In April 2017, Keep Athens-Limestone Beautiful celebrated 40 years as a Keep America Beautiful affiliate!
KALB celebrated that milestone with the public at our 9th annual Earth Day & Outdoor EXPO held at Friendship Church on April 29. It was a wonderful day!
If you would like to enjoy the many photos taken, please visit the Keep Athens-Limestone Beautiful Facebook page.
KALB became an affiliate of Keep America Beautiful in April of 1977. Our program was one of the very first to become a KAB affiliate. At that time, the organization was known as Athens-Limestone Clean Community. In 2002, the name changed to reflect our affiliation with Keep America Beautiful.
Education is the key to changing attitudes, and we continue to reach thousands of students and adults with our message of environmental stewardship.
The following is a list of Executive Coordinators who have led this organization:
77-80 Barbara Anderson
81-82 Doris Cox
82-96 Joyce Counter
96-98 Kim Gentry
98-99 Lynn Randolph
99-Present Lynne Hart
The coordinators before me have worked hard to change mindsets about litter and recycling. It is an honor to have my name included. Although I am not an Alabama native, I consider this my home, and I take great pride in Athens and Limestone County. I know that each of us would agree we could accomplish nothing without the thousands of wonderful volunteers who take up our challenge.
In 1977, a science club from Athens High School began a recycling fundraiser to raise money for out-of-town travel. The program was a huge success and became too large for the students to manage. Eventually, the Athens-Limestone Clean Community Commission (now KALB) was asked to take over the effort. The Commission agreed and organized the A-L Recycling Board to oversee the program. Recycling continued to grow making it necessary to move the center to its current location on Lucas Ferry Road in 2004. The center currently processes about 2,000 tons of materials per year.
I tip my hat to Mrs. Joann Christopher who was involved with KALB since its inception. When the Recycling Board was established, Joann took on the responsibility of board chair and kept that position for many years. The recycling program was her baby and she made sure it was a success and received community support. Thank you, Joann Christopher. We have all benefited from your hard work and dedication.
Also in the early 1980’s, the Athens-Limestone Beautification Board was formed to manage beautification programs. Over the years, there have been many improvements to our city cemeteries. One that stands out for me is Roselawn Cemetery. When I moved to Athens in 1999, the trees that line Hwy 31 and the landscaped entrances were not there. The Beautification Board acquired a grant to landscape the cemetery and continued to work on beautifying this and other city cemeteries throughout the years.
This board is also responsible for the triangle at Hwy. 72 and Clinton Street as well as the flowerpots and benches that adorn downtown Athens. At Christmas, this board places wreaths on the graves at the Old City Cemetery on Washington Street. Many early settlers to Athens are buried there.
Everyone involved with Keep Athens-Limestone Beautiful should be very proud of the accomplishments seen over the past 40 years. I am referring to anyone who has volunteered, stopped littering, started recycling, became conscious of water and air quality, or has made any improvement in attitude toward the environment. Earth is the only planet we have. It behooves us all to take care of our “home.”
By: Lynne Hart