For 35 years Keep Prince William Beautiful (KPWB) has made positive impactful changes to the community. The organization has served their county for 35 years by encouraging people to take action in their community, and be stewards of their environment. It has allowed Prince William County to see how much our residents, businesses, and government can prosper if we work together to maintain a sustainable community.
The non-profit organization continues to make a difference in the county in so many different ways. “KPWB has had a tremendous impact on the community aesthetics over the last 35 years due to the millions of pounds of trash that we have collected off of our streets, waterways, and shopping centers. We have documented this progress year after year through the support of volunteers, community leaders, and staff,” Marlo Watson Chairman at KPWB. Since KPWB has significantly changed the way Prince William County is environmentally taken care of for 35 years I thought I would explain to you 5 reasons KPWB is an organization you want to make a difference within the community.
1) KPWB offers many opportunities to those who want to volunteer and work with us.
Our programs Adopt-a-spot, Litter Survey, Shopping Center program and our Storm drain labeling program are where one can volunteer and team up with us to help keep the county green and healthy.
The Adopt-a-spot program allows the people who sign up to plan and oversee 9 cleanups a year. They agree to a 2-year commitment to clean up and take care of their spot.
This past September KPWB conducted a Litter Survey and seven people affiliated with KPWB came out to assist in informing KPWB what areas in Prince William County need to be cleared of litter. Litter Survey participants, survey several key areas of Prince William County. The survey informs participants of the areas that are in desperate of being cleaned. Those who volunteer for the program receive training and then spend the morning riding around the county rating the amount of litter they see using the 1to4 Litter index scale. Litter Surveys last 3 to 4 hours.
If one volunteers for the Shopping Center program they can help KPWB keep shopping centers environmentally friendly. Shopping centers are evaluated by volunteers. Volunteers use a 29-point survey to inspect the property and report their findings. KPWB then uses that data to help shopping centers to minimize the impact their actions are having on our environment.
Storm Drain Labeling is where we label the storm drains in order to get the message across to others to not pollute our rivers that we use for swimming, fishing, and as a source of drinking water. Alfred McGilberry intern at KPWP stated, “The storm drain labeling does help because it gives the community a full warning of where the stormwater leads to, and it gives the community the opportunity to advocate for cleaner streets to prevent the trash from flowing into the storm drains.”
2) We partner with different parks to continue to build a bright future for this generation, by showing them why they need to steward the environment. In September KPWB came out to support Prince William Forest Park (one of KPWB’s program partners for the Environmental Leadership Academy) during Prince William Forest Park’s event they reached over 300 people with their programs. They worked with Prince William Forest Park to not only share the history of the park with the community but encourage them to protect the environment.
3) We educate students on the ways they can take care of the environment they live in. Through our programs, the generation growing up in our elementary schools, middle schools, and high schools can learn from our comprehensive programs how vital it is to take care of their community. Our educational outreach program informs the students of being aware of litter, recycling, and storm drain protection.
4) KPWB’s social events cause us to focus on the positive effect the organization is having on Prince William County. It also causes the people who gain the knowledge of why it is important to steward the environment, to want to help others understand why clean communities are important. “Interestingly enough, one of the greatest impacts that KPWB has is through our social events where there is a diverse representation of individuals in our community. It is at KPWB’s social events that we are able to shift mindsets on the positive economic impact of environmental stewardship within the community and that paradigm shift births a domino effect within the community of individuals helping other people to understand the importance of clean communities,” Marlo Watson Chairman at KPWP.
5) KPWB’s intern’s gain the experience they need to pursue their dream job. KPWB is giving their intern Alfred McGilberry the opportunity to use a Geographic Information System to present information for the organization; the experience he is getting now will help him attain the job he wants in the future. “It’s like math, the more you practice it, the better you’ll get and since GIS does have a nasty learning curve the deeper you go, it would be very beneficial to utilize it every single day. With that practice comes the ability to use that on a resume to secure a good career in the near future,” Alfred McGilberry GIS Analyst Intern.
Working with KPWB will allow you to understand why it is important to keep your community clean. Also working with KPWB will cause you to be proud to call Prince William County the county you live in, because when where you live is stewarded you’re proud to call it home.