The mission statement of KALB is “to empower citizens of Athens and Limestone County to take greater responsibility for enhancing their community environment.” Many people know WHAT we do at KALB to fulfill this mission, and many may even know how we do it.
The most important question, however, is WHY do we do it. What we do and how we do it has to be secondary to the “why.” If the “why” does not come first, then the “what” and “how” will be done for the wrong reasons.
Keep Athens-Limestone Beautiful was certified as a Keep America Beautiful affiliate in 1977, and known as Athens-Limestone Clean Community until 2002. The organization was established to deal with litter issues and to change behaviors. Since that time, KALB has grown to include the Athens-Limestone Recycling Center and the Athens-Limestone Beautification Board.
The 40+ members of the KALB Commission, Athens-Limestone Beautification Board, and Athens-Limestone Recycling Board are all volunteers. Each one gives of their time because they understand and are passionate about WHY we create green space and beauty, accept more materials at our recycling center than most others, and work so hard to educate students and adults on how human behavior affects our local environment.
Management staff and board members within this organization believe the following with passion:
• that the health of our environment means everything to the health of our community;
• that clean air to breathe, clean water to drink, and healthy soil are critically important, a right to pass on to future generations, and not something to take for granted;
• that a pleasant community appearance can improve quality of life, attract businesses, and increase community loyalty;
• that protecting our natural resources by recycling all that we can is good stewardship, saves landfill space, and provides more useful life to the virgin materials we do use;
• that we must not be selfish and should make sacrifices in order to protect future generations from dealing with serious environmental issues that, through good choices, could be avoided.
If you share our passion for why the KALB organization exists, consider becoming a KALB volunteer. There are many opportunities in a variety of settings. We would be happy to talk about volunteering with no strings attached. Just remember, passion is a requirement!
By: Lynne Hart