This week for Community Conversations our host ST Billingsley chatted with President of Keep Prince William Beautiful Marlo Thomas Watson, and Keep Prince William Beautiful Executive Board Member Sheyna Burt, about the organization and upcoming events.
Q: So tell me what Keep Prince William Beautiful is?
A: So Keep Prince William Beautiful is a part of the Keep America Beautiful–it’s a national organization that works with local communities to help instill the importance of litter control, cleaning up litter, teaching leadership among young students getting volunteers involved intimately in the community to make sure that they understand all the negative risks that are associated with litter being in our waterways and the environmental hazards of that.
Q: How does Keep Prince William Beautiful tie in with other community organizations?
A: Oh man, it’s amazing…We work with the Prince William County Soil and Water Conservation, we work the school system to do leadership programs… And it’s–I guess the simplest way to say it is that it ties into the community by it because everything about it is community.
And so it’s not limited to one aspect of the community, with the work that we do. It involves everything about the community. So if your community is full of litter and trash on the streets it impacts negatively economic development opportunities. No is going to want to live in a community that’s trashed out…It impacts the work that has to be done to clean our waterways, you know, for our source water protection, because something that people don’t understand is that storm water goes straight to the river. So when it’s full of litter, that’s going directly to the river, and harming the natural habit there.
It’s probably worth adding that it’s an organization that welcomes the involvement of other members of the community. Yes. So whether we’re talking about going out and doing shopping center surveys, where you go, and you just look at it, and you document, this is the state of it, are they recycling, does it need to be picked up. Really giving the community an opportunity to participate in keeping Prince William beautiful.
Q: For a small business, or community organization, what’s one or two ways that they can get involved with KPWB?
A: Absolutely. They can sign up to be part of our route clean ups. We do a lot of Route 1 cleanups. And cleanups in areas that are highly populated with trash. They can also adopt a road, or adopt a highway, or adopt an area that they can sponsor. They can also become members of our Advisory Board, and help to, as Sheyna mentioned, we do surveys of local areas and shopping centers to identify where the–we need to target our efforts, where there are heavy populated with trash, and things of that nature.
Q: What kind of events do you have coming up here in the near future?
A: So, April 23rd, we have our Spring Festival…So it’s actually–it’ll be at the Potomac Nationals Stadium, I think you mentioned that. So it really should be a family-friendly, good time. We will have vendors, so people are going to try to sell you stuff, but very little pressure. More importantly, we are going to have a Touch-A-Truck area where families can pay a small few and then you can go in, and the kids can, you know, climb on fire trucks, and they can explore–I think we’ll have a garbage truck or something–We’ll have a garbage truck, a fire truck, [the] Service Authority’s going to have three of our vehicles there: a flushing truck, a close-caption television truck, where kids can see how we go down in the pipes and understand where the issues are. There will be food trucks as well so it is, it is a big family event, and it is just an opportunity for us to raise funds to continue our mission to keep Prince William Beautiful.
And we’re also having an event on May 26th at Bahama Breeze…Last year it was a raging success. It was the first one that we had over, I’d say, a 100 people there. That is more, I’ll say, that’s more adult. Yeah, yeah, that really is more adult…They actually–last year they had a special drink that they made just for us. Yes. So an adult beverage, so it’s a good time. And it’s a good opportunity to talk about what we do. And to recognize our sponsors.
Check back for more episodes on our Community Conversations series.