Kingsport — In 1980, a group of citizens concerned about keeping Kingsport beautiful established Clean Kingsport — an organization aimed at promoting litter prevention and environmental education. Today, the organization is known as Keep Kingsport Beautiful and this year it’s celebrating its 40th anniversary with the planting of 40 trees at Miracle Field.
“This organization has made a huge difference in the appearance of this community,” said Executive Director Sharon Hayes. “We plan to continue keeping Kingsport beautiful for another 40 years.”
To celebrate its anniversary, Keep Kingsport Beautiful held a tree planting ceremony at 2 p.m. on Friday at Miracle Field.
Keep Kingsport Beautiful has received more than 70 awards throughout the years, most recently being recognized with awards of excellence from Keep Tennessee Beautiful and the Tennessee Department of Transportation in 2019, and the President’s Circle Award from Keep America Beautiful in 2019.
Keep Kingsport Beautiful continues to be recognized due to the implementation and continuation of multiple community improvement programs and activities, including:
• Keep Kingsport Beautiful received a $95,000 Special Litter Grant from TDOT to focus on reducing litter along Kingsport’s roadways and educating the public on the environmental and monetary costs of litter.
• Clean Sweep Cleanups, sponsored by Republic Services, Eastman Credit Union, Ballad Health, Domtar and BAE, brings together hundreds of volunteers to collect several tons of trash and debris annually.
• Beautification Awards, sponsored by Boehm Landscape Inc., recognize 50 homes, businesses and redevelopment projects annually for their efforts to maintain litter-free, well-landscaped and beautiful properties that set good examples in neighborhoods.
• Tree Fund provides tree plantings on public lands in the spring and fall of each year. Donations to the Tree Fund are made by citizens in honor or memory of someone special. Hamlett-Dobson Funeral Homes has sponsored this program since 1986.
• Trash Barrel Paint-In, sponsored by Domtar, provides more than 500 colorfully painted trash barrels to the City of Kingsport to be used at more than 100 public events held throughout the city annually.
• Conservation Camp, sponsored by Republic Services, is a three-day camp held each September for fourth- graders from area school systems. This camp gives students an inside look at how they may conserve, protect and improve the environment. Presentations include protection of water quality, recycling/composting, early settlement of our region, forest fire control, air pollution, regional geology and protecting nature’s pollinators. In the fall of 2019, more than 900 fourth-grade students attended Conservation Camp.