Education

Gwinnett Clean & Beautiful to Launch Plant It Forward with $20K Lowe’s Grant

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Keep America Beautiful, the nation’s iconic community improvement nonprofit organization, today announced the organization is providing Gwinnett Clean & Beautiful with a $20,000 grant as part of the 2017 Keep America Beautiful/Lowe’s Community Partners Grant Program.

The 2017 Keep America Beautiful/Lowe’s Community Partners Grant Program engages local volunteers to take action to benefit their community with projects that focus on critical needs. Gwinnett Clean & Beautiful’s grant program is titled Project Plant it Forward. Representing a collaborative effort between Gwinnett Clean & Beautiful, Gwinnett County Public Schools (GCPS), Monarchs Across Georgia, and the Captain Planet Foundation, Project Plant It Forward will allow local schools to create edible and pollinator “learning gardens.”

“Gleaning inspiration from the pay it forward movement, these gardens will not only promote much-needed pollinator conservation, they will also create a supply of locally-grown food for families in need,” said Schelly Marlatt, Executive Director of Gwinnett Clean & Beautiful. “By making them school-based, we are teaching our children about the importance of conservation and sustainability, as well as the rewards that come from helping those in need. Above all, we are teaching them – at a young age – that they can have a hand in making a difference in their community and in the lives of others. We hope that’s a lesson that resonates throughout their lifetimes. We are so incredibly grateful to Lowes and Keep America Beautiful for finding value in our vision and helping us make it a reality with our amazing partners at GCPS, Monarchs Across Georgia and the Captain Planet Foundation.”

In addition to Gwinnett Clean & Beautiful’s grant initiative, Lowe’s is supporting more than 30 other grant-funded community service projects in 2017. Since the Keep America Beautiful/Lowe’s partnership began in 2012, Lowe’s has contributed more than $6 million and over 1,800 Lowe’s Heroes volunteers to help Keep America Beautiful improve communities. The projects range from restoring neighborhood parks and planting community and school gardens to leading disaster restoration initiatives and large-scale cleanups. The donation this year will also support Keep America’s Beautiful’s annual Great American Cleanup, the nation’s largest community improvement program.

“Lowe’s has been empowering our national network of affiliates with significant Lowe’s Community Partners Grants for years, helping Keep America Beautiful turn public spaces into beautiful places,” said Helen Lowman, president and CEO of Keep America Beautiful. “We believe everyone has a right to live in a clean, green and beautiful community, and Lowe’s is taking responsibility to contribute to our vision.”

Gwinnett Clean & Beautiful plans to launch Project Plant It Forward in the following Gwinnett County Public Schools during the 2017-2018 school year: Couch Middle, Grayson Elementary, Grayson High, Pharr
Elementary, Starling Elementary, Trip Elementary, Ferguson Elementary, Meadowcreek High, Nesbit
Elementary, Radloff Middle and Rockbridge Elementary Schools. Brenda McDaniel, Gwinnett Clean &
Beautiful’s Green and Healthy Schools Coordinator, will coordinate between GCPS, Monarchs Across Georgia,
and the Captain Planet Foundation to ensure the project’s success at both the school and community levels.

“Our Lowe’s Heroes volunteers are ready to roll up their sleeves to help make our communities better places to live,” said James Frison, Lowe’s director of community relations. “By working with Keep America Beautiful to address critical needs, we’re demonstrating our commitment to protecting the environment and improving the health of our communities.”