A Note to All of My Community Co-Workers, Funders and Friends:
It’s hard to believe Keep Genesee County Beautiful is 14 years old. It’s even harder to believe that I have been its first and only director. What a journey it has been and an honor of a lifetime to have worked side by side with thousands of people from every walk of life in every corner of the City of Flint and across Genesee County. The friendships have been many. Together we have attempted to put our mark on where we live to make it a more beautiful place, grow new relationships and harvest the results of hours of work.
It has been a once in a lifetime opportunity to have a job to “encourage, educate and engage the community in the ongoing cleanup and beautification of Genesee County” and enjoy the day to day work with other like-minded residents. It has also been a once in a lifetime challenge to constantly grow new volunteers and relationships, address new needs and constantly develop new tools and resources that help our volunteers achieve such dramatic visual results. Now it is time for me to join my husband (of 44 years) in retirement and take time to visit new places, learn new things, and enjoy each other during this new phase of our lives.
When KGCB became a program of Genesee County Parks in January 2016, my retirement date was set after promising to remain for two years to lead KGCB through the change, integrate the programs into Genesee County Parks and finally, make the move to our new (and hopefully final) location. The new director, Nancy Edwards who currently serves as the Recreation, Programs and Grants Officer at Genesee County Parks, will begin on April 2, 2018. Nancy recently attended the New Director Training at the Keep America Beautiful conference and has been working with me over many months to make the transition as seamless as possible. My last day of work will be March 30, 2018.
For those of you who know me well, you know that I love to talk numbers and brag about all of the hours and contributions our KGCB volunteers make every year. So together, let’s celebrate what we have accomplished since 2004:
- 71,136 volunteers gave 454,871 volunteer hours at a value of $8,127,954 in “sweat equity”
- Received over $3,062,768 in in-kind, cash and other types of donations
- Performed over 10,000 individual cleanups
- Planted 234,439 perennials, shrubs, grasses and trees.
- Filled 57,215 garbage bags, 39,100 yard waste bags, 435 dumpsters and 174 garbage trucks
- Mowed 4,723 vacant lots and mowed 453 times in City of Flint parks
- Painted over 2,358 graffiti sites, removed 88 abandoned cars
- Removed 20,528 illegal signs from right of ways, telephone poles and vacant lots.
- Collection 38,112 tires, 1,425,084 pounds of hazardous waste and 1,001,002 pounds of electronic waste
- Adopted 36 gateways in the City of Flint and out-county areas and maintained them since 2007
- Adopted 36 City of Flint parks completing weekly seasonal maintenance since 2011.
- Granted $5,263,105 over the years from over 30 different sources for our programs (with the Ruth Mott Foundation as a key funder)
- Administered by an average of 3 full time equivalent staff each year since 2004
Congratulations go to our KGCB volunteers on a job well done and with a final challenge to all to remind you that success is the sum of small efforts, repeated daily.
Karen West, Lead Consultant/Director
Genesee County Parks
Keep Genesee County Beautiful Program
1509 E. Court Street
Flint, MI 48503