KIB Annual Conference
The Keep Iowa Beautiful annual conference was held at the Warren Cultural Center in Greenfield May 1, 2013. To kick off the event a service learning project was sponsored by Greenfield Chamber/Main Street from 4:00 - 6:00 p.m. April 30. Volunteers from Americorps, Chamber/Main Street and Keep Iowa Beautiful filled flower pots for local businesses which, in combination with the larger permanent planters, provide a welcoming sight for town square patrons.
As guests registered Wednesday morning, Kellie Mangels of Fontanelle provided piano music. Gerry Schnepf, Executive Director for Keep Iowa Beautiful, welcomed the sixty conference participants from all sections of Iowa by challenging them to listen attentively, ask questions, and be prepared to take action at home. Titled "Taking a Leap of Faith: Creating Vibrant Iowa Communities," the conference opened with a keynote address by Des Moines Register columnist Kyle Munson. Local artist Ray Sorensen captured highlights of the program throughout the day by creating charcoal sketches which then were auctioned at the closing of the event.
Two sets of panelists representing rural and urban communities shared specific examples of how "Persistence Pays Off" in tackling challenging and innovative projects to create a vibrant community.
A panel of four youth leaders shared their stories demonstrating commitment and collaboration as they modeled the youth impact on community beautification, conservation, and ability to advocate for a specific cause.
As folks savored lunch catered by the Henry A. Wallace Country Life Center, the Nodaway Valley School District acapella singers provided entertainment. Jay Byers, whose father started the KIB scholarship program, presented two $500 Keep Iowa Beautiful Byers Scholarships to recipients Victoria Hartman, and Glyn Powell. The other three scholarship recipients were unable to attend the conference. Throughout the day participants had the opportunity to bid on silent auction items which were awarded at the closing. All proceeds of the Silent Auction goes toward the Byers Scholarship Program.
A Community Resources panel shared information regarding state projects: Hometown Pride, Rural Beautification, Adopt A Stream, Trees Forever, and the Adopt A Highway Program. Special guest, Susan Burkhardt, from Keep America Beautiful, shared how the national Keep America Beautiful and its network of local, statewide, and international affiliate programs educate individuals about litter prevention, recycling, and creating clean and beautiful public places.