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Keep Georgia Beautiful Foundation celebrates 40 years
KLB foundation - woman of the year.jpg
Karen Bell is one of two women to receive the Woman of the Year award, (Left to right: Natalie Johnston-Russell, Karen Bell, Carolyn Crayton, Peggy Whitlow, Michael Power)

The Keep Georgia Beautiful Foundation, an affiliate of the national Keep America Beautiful program, celebrated 40 years of preventing litter, reducing waste, providing water education, and beautifying public spaces across the state last week. As part of an annual conference, more than 170 attendees gathered to attend a series of events, including a 40th birthday celebration and an awards luncheon honoring the accomplishments of local individuals and organizations in 2018.

“We’re proud of the strides we’ve made toward sustainability over the last 40 years,” said Natalie Johnston-Russell, executive director of the Keep Georgia Beautiful Foundation. “It has been an honor welcoming members of our network to celebrate this milestone together.”

The annual awards ceremony recognizes outstanding efforts in the areas of litter prevention, waste reduction and recycling, community beautification, and overall community improvement. Individual awards are presented to a public works official, law enforcement officer, elected official, student, male volunteer, female volunteer, and executive director of the year.

The program also honors Georgia’s Keep America Beautiful affiliates for their comprehensive environmental impact on the local community. Since its inception in 1978, Georgia’s affiliate network has grown to be the nation’s largest, with 78 local programs serving 80% of the state’s population.

“It’s exciting to consider the scale and impact of our affiliates over the last four decades,” said Michael Power, board president of the Keep Georgia Beautiful Foundation. “None of it would be possible without the individuals, schools, corporations, nonprofits, and government agencies that come together to improve our communities.”

The awards are made possible by the generous support of sponsors, including the Georgia Beverage Association, the Georgia Department of Community Affairs, Georgia Power, the Georgia Pacific Foundation, American Chemistry Council, Coca-Cola Foundation, Cox Enterprises, Dart Container Corporation, Georgia Electric Membership Company, Pratt Industries, and Caraustar.

Keep Georgia Beautiful has a 40 year history of doing the little things that make a big difference in Georgia communities. Established as the first-ever state affiliate of Keep America Beautiful in 1978 by Governor George Busbee, Keep Georgia Beautiful became a 501(3)c nonprofit in 2011 and builds sustainable communities through litter prevention, waste reduction, recycling, water resource management, and community greening. Keep Georgia Beautiful provides support to the largest network of local affiliates in the country, and our 78 local programs represent 80% of Georgia’s population. For more information, visit and follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

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