Communities have a chance to shine

Friday, June 25, 2010

LITTLE ROCK -- Entries are now being accepted for the third annual Arkansas Shine Awards, a program of the Keep Arkansas Beautiful Commission (KAB) to honor communities across the state that have adopted a comprehensive approach to keeping their hometowns clean and green. The entry deadline is July 31.

"From curbside recycling offered by city governments to local youth groups that pick up litter at a park to garden clubs that maintain sidewalk flowerpots downtown, these individual actions and activities are part of a bigger picture of involvement that shows a community's commitment to civic improvement," said Sarah Wruck, volunteer services coordinator for KAB. "It takes all these seemingly unrelated projects to maintain a community that is clean, green and attractive to tourists, business and industrial prospects. KAB is eager to recognize such well-rounded efforts."

Entrants in the Arkansas Shine Awards must be an incorporated city in Arkansas. Entrants will be judged in six population divisions, with one winner in each. The entry is expected to summarize all activities in the areas of litter prevention, recycling, beautification and community development, including city government- and community organization-sponsored efforts. Entries must be postmarked no later than July 31, 2010, and require the mayor's signature.

Winners will be announced in September. Each winning city will receive a specially designed award at a hometown recognition ceremony sponsored by KAB.

Winners will also be promoted statewide via social media, in The e-Keepsake electronic newsletter and on KeepArkansasBeautiful.com.

"Great communities don't just happen. They are planned, cultivated and maintained. Having a great community involves everyone working together to keep it clean, safe and vibrant. It's the kind of community that invokes pride and attracts positive attention. It's the kind of community where people want to live, work and visit," wrote Robert Phelps, KAB director, in the Arkansas Shine Awards entry form.

The 2009 Arkansas Shine Awards winning communities were:

* Brookland (Pop. 2,500 or less)

* Waldron (Pop. 2,501-5,000)

* Lowell (Pop. 5,001-10,000)

* Van Buren (Pop. 10,001-20,000)

* Hot Springs (Pop. 20,001-50,000)

* Fayetteville (Pop. 50,001+)

There is no fee to enter the Arkansas Shine Awards. The entry form is available at KeepArkansasBeautiful.com or by calling toll-free 888-742-8701. Entries must be postmarked no later than July 31.

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