful.com/images/Newsletter/2015KCCBFallNewsletter.pdf

 

  

Elmwood City Hall has just received a new coat of exterior paint made possible by several volunteers and a grant from Keep Nebraska Beautiful’s National Painting Week Program sponsored by Sherwin-Williams. The project totaled over 55 hours of community service with the help of nine adults and five youth. Local Elmwood-Murdock High School students benefitted from the project by gaining hours toward their community service needs for graduation. Community partners for the project were the Elmwood-Murdock Schools Community Service, Elmwood community members, Keep Cass County Beautiful and the Elmwood Village Board members.

It took lots of brushing on a very rough surface to complete the job. Connor Heise, Pat Wray, Ethan Heise, Jamie Doll, and Mason Ritnour were some of the volunteers who helped.

 Elmwood Village Board members Julie Anderson and Curt Wilhelm also provided help.

 

KCCB Receives ServeNebraska Award

  

ServeNebraska Executive Director Cathleen Plager and Nancy Faber, Chairman of the ServeNebraska Commission, recently presented a $750 check to Linda Behrns for KCCB.

Citizens of Nebraska throughout the State were encouraged to get involved and give back to their communities during the third annual ServeNebraska Week which was held April 11-18, 2015.

In conjunction with national volunteer Recognition week, ServeNebraska Week was about inspiring and encouraging citizens of all ages to seek out imaginative ways to engage with their favorite cause or local non-profit organization. During this week, volunteers were encouraged to come together in their respective communities to be at the center of social change, discover and demonstrate their collective power to make a difference.

This year ServeNebraska partnered with Blue Cross and Blue Shield and asked volunteers who registered to identify their favorite nonprofit for a chance to win $750. The two organizations who received the cash awards were “Keep Cass County Beautiful” and “Living Water Rescue Mission”. Keep Cass County Beautiful entered two Great American Cleanup events that engaged local volunteers. “Our goal was to encourage volunteer involvement and give back to the organizations that give so much to our communities,” stated Executive Director Cathleen Plager.

Linda Behrns, Keep Cass County Beautiful Director, replied, “On behalf of Keep Cass County Beautiful, we are honored to be one of the non-profit organizations selected for this award. We value and appreciate the contributions of all of our volunteers who help make our community a clean, green and beautiful place to live. We will use the award to continue our mission to educate, enable and encourage all Cass County residents to take greater responsibility for improving our community environment. “

Nebraska ranks 6th in volunteerism among the 50 states and Washington D.C. “With volunteer support, together we can make this week of service incredibly valuable to our local Nebraska communities,” replied Nancy Faber, Chairman of the ServeNebraska Commission. “Together, we can create awareness about the importance of volunteerism, providing opportunities for Nebraskans to lend a hand to those in need.”

To get involved in next year’s ServeNebraska Week mark your calendar for April 9-16, 2016 and search www.serve.nebraska.gov. for more information. Individuals and groups of all sizes are welcome to participate in a week dedicated to strengthening communities throughout Nebraska. No group is too small to make a difference in the lives of those who need it most.

 

Captain Planet Foundation Grants

Deadlines: September 30; January 31 

Captain Planet Foundation will accept small grant requests for amounts between $500 - $2,500. All proposed activities must be project-based, projects must be performed by youth; and projects must have real environmental outcomes. For more information...

http://captainplanetfoundation.org/apply-for-grants/

 

 

 

Keep Nebraska Beautifiul Conference

The 51st Annual Keep Nebraska Beautiful Conference was held August 19 - 20 at the Hilton Garden Inn in Lincoln. Highlights of the conference included a walking tour of the new West Haymarket area showing what the Downtown Lincoln Association (DLA) does to promote litter prevention, waste reduction and recycling and beautification.

DLA Maintenance Director George Pinkerton lead the tour and showed a new type of cigarette receptacle with multiple holes in the top that really works for collecting cigarette litter. Also shown were the new waste and recycling receptacles in the background.

 

 This is the new sidewalk sweeper that helps reduce litter in the area.

 Several large bowl planters are used to beautify the area.

 This year's conference theme was "How Great Leaders Inspire Action." Sue Smith, Trainer and Consultant from Keep America Beautiful along with Jane Polson, President of Keep Nebraska Beautiful, led conference sessions about "Why Do We Do What We Do?" and "KAB's New Vision, Mission and Core Values". Several affiliate directors shared the "Why," the "How" and "What We Do" with presentations about grant writing, educational activities, and volunteer management.

The conference concluded with an awards luncheon recognizing environmental projects in eight categories.Keep Cass County Beautiful received a gold award for completion of all 13 KAB affiliate requirements.

 

  

Cass County Fair August 5 - 8

“Where City & Country Come Together!”

Thanks to everyone who visited the Keep Cass County Beautiful booth at the fair! We appreciate those who brought in old cell phones, completed surveys, purchased raffle tickets or just stopped by to visit. There are permanent collection boxes for rechargeable batteries and cell phones in the city offices in Louisville and now in Plattsmouth. The materials will be sent to Call2Recycle for recycling.

The winner of the gas powered string trimmer was Kevin Faris and John Baroni won the leaf blower.

We also want to thank Lou Allgayer for helping us empty and sort material every day from the 23 recycle bins we had on the fairgrounds.

And Roger Behrns for setting out and collecting the recycling bins on the fairgrounds; and emptying and transporting the South Bend recycle trailer to the fairgrounds and to First Star Recycling.

Thanks to your help in placing recyclables in our containers and to all the church volunteers for their recycling efforts, we collected 660 pounds of materials for recycling! Great job and we hope to see everyone again next year.

 

    

Louisville Summer Cub Club Recycles Paper


The first step in making new paper is tearing newpaper strips into small pieces. 

 Next we added water to the paper strips and put them in a blender where we made a slurry. Then we poured the slurry into a dishpan.

We used a small piece of screen to collect the new paper fibers. It's really messy, but also lots of fun!

 

 Then we added another screen of the same size on top of the wet paper pulp and squeezed out most of the water.

 Almost done. The screens were placed between layers of a thick towel and rolled with a rolling pin to press out the rest of the water. Then the new paper was carefully peeled off the screen.

Finally, we carefully placed the new paper on towels to dry. After the paper dries, it can be made into a special card or trimmed and decorated for a special event or project.   

 

 

 Another Great American Cleanup 

    

 

Thanks to these great Beaver Lake volunteers from the Ladies Auxiliary Club and the Men's Fishing Club. We appreciate your service for picking up 13 bags of litter on Rock Bluff Road on July 10th.

Image result for recycling study

 

  

A beautiful day for a cleanup of the Louisville State Recreation Area  

Thank you Louisville Cub Club! 

 

The Wartville Wizard

    The Louisville Summer Cub Club recently learned more about how to properly take care of litter by acting out the story, The Wartville Wizard. Students learned about the make-believe town of Wartville and how it was being buried in trash. 

Every day the piles of trash grew higher and higher. Then one day a tidy old man who became known as the Wartville Wizard realizes he has the power to get rid of all the trash forever. Wartville will finally be cleaned up once and for all! (The wizard and the story narrator are shown below.)

The people of Wartville were not happy when the wizard magically sent all of their litter back to them as awful stick-ons. They demanded the litter be removed from their bodies!

 After the wizard told them he had been picking up their trash for a long time and he was tired of cleaning up after them. He told them, “Every piece of trash stuck to you is something you yourselves threw away.”

 

The people were embarrassed and ashamed. They promised not to litter again and the spell was removed. The community of Wartville was beautiful once again and litter free - thanks to the Wartville Wizard.

 

 

What's New at the Louisville Summer Cub Club?

During the summer, the Louisville Cub Club students are learning all about the environment from Keep Cass County Beautiful. Here students are learning how to reduce waste.

These boys are teaching a lesson to their friends about municipal solid waste and how we can manage our trash through source reduction, reuse and recycling.

Who knew that "Trash Trivia" could be taught by song and dance with the creativity of these students who are teaching a "Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle" lesson to the rest of the group.

 

Herman the Composting Worm

Did you know that red wiggler worms thrive in a worm bin, have no eyes, and will eat many of your kitchen food scraps? The Louisville Cub Club students are learning the anotomy of worms, how to make a homemade worm bin and label the parts of a worm.

And now the best part, observing the red wigglers from the KCCB worm bin. 

 

 

 

 

                                                                                             

 

Keep Cass County Beautiful Receives Lowe’s Grant


Keep America Beautiful/Lowe’s Grant
Supports Cedar Creek Community Improvement Project

Keep Cass County Beautiful has been awarded a $20,000 Keep America Beautiful/Lowe’s Grant to support KCCB’s mission to help make Cass County a clean, green and a more beautiful place to live.

The KAB/Lowe’s grant will provide funding for summer renovation of the existing ball field in the community park in Cedar Creek, Nebraska. With the loss of a major ball field in Louisville, there is a severe shortage of ball fields for scheduling 22 local teams for youth practices and competitive games. The project is greatly needed to give youth the opportunity to develop appropriate softball and baseball skills and to provide more recreation for area youth. The Cedar Creek Village Board and local volunteers have pledged their support to the project and will be providing in-kind labor and use of equipment and tools.  

“We’re grateful to Lowe’s and our partnership with Keep America Beautiful to make a difference with a local community improvement project. A renewed ball field will not only serve the community of Cedar Creek, but the entire eastern portion of Cass County will benefit from this project,” said Linda Behrns, Executive Director of Keep Cass County Beautiful. 

  

The Keep Cass County Beautiful grant is one of 50 merit-based grants awarded nationally by Lowe’s to community-based affiliates of Keep America Beautiful in support of grassroots service projects ranging from restoring neighborhood parks and planting community gardens to leading disaster restoration initiatives and large-scale cleanups.  

 

“We take great pride in the work we do with Keep America Beautiful to improve the health of our communities,” said Joan Higginbotham, Lowe’s director of community relations. “We look forward to inspiring more people to join us so that we can continue to make our communities better places to live.”

 

Keep America Beautiful affiliates and partnering organizations received nearly 245 Lowe’s grants the past three years. Through this partnership, nearly 1 million flowers and bulbs have been planted; more than 225 playgrounds and recreational areas have been built or revitalized; and more than 1,000 community gardens have been planted.

 

For more information, contact the director at KeepCassCountyBeautiful@Yahoo.com or call 402.234.6775.

 

 

Beaver Lake Hosts Great American Cleanup

 What do a dozen people do on a cloudy Friday morning? Host a Great American Cleanup to make Beaver Lake clean, green and beautiful.

 These volunteers from the Beaver Lake Ladies Auxiliary Club and the Fishing Club collected 30 garbage bags of trash cleaning the two mile entrance to Beaver Lake. Thank you for your volunteer service!

 You can help keep our roads clean and beautiful by tying down open loads or putting a cover or lid on them. Carry a litter bag or container in your vehicle for trash, put lids on all trash containers and make sure they are secure. If you own a construction or hauling business, make sure your trucks are covered when transporting material to and from sites. Use fencing around construction or demolition sites to prevent debris from blowing into other areas. When you reach your destination, please dispose of litter in its proper place.

In Nebraska, littering is a crime, a class 3 misdemeanor. First conviction is punishable by up to three months imprisonment, $500 fine, or both.

 

Our Summer Newsletter is now available. Click on the newsletter tab above.

 

Great American Cleanup

 It's hard work to pick up the little pieces of litter.

 But these Manley volunteers do it with a smile.

Although small in numbers, the Manley volunteers are doing a great job to keep Cass County beautiful. We at KCCB appreciate you! 

 

Thanks for support from our newest corporate sponsor... 

 

 

Litter Cleanups Planned for Beaver Lake Area

 Members of the Beaver Lake Ladies Auxiliary Club and the Beaver Lake Fishing Club will have Great American Cleanups on Friday, June 12 to clean up Murray Road and again on July 10 to clean up Rock Bluff Road. Anyone is welcome to come and help. Clean up supplies will be provided by Keep Cass County Beautiful. Volunteers are asked to meet at 9:00 a.m. at the Beaver Lake clubhouse for both events.

 

Louisville Park Renovated

The City of Louisville has been working on several improvements over the last year. The most recent additions are public restrooms behind city hall. The restrooms are totally ADA compliant and even feature a diaper changing station for convenience.

Added to the city park last fall was a picnic shelter and Papillion Sanitation donated and delivered three picnic tables made from recycled materials for citizen enjoyment. Trees were planted last fall by Julian Covington and volunteers for his Eagle scout project. Other landscaping touches were finished this spring; a new flagpole and edging around the flower beds were installed. The girl scouts and volunteers Linda Behrns and Jean Heim spent hours planting the flowers as part of a local Great American Cleanup/Beautification project.

The splash pad was finished last summer and is open again for this year. There are no set hours; a valve at the west end of the pad can be turned to activate the fun! Please turn off when the last person leaves.

The city council approved all the improvements.  The restrooms, picnic shelter and splash pad were all built by the Louisville maintenance crew at minimal costs. The City hopes the residents enjoy the park upgrades.

 

Louisville Girl Scouts Plant Flowers

  The Louisville girl scouts recently planted flowers in the city park and at the senior center.

 

Great job young ladies!

 

Weeping Water Elementary's GAC

      

"Thank You" Weeping Water fourth and sixth graders for participating in a Great American Cleanup. We appreciate your hard work collecting 18 garbage bags of litter along the west and south side of Weeping Water. Also, thanks to Mr. Haveman for conducting the cleanup and sending pictures and to Principal DeTurk for planning the event.  Let's keep Cass County clean, beautiful and litter free!

 

Louisville First Graders Learn about Composting

 

Louisville first graders recently played a game called "Partners in the Pile" to help them learn what is needed to make compost. The basic components are browns, greens, air, water, and a heat source.

  

They also learned how red wigglers worms are one of nature's best composters. Students are shown making observations. Thanks Mrs. Toelle for sharing the great pictures!

  

 

"Crazy for Compost" Event

 

The second annual Earth Day “Crazy for Compost” and Gretna Sanitation Customer Appreciation Day was held on Saturday, May 9 at the compost farm located near the Wildlife Safari Park. The event was presented by Soil Dynamics Composting Farm and Gretna Sanitation.

Those in attendance learned how to recycle through composting and observed a live demonstration of a compost turner. According to Andy Harpenau Compost Specialist, Soil Dynamics, windrows containing horse manure, zoo manure, wood chips, yard wastes and vegetable scraps are mechanically “turned” at least fourteen times to complete the eight week process. Soil Dynamics utilizes an aerobic composting process which uses oxygen and micro-organisms to decompose organic materials. Sunlight and moisture also contribute to the composting process where windrows reach temperatures of 125 – 135 degrees to kill any pathogens.  

Everything organic has a ratio of carbon to nitrogen in its tissues, ranging from 500:1 for sawdust, to 15:1 for table scraps. A ratio of 30:1 is ideal for the activity of compost microbes. Materials rich in carbons are brown yard wastes and wood chips while green plant materials and vegetable scraps contribute nitrogen.

Harpenau explained, “We monitor the carbon/nitrogen ratio between 25 – 30:1, the temperature and moisture levels, and add water as needed. When compost is mature, it’s then cured for about one year. Then it’s either sold in bulk or bagged for retail sales. By using a wider range of ingredients, we can produce nutrient dense compost that is 100% organic.”

Compost contributes nutrients and beneficial life to the soil, improves soil structure, and helps prevent runoff that can pollute rivers and lakes. Compost helps the soil absorb and retain nutrients and moisture, and protects plants from disease and pests. Better moisture retention means less watering, allowing water conservation and reduced runoff pollution. Composting reduces the amount of organics going to the landfill where they can create methane gas, an undesirable greenhouse gas.

A free lunch was served and those who brought a pantry item for SENCA (Southeast Nebraska Community Action) received a free bag of compost. Organizations involved with the Earth Day celebration were Cass County Sustainability Committee, cities and villages of Cass County, Green Omaha Coalition, Keep Cass County Beautiful, SENCA, and WasteCap Nebraska.  

  

 

 

Nebraska Hy-Vee Stores Partner with Food Recycling Company to Reduce Waste

 

 

 

Stores expected to divert 150,000 pounds of organic waste from landfills each month to create compost, biogas and animal feed

 

WEST DES MOINES, Iowa (May 5, 2015) — Hy-Vee, Inc. is pleased to announce that by the end of this month all 25 of its stores in Nebraska will be diverting organic waste from landfills thanks to a partnership with Sanimax, a globally known environmental solution provider in the agri-food industry.

 

Nebraska Hy-Vee stores will divert excess fruits and vegetables, bakery products, solid dairy products and floral clippings with the help of the Sanimax system, which will then turn the food waste into compost, biogas and animal feed. Hy-Vee employees at each store will be trained on how to separate the waste to ensure quick and accurate disposal.

 

As part of the program, Hy-Vee stores will sell compost that is created by their own food recycling. In addition, stores with community gardens will use the compost to fertilize their plots.

 

“We are excited to use our stores’ organic waste to help our community gardens grow. It’s really coming full circle for our stores and our customers,” said Tally Mertes, store director at the 180th and Pacific Hy-Vee store. “Hy-Vee is committed to promoting the well-being of our customers, employees, communities and the global environment. This new recycling program is just one way we can help our communities and our customers.”

 

In March, two Omaha-area Hy-Vee stores were first to begin the program, and they diverted a total of 10,000 pounds of waste that month. Mertes estimates that the 25 Hy-Vee stores in Nebraska will divert approximately 150,000 pounds each month.

 

 

 

 

Thanks Weeping Water School FBLA & FCCLA

for your Great American Cleanup

 

 

 Keep Cass County Beautiful appreciates the hard work from these students who conducted a litter cleanup of a portion of Highway 50 south of Weeping Water, downtown Weeping Water, and the local park areas. The students along with their sponsors (Sarah Roehl, FCCLA; and Sue Heinz, FBLA) collected 18 large garbage bags of trash. Terrific Job!

 

 

 

 From the Archives...

(Recent, not current)

 

Keep Nebraska Beautiful's Paint Grant Winners

Keep Nebraska Beautiful is pleased to have announced the two grant winners of their new National Planting Week Nebraska 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. This annual event is held in partnership with support from The Sherwin-Williams Company. During the months of April through July, the two grant winners will transform their structures utilizing up to 40 gallons of exterior paints and painting supplies.

The two Nebraska grant winners are:Village of Elmwood will paint the historic Elmwood City Hall Building that was bulit in 1900 and originally used as the Elmwood Fire Hall. The project will benefit the community as a welcoming place as well as be a benefit to high school students who will be gaining hours toward their community service needs for graduation. The community partners are the Elmwood-Murdock Schools Community Service, Keep Cass County Beautiful, and the Elmwood Village Board members.

Keep Keith County Beautiful paint project will focus on an alleyway improvement that leads to the newly built pavilion coined Rendezvous Square. The project will enhance the walkways to the pavilion and include the help of sophomore art students at Ogallala High School who will assist volunteers from Keep Keith County Beautiful.

"We are proud supporters of National Painting Week in Nebraska," said Tim Baechle, Vice President of Marketing, Sherwin-Williams.  "It is a valuabel new program and I really want to encourage community groups in Nebraska to take full advantage of this great opportunity."

"Through our partnership with the Sherwin-Williams Company, National Painting Week in Nebraska empowers community groups to take a direct role in community revitalization efforts," explains Jane Polson, President of Keep Nebraska Beautiful. "Something as simple as a fresh coat of paint on a city hall or an alleywall leading to a community festival center sends a strong message that we care about our communities."

For additional information regarding Keep Nebraska Beautiful's National Painting Day Program, please contact Jane Polson at 402.486.4562.

Keep Nebraska Beautiful, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, believes that everyone deserves to live in an environment that is clean, beautiful and safe. As a state affiliate of Keep America Beautiful, Keep Nebraska Beautiful and the local KAB affiliate organizations throughout the state engage volunteers to take greater responsibility for improving their community environment.

 

 

 

KEEP CASS COUNTY BEAUTIFUL HOSTS PROGRAM at PLATTE RIVER STATE PARK

Over 2,000 local fourth and fifth graders attended the Outdoor Discovery Program at Platte River State Park on April 15th & 16th. Billed as the largest outdoor classroom, children enjoyed four or five activities and programs each day of the event. Some of the 34 program offerings included archery, air rifles, boating safety, fishing basics, composting, waterfowl, outdoor photography, slingshots & tomahawks, snakes of Nebraska and much more.

This is the seventh year of the event sponsored by the Nebraska Game & Parks. Keep Cass County Beautiful hosted a program called "Do the Rot Thing...Compost!" Students learned about the four essential ingredients to make good compost: browns, greens, air and water. Then they applied what they learned and made compost in a cup. At the end of the day, students took their compost cup back to school where they will make observations over the next few weeks to determine what materials compost the quickest.

Here students are planting red petunias using a potting soil mix that contains compost. They'll watch the plants grow and they may use them to start a "Grow Big Red" garden to show support for Nebraska and to beautify their neighborhoods.

And finally, students are enjoying nature's best composers, red wiggler worms from the KCCB worm bin. What a great day!

 

Cedar Creek Cleanup

 

Thanks to the great group of volunteers who picked up litter along the Cedar Creek Spur on Saturday, April 11 as part of a Great American Cleanup. They collected 22 bags of trash.

 


 

  

 
 
 

 

Please support our newest 2015 Local Corporate Sponsors:

 

 

 

 

 

 Plantman Nursery  

 

 

Murdock

 

Ashland

 

 

Village of Cedar Creek

 

 Louisville

 

 McKnight Family Dentistry

Plattsmouth

 

 

JOHN'S APPLIANCE

Sales & Service

Plattsmouth

 

 

 

Free Programs for Schools and Organizations

Keep Cass County Beautiful offers free environmental youth programs to teachers, after-school programs, youth organizations and clubs in Cass County, thanks to a grant from the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality, donations and memberships. KCCB also offers speaker presentations to church and community organizations throughout the county. To become a member or to schedule programs, contact Linda Behrns, Exec. Director, at (402) 234-6775 or by email at keepcasscountybeautiful@yahoo.com. 

 

 

 

 

Don't forget...

Renew your KCCB membership today!

Only $20 for an individual yearly

membership

(Go to the membership tab for details)

 

  

Recycle Locally

There is now a permanent collection box in the Louisville City Office at 210 Main for old cell phones and rechargeable batteries. This includes batteries from your portable power tools.

Cell phones will be recycled through Hopephones.org to help health workers in the third world. Rechargeable batteries will be sent to Call2Recycle who has diverted over 100 million pounds of batteries since 1994.

Recycling rechargeable batteries and cell phones is an easy way to protect our environment and conserve Earth's natural resources.

 

    

  

Cedar Creek Volunteers Plant Trees with Lowe's Grant

Thirty-six local volunteers recently planted 34 new trees in the Cedar Creek village park. The trees were made possible from a 2014 Lowe's/Keep America Beautiful Community Improvement Grant. The $10,000 grant was received by the non-profit organization, Keep Cass County Beautiful, and helps support their mission to engage individuals in building and sustaining vibrant communities. Keep Cass County Beautiful is an affiliate of Keep America Beautiful.

Twenty-four conifer trees were planted along the south side of the park to add a screen and noise barrier from the railroad tracks. Ten deciduous shade and flowering trees were planted in the picnic shelter area, near the playground and ball field. Another ten large trees will be planted soon to complete the project. The addition of more trees will provide shade, shelter, habitat, cleaner air, and a beautiful environment that will encourage more use of park areas.  

 

Thanks to Lowe’s, the Village Board of Cedar Creek, Charles Paukert, Kip Fuxa, many Cedar Creek and other volunteers, Eagle Nursery and Beck’s Tree Farm for their help with the completion of this project.  

 

The KCCB grant is one of more than 60 merit-based grants awarded nationally by Lowe’s to community-based affiliates of Keep America Beautiful (KAB) to support grassroots service projects ranging from building community gardens and planting trees to leading disaster restoration and recycling programs.

 

Lowe’s also provides support as a national sponsor of KAB’s flagship program, the Great American Cleanup, which takes place in 20,000 communities from coast to coast. This national program engages on average 2 million volunteers who take action to create positive change and lasting impact.

 

 

Keep Cass County Beautiful provides communities and schools with litter prevention, waste management/recycling, and beautification education and projects. Contact Linda Behrns, KCCB director, at 402-234-6775, or at KeepCassCountyBeautiful@Yahoo.com for more information.

 

THANKS LOWE'S AND KEEP AMERICA BEAUTIFUL!

 

 

Boy Scouts Improve City Park 

Visitors to the Louisville City Park will be able to enjoy many new trees and flowers in the future thanks to the hard work of Louisville Boy Scout Troop 353 member Julian Covington and his crew of volunteers.  Julian developed and led the service project as a requirement in working towards his Eagle Scout rank.

Linda Behrns, Executive Director for Keep Cass County Beautiful, and the city of Louisville applied for and received two grants to help fund the project.  The grants came from LPSNRD (Lower Platte South Natural Resources District) and Black Hills Energy.  The City of Louisville also picked up a portion of the cost. 

Volunteers included troop members, Linda Behrns, Black Hills Energy employees, city employees and citizens from the community.  Altogether volunteers planted 10 trees provided by Jensen Gardens, moved a large iris bed, landscaped around the flag pole with several perennials and bulbs, and spruced up the City Park sign with a fresh coat of paint.

 

                      

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MEMBERSHIP DRIVE

 

Consider becoming a member of Keep Cass County Beautiful

KCCB is partially funded by a litter grant from the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality, fund raising projects, and memberships from businesses and individuals in the community. Members and volunteers are vital to help us promote litter prevention, beautification, waste reduction, and recycling. A few of our projects this year will include developing a litter hotline, providing educational programs for youth and adults, expanding participation in the 2015 Great American Cleanup, National Planting Day, and America Recycles Day.

Click on the membership link (upper right of screen) for more information.

New Executive Director

Linda 1 SmallLinda Behrns, Louisville, has been selected as the new executive director of Keep Cass County Beautiful effective January 1, 2014. She has been a public school educator for 24 years and recently retired from Louisville Public Schools where she was the HAL (High Ability Learning) coordinator and seventh grade Language Arts teacher for the past fifteen years. Her teaching experiences span from pre-school through high school. Under her leadership, KCCB will continue the mission of Keep America Beautiful by engaging individuals to take greater responsibility for improving their community environment.