Burwell FFA Chapter to Celebrate National Planting Day

Burwell, NE  — National Planting Day, a day dedicated to our native vegetation, will be celebrated nationwide and locally on September 6.  This is happening through the efforts of local FFA chapters in cooperation with Keep America Beautiful, Keep Loup Basin Beautiful, and the Loup Basin Resource Conservation & Development (RC&D) Council.  Keep Loup Basin Beautiful is promoting National Planting Day in the following counties: Blaine, Boyd, Cherry, Custer, Garfield, Greeley, Holt, Howard, Loup, Rock, Sherman, Valley and Wheeler.

The Burwell High School FFA Chapter, under the sponsorship of Philip Simpson and in cooperation with Keep Loup Basin Beautiful, will be freshening up existing native grass plots and identifying the plants at the school.  There are many native grasses, flowers, and shrubs planted around the town square and the chapter will be identifying those also for community enjoyment and education.  FFA chapters in other counties will be developing their own projects in cooperation with Keep Loup Basin Beautiful.

Future plans for the Burwell FFA Chapter include planting native grasses with proper identification at Fort Hartsuff in the picnic area under the supervision of Jim Domeier.  Jim is excited about the addition of native vegetation being on display for visitors.  Additionally, native vegetation will be incorporated at the Loup Rivers Scenic Byway Interpretive Center, located at 330 South Hwy 11, Burwell, Nebraska through the cooperation of the Burwell FFA Chapter and the Loup Basin RC&D Council.

You too may become involved in National Planting Day!  Visit getgrowing.org for more information.  Help celebrate the value and power of native species in restoring ecological balance to the environment while creating greener, more beautiful communities Continue reading

Keep Loup Basin Beautiful Recycling at the Rodeo

Burwell — Last week in Burwell while everybody else was busy ropin’ and ridin’, Keep Loup Basin Beautiful was busy recyclin’.  Project Coordinator, Kathy Mann, took on the project of providing recycling for Nebraska’s Big Rodeo, a continuation of Keep Loup Basin Beautiful’s event recycling efforts this summer.  People go through large amounts of bottles and cans at community events and Keep Loup Basin Beautiful’s goal is to keep as much of that recyclable material as possible out of the landfill.  Nine large recycling bins were set up in the grand stands and beer garden.  Mann and her volunteer helpers stayed busy emptying them throughout the four days of rodeo action.

They collected a total of about 65 large bags of cans and plastic bottles which filled the Loup Basin RC&D’s portable recycling trailer to the brim.  “People are very willing to recycle and are familiar with the ‘blue’ recycling bins,” said Mann.  Even with this success, she feels that Keep Loup Basin Beautiful can do more and she already has plans how to improve recycling efforts for next year.  Mann hopes to educate the community and rodeo crowd about the importance of recycling, provide more recycling bins, and recruit more volunteers to help with the collection of the recyclable material for the 2015 Nebraska’s Big Rodeo.  Mann wishes to Keep Nebraska’s Big Rodeo at Burwell Beautiful!

Keep Loup Basin Beautiful would like to thank everybody at the rodeo who took time to recycle.  They would also like to thank the rodeo board for letting them be a part of the action and promote recycling at the rodeo.  Continue reading

Keep Loup Basin Beautiful Places Recycling Bins in Loup City

 

KLBB - Loup City Coca Cola Bin GrantPictured from left to right: Devin Nelson, Tammy Nelson, Mayor Alicia Toczek and Kevin Holcomb. Picture courtesy of Jerome Lobner. 

Keep America Beautiful and The Coca-Cola Foundation Make Recycling More Convenient for Colleges and Universities Nationwide

Loup City — Keep Loup Basin Beautiful received six recycling bins designed specifically for placement in Loup City’s parks and near the school.  The bins were received as part of a national recycling bin grant program made possible by Keep America Beautiful (KAB) and The Coca-Cola Foundation.

In its 9th year, the Coca-Cola/KAB Recycling Bin Grant Program is providing nearly 4,500 recycling bins to colleges and universities, nonprofits and local governments, with more than 65 percent of the total designed specifically for permanent, ongoing use in heavily-trafficked public spaces and events.

Loup City received six bright blue, metal, outdoor recycling bins marked with the Coca-Cola recycling logo.  These bins will be maintained by the city and are available for people to recycled their plastic bottles and aluminum cans.  They represent an extension of Loup City’s strong community and school recycling program.  “The people of Loup City, especially the students, understand the importance of recycling in their homes and classrooms,” said Keep Loup Basin Beautiful Director Anita Olson.  “But it’s just as important to recycle when you’re outside enjoying the parks and recreation facilities.  These new bins are going to make that easier.”

“Through this program and our more than 50-year partnership with Keep America Beautiful, we are helping to ensure that communities understand the importance of recycling,” said Lori George Billingsley, vice president, community relations, Coca-Cola North America. “Community recycling not only impacts the environment today, but it helps build sustainable communities for the future.”

“By providing recycling bins to communities, organizations and universities, we can make a difference in increasing recycling in the U.S. and help overcome a main barrier of recycling – convenience,” said Brenda Pulley, senior vice president, recycling, Keep America Beautiful. “We are truly grateful for Coca-Cola’s continued support and commitment to recycling, and the Recycling Bin Grant Program.”

The Coca-Cola/KAB Recycling Bin Grant Program awards recycling bins directly to Continue reading

The UPS Foundation Awards Keep Loup Basin Beautiful with a Community Tree Planting Grant

KLBB Greeley Beautification CommitteeAnita Olson, Director of Keep Loup Basin Beautiful presents a check to the Greeley Beautification Committee. 

More than 30 Keep America Beautiful Affiliate Communities Receive Grants Totaling $160,000 to Support Local Projects

Keep America Beautiful (KAB) and The UPS Foundation recently announced that Keep Loup Basin Beautiful is a recipient of a 2014 KAB/UPS Community Tree and Recovery Tree Planting Grants. More than 30 grants, totaling $160,000, are being awarded to KAB community-based affiliates throughout the country.

This grant project was a partnership between Keep Loup Basin Beautiful and the Greeley Beautification Committee.   Grant money was used to purchase trees and shrubs to plant in the new RV park in Greeley, NE.  Goals for the project were to encourage more people to stop and stay in Greeley by enhancing the natural beauty of the park, and to create a living screen between the park and the highway and maintenance yard to filter emissions.  Native species of trees and shrubs were chosen for their drought tolerance and adaptation to the area.  Local landscaper Carl Buller, of Design Scapes LLC in Scotia, donated his time and expertise to the project.  All the trees and shrubs were planted and water lines were installed at the volunteer workday which took place on Saturday June 14.  There was a great turnout of willing volunteer’s from the community.

The UPS grant program is intended to link KAB affiliates with local UPS employees who will provide volunteer support to plant the trees, in addition to the grant funding.  Unfortunately, no UPS employees were able to attend the workday.  The UPS employee that delivers to Greeley had intended to bring his family and come help but was unable to that day because of a prior commitment.  He was impressed that his employer (UPS) is providing so much financial support for community projects like this one.

The UPS grants are part of UPS’s Global Forestry Initiative designed to plant, protect and preserve trees in urban and rural areas in the United States and around the world. The KAB/UPS community tree grant program is intended to help: sequester levels of carbon dioxide through strategic plantings; emphasize the importance of native tree planting; produce fruit from fruit trees for local consumption; and plant trees that will have a greater likelihood of withstanding natural disasters in communities that have lost a significant number of trees because of a recent natural disaster.

“Keep America Beautiful and its affiliates thank The UPS Foundation for helping us transform public spaces into beautiful places through Continue reading

2014 Loup Basin Recycling Guide

Being “green” is about to get a whole lot easier.  Keep Loup Basin Beautiful, a local Keep America Beautiful affiliate that serves several counties in central Nebraska, has created the 2014 Loup Basin Recycling Guide.  This guide is intended to help people locate the recycling opportunities right in their hometown.  “Our goal with this project was to increase awareness of all the recycling opportunities available to people in the Loup Basin,” says Affiliate Director Anita Olson.  “By making it easier to recycle, we hope to keep valuable and useful materials out of the landfill.”  These useful materials include many hard to recycle items like batteries, Christmas lights, eyeglasses, medical equipment, used motor oil, and scrap metal.  Materials like these are listed alphabetically in the guide, with drop-off locations where they should be taken for recycling.  Community recycling trailer locations are also listed, where people can drop off more traditional recyclables like paper, plastic, aluminum, glass, and tin cans.

Thanks to grant funding from the Nebraska Environmental Trust and Nebraska Academy of Sciences, these handy recycling guides will be mailed out to every household in the nine Loup Basin counties.  The project also received contributions from local recycling companies including J&J Sanitation of O’Neill, Custer County Recycling of Broken Bow, and Alter Metal Recycling of Grand Island.  It is because of companies like these that recycling is available in central Nebraska.  If you live in Blaine, Loup, Garfield, Wheeler, Custer, Valley, Greeley, Sherman, or Howard County, be sure to check your mailboxes this week for your copy of the 2014 Loup Basin Recycling Guide!

Loup Basin Recycling Guide – May 2014 First Edition Front Page

Loup Basin Recycling Guide – May 2014 First Edition Page 2

Check under the recycling tab for more information.

Celebrate Compost Awareness Week!!

May 5 marks the beginning of a weeklong publicity and education event celebrating the humble soil additive that is compost. In case you are not aware, compost is simply decomposed food scraps and yard waste. So why the celebration? There are so many reasons! Adding compost to your soil improves the soil structure and helps retain moisture. Compost is full of nutrients in a form that your plants can easily absorb. As a fertilizer, compost is free, 100% natural and is not dangerous for children or pets. By composting, you are sending less garbage to the dump and keeping valuable nutrients in your garden. Composting is a method that is used around the world in both wealthy and developing countries to reduce waste and create healthy soil.

It’s easy to start your own compost pile at home. Composting can be as simple or as complicated as you like. There are many commercially produced compost bins for sale, including worm bins and tumblers, but all you really need is a small space in the corner of your yard or garden. You can make a nice compost bin by wiring four wooden pallets together in a square. Another option is to make a two or three foot diameter cylinder out of a roll of wire mesh. Whatever container you choose, it must have adequate ventilation, an open bottom, and you must be able to mix it and get it out and onto your garden when it’s ready.

Choose a spot for your compost pile or bin that is close enough so you that you will remember to use it and far enough to be out of the way. Ideally it should be protected from the wind so it doesn’t dry out too fast, and has some exposure to sunlight to keep it warm and speed up decomposition.

Next, collect your materials. You want to aim for a 2:1 ratio of “browns” to “greens.” Browns include low nitrogen materials such as dry grass clippings, leaves, hay, or straw. Greens include high nitrogen materials such as food scraps and animal manure. Make sure to only use plant based food scraps like apple cores, banana peels and coffee grounds in your compost pile. Adding meats, fats, and sugary things to your pile will attract pests. Egg shells are an exception to the rule, they make an excellent addition to a compost pile. Also, only use manure from plant eating animals like horses, chickens, cows, and rabbits. Dog and cat manure may contain diseases that you do not want in your pile.

You can layer or mix the browns and greens. If it is very dry out add enough water to make the pile as damp as a wrung out sponge. Water and oxygen are necessary to keep the microbes and other decomposers working to break down the materials in your pile. About once a week, use a pitchfork or shovel to mix the pile. Sufficient oxygen prevents odors and heats up the pile. All the natural processes happening inside the pile give off a lot of heat. It’s normal for the interior temperature of a compost pile to get up to 130 degrees or more!

You can continue to add greens (kitchen scraps) to the pile, and supplement with browns if the pile gets too hot or smelly. After a couple months, stop adding to the pile and let it sit to finish breaking down. This would be a good time to start a new pile.   Finished compost should be dark brown, crumbly, and have an earthy smell. Finished compost can be used as a top dressing on your lawn, tilled into your garden bed, or mixed in with potting soil.

Photo: Attendees at a recent Keep Loup Basin Beautiful composting workshop in Bassett.North Central RC&D Garden Workshop

National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day April 26th

Office of Diversion Control

National Prescription Drug Take-Back Daygot_drugs_banner

April 26th    10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Got Drugs?  Coming up on April 26th, several area law enforcement agencies will be participating in the National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day.  From 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on that Saturday, you can bring in your outdated and unwanted medications for proper disposal.

One participating agency is the Valley County Sheriff’s office.  They are located in the Valley County Courthouse in downtown Ord.  They ask that you use the doors on the east side of the courthouse.  The Garfield County Sherriff’s office in Burwell will also be accepting medications that day. 

Announcing our Earth Day Drawing Contest for 5th Grade!

Earth Day is coming up on April 22nd and to celebrate, Keep Loup Basin Beautiful is sponsoring a drawing contest for 5th grade North loup Scotiastudents. Students may enter the contest by drawing their design on a plain, white sheet of 8 ½” x 11” paper. The student’s name and school must be written on the back of the drawing in pencil. Homeschooled students are also welcome to send in entries. The theme for this year’s contest is “Respect the River: Keeping our waterways clean and beautiful.” Mail the entries to Keep Loup Basin Beautiful by April 15, 2014.

Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality Awards Grant to Keep Loup Basin Beautiful

Keep Loup Basin Beautiful was awarded a grant in the amount of $65,000 from the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality’s KLBB logo 02242014Litter Reduction and Recycling Grant Program.  Keep Loup Basin Beautiful is a project of the Loup Basin RC&D Council.  Altogether, the state received 53 applications requesting more than $2.4 million for litter reduction and recycling projects.  A total of $2.0 million was awarded to 51 projects throughout Nebraska.  Anita Olson, KLBB Director said “We are very excited about being awarded this grant because it ensures that we can continue providing our services free of charge, and also create new recycling and waste reduction programs to benefit more communities.”

The grant program provides funds annually to Nebraska projects in three areas:  public education, cleanup and recycling.  The funds awarded to Keep Loup Basin Beautiful through public education funds will be used to provide environmental education leading to waste reduction, litter prevention, recycling and beautification.  These educational programs are provided for all residents of the thirteen counties served by Keep Loup Basin Beautiful free of charge.  School programs are the main focus for Keep Loup Basin Beautiful, but other projects include

KLBB receives CLPP award at the KAB 2014 Conference

Keep Loup Basin Beautiful was recognized at the national conference for Linda’s work in 2013 with the Cigarette Litter Prevention Program.  This CLPP Award at 2014 conference (3)was the first time Keep Loup Basin Beautiful had participated in the program.  Thanks to funding from Keep America Beautiful and their corporate sponsors, we were able to get several outdoor receptacles for businesses around Burwell, as well as car and pocket receptacles that were given out at fairs and events last summer.

The Ins and Outs of Recycling – Workshop

Thursday January 30, 2014
5:15 to 6:00 p.m.
807 H Street,
Burwell Nebraska –  In the Pathway Bank Professional Center

Make recycling your New Year’s resolution!  Join Keep Loup Basin Beautiful for a fun and educational workshop all about recycling.  Find out what’s recyclable in this area.  Discover what happens to your garbage after you toss it in the bin.  Learn how to tell when a container is recyclable, and what you do and don’t need to do before you recycle it.  You’ll also find out what the arrows

Recycle your broken Christmas lights!

The holiday season is upon us and you know what that means…hot chocolate, mistletoe, and freezing your fingers off trying to get those old strands of lights working!  Don’t stress out.  If you have strands of lights that you need to get rid of, don’t throw them away!  Instead, bring them in to be recycled.

Keep Nebraska Beautiful Award – Loup City FCCLA

The Loup City High School Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) organization won an Award of Excellence for their America Recycles Day activities during the June 29, 2013  Keep Nebraska Beautiful Annual Conference in Nebraska City. 

Keep Loup Basin Beautiful receives Keep Nebraska Beautiful Gold Award

KLBB award

During the Keep Nebraska Beautiful annual conference on June 27, 2013 held at the Nebraska City Lied Center, Keep Loup Basin beautiful was awarded the “Gold Affiliate” recognition. This is the highest level of achievement for the Nebraska Keep America Beautiful affiliates.

Pictured, Linda Studnicka, Director of Keep Loup Basin Beautiful and Mike Hazen
from the Keep Nebraska Beautiful Board of Directors.

Ord High School FBLA

Local High School Group Earn Recognition for Waste Reduction/Recycling Efforts

Honored at Keep America Beautiful Conference in Washington D.C. in January and at the FBLA Spring Banquet on April 30, 2013, the Ord High School Future Business Leaders of America was awarded the National Distinguished Service plaque in the Youth/School Waste Reduction/Recycling category for their Continue reading

Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality Awards Grant

Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality (NDEQ) has awarded the Loup Basin RC&D Council a grant in the amount of $34,966 to be used for the Keep America Beautiful (KAB) Affiliate, Keep Loup Basin Beautiful.  This organization is a project of the RC&D Council, and serves residents in nine central Nebraska counties.  DEQ logoThe DNEQ provides funds annually to Nebraska projects in the categories of public environmental education, cleanups and recycling. Altogether, the NDEQ was able to fund fifty-six applications for 2013. Continue reading

Keep Loup Basin Beautiful wins National Award

Local Keep America Beautiful affiliate, Keep Loup Basin Beautiful, was presented the National Keep America Beautiful (KAB) 2012 Great American Cleanup (GAC) Best Activation Award at the Keep America Beautiful Conference held in Washington, DC on January 29th.   Continue reading