Six Arkansas Cities Honored By Keep Arkansas Beautiful

by Roby Brock ([email protected]) 73 views 

Six Arkansas cities have been recognized in the 2011 Arkansas Shine Awards program by the Keep Arkansas Beautiful Commission (KAB), including one city that received the inaugural Arkansas Shine Superstar Award.

“KAB is eager to recognize the well-rounded efforts of these outstanding communities and share these projects with civic leaders across Arkansas to continue motivating and educating people about the impact a clean community can have on tourism, business and industrial prospects,” said Robert Phelps, director of KAB. “It takes dedicated leaders and volunteers in many organizations to keep towns clean and green, from litter prevention to recycling programs to beautification.”

The 2011 Arkansas Shine Award winners are:

Brookland, Craighead County (pop. 2,500 or less) – Brookland was chosen for its weekly curbside recycling initiative and revitalization of the city’s “old downtown” business district.

Nashville, Howard County (pop. 2,501-5,000) – Nashville was chosen for its efforts to reduce cigarette litter and create projects designed to simultaneously help the environment and community members in need, such as the Howard County Children’s Center.

Harrison, Boone County (pop. 10,001-20,000) – Two community initiatives that helped Harrison rise above other entrants were the Central Organization for Revitalization and Enhancement (C.O.R.E.) and the development of the Harrison Skate Park. The C.O.R.E. project works to engage community members to revitalize Harrison’s cultural, historical, social and entrepreneurial enterprises. The skate park has enhanced the appearance of the downtown area, attracted skateboarding meets and competitions, and helped the local economy.

Bentonville, Benton County (pop. 20,001-50,000) – Several efforts helped Bentonville stand out. The city was recognized for its efforts to prepare the community for the November opening of the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, including the expansion of community bike trails and parks, and the FOG (Fats, Oil and Grease) campaign designed to increase residents’ awareness of the negative impact these food waste products have on the city’s sewer system and water quality when disposed of improperly.

Little Rock, Pulaski County (pop. 50,001+) – Little Rock was recognized for the city’s efforts to implement and promote sustainability measures that encourage community members to become more environmentally conscious. By involving a broad range of community partners, the city was able to create and coordinate a variety of community events, including Little Rock Bike-to-Work Day, the Little Rock School District (LRSD) “i Matter March,” the LRSD Paper Recycling Program and the Great American Cleanup in Little Rock.

Fayetteville, Washington County (Superstar Award Winner) – Fayetteville’s continued success in the Shine Awards competition was a result of two initiatives. First, the city created a Community Revolving Loan Fund, a program that offers low-interest loans to Fayetteville nonprofits for energy-efficiency retrofits. This fund is designed to help nonprofits reduce daily operational costs and redirect the savings to support regular program needs.

Secondly, Fayetteville was selected as one of two Pilot Cities by the Sustainable Cities Institute. As a Pilot City, Fayetteville will receive three years of support and technical assistance from the Sustainable Cities Institute and its partners, the services of a local coordinator, and $500,000 in funding from the Home Depot Foundation to meet its project goals and objectives.

The Arkansas Shine Awards program recognizes communities that are making significant strides in providing programs and instituting policies to create sustainable communities. The Arkansas Shine Superstar Award is presented to a community that has previously won multiple Shine Awards and continues to promote civic improvement.

Keep Arkansas Beautiful, a certified state affiliate of Keep America Beautiful Inc., is funded by 1 percent of the eighth-cent conservation tax. For more information about KAB, call toll-free 888-742-8701 or visit, or stay connected at or