Forest Park agency gets community grant

Organization prepares to recognize volunteers

FOREST PARK — The county’s only Keep America Beautiful affiliate got an improvement grant and is gearing up to recognize the many volunteers that help the organization live up to its title.

Keep Forest Park Beautiful Inc. was awarded a $1,000 community improvement grant from UPS and Keep America Beautiful to support a program to promote citywide environmental awareness and litter prevention.

Director Edie Yongue said she is thrilled to get the grant.

“We are very excited about the opportunity to partner with UPS,” said Yongue. “The grant funding will help to augment the cost of resources needed to engage and educate our citizens.”

The awareness program is a new initiative that will be launched through the distribution of 500 reusable shopping bags, she said. The bags contain brochures and other items to promote environmental stewardship and litter prevention.

This is the fifth year the UPS and Keep America Beautiful partnered up to award the grant to deserving communities. This year, 66 projects shared more than $155,000 in grant money. The program’s intent is to link Keep America Beautiful affiliates with local UPS employee teams who will provide essential volunteer support to the local efforts, said Matthew M. McKenna, president and CEO of Keep America Beautiful.

“Keep America Beautiful is privileged to have developed such a strong partnership with The UPS Foundation, because its values are in such close alignment with our own,” he said. “Our affiliates are truly grateful to the many UPS volunteers who are engaging in our local, grassroots initiatives.”

The UPS Foundation is pleased to support Keep America Beautiful because of the broad array of programs and projects that UPS employees can engage in to improve their local communities,” said Eduardo Martinez, president of The UPS Foundation.

“Past success with this grant program led to an even greater commitment to more KAB affiliates throughout the country,” he said. “We’re eager to see the results that our grassroots partners can achieve with our ongoing commitment.”

Yongue is also busy planning the organization’s first Keep Forest Park Beautiful Volunteer Awards Recognition. Set for Aug. 16 from 11:30 a.m. until 2 p.m. in the upper ballroom at 850 Main St. in Forest Park, the ceremony will acknowledge the hard work of volunteers.

“We value their time and dedication more than they will ever know,” she said.

Pamela Lake is first vice president on the Keep Forest Park Beautiful Board of Directors. She reminded residents recently about the Main Street Brick Program, one of several of the organization’s initiatives.

“We’re still accepting applications for bricks in the Main Street area,” she said during a recent Forest Park City Council meeting. “You can make the brick be for anything you like, for as many as you like. It doesn’t have to be a special occasion.”

Applications for a brick can be accessed through the city’s website at http://forestparkga.org. Each brick is $35 and can be personalized with up to three lines of text. The bricks will be placed around the fountain near the corner of Main and College streets.

Keep Forest Park Beautiful Inc. is a private, nonprofit organization that serves as an educational group. It was established in 2010 and is the only KAB affiliate in Clayton County.

For more information on Keep Forest Park Beautiful program and initiatives, contact Yongue at (404) 361-3954 or email her at eyongue@forestparkga.org.