June 1, 2012 -
Keep Knoxville Beautiful and the Lowe's Charitable and Educational Foundation (LCEF) today announced a major gift in support of Keep Knoxville Beautiful's mission to engage individuals in local community improvement and environmental projects.
The Lowe's/Keep America Beautiful Community Improvement Grant of $20,000 is one of 120 merit-based grants awarded nationally to support grassroots community improvement projects ranging from community gardens and tree plantings to litter and debris cleanups, recycling programs, park and playground restorations and beautification efforts.
The grant program will provide funding for Re-Tree Knoxville and enable our community to better maintain and in many areas re-establish large, mature canopy trees. Knoxville, much like many areas of the state, has seen several severe weather events over the last four years that have damaged and, in some cases, destroyed many mature hardwoods within the areas identified in this application.
"A strong urban forest provides a multitude of environmental services and environmental benefits to citizens, businesses, and visitors alike. Beyond shade and beauty, trees have practical benefits and real monetary value. The urban forest provides a community with valuable public services and benefits such as stormwater mitigation, improved water quality, reduction in air and noise pollution, reduced energy demands, habitat for wildlife, increased real estate values and improved retail sales, along with many other sociological benefits. Together, these benefits could be worth over a million dollars to a community," said Allison Teeters, Executive Director of Keep Knoxville Beautiful.
The grant program is being supported by Lowe's company-wide volunteerism effort, Lowe's Heroes. This initiative offers Lowe's employees the opportunity to work on a project in their own neighborhood, helping to make their communities better places to live, work and play.
"Keep America Beautiful is proud of the positive impact that Keep Knoxville Beautiful's project will have in the Knoxville community," said Keep America Beautiful President and CEO Matt McKenna. "We are truly grateful to Lowe's Charitable and Educational Foundation for its support and leadership that is being demonstrated in community sustainability."
"This will be a great complement to the City's own tree-planting efforts," said Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero. "We have budgeted $50,000 for planting trees on City properties in the next year, and we are very happy to have the support of Lowe's and Keep Knoxville Beautiful in maintaining and expanding the tree canopy in our neighborhoods."
The City of Knoxville's Public Service Department plants over 325 trees per year. Trees from this grant along with trees funded through the City will be planted in late fall and early winter. Planting trees in the fall of the year will allow the plants to form a good root system before they have to contend with the heat and humidity of the summer.
Lowe's supports the communities it serves through programs that focus on K-12 public education and community improvement projects. The company's signature education grant program, Lowe's Toolbox for Education, has donated nearly $5 million in grants to K-12 public schools every year since its inception in 2006. Lowe's Heroes employee volunteers support local community projects and our national nonprofit partners such as Habitat for Humanity and the American Red Cross. In 2011, Lowe's and the Lowe's Charitable and Educational Foundation together contributed more than $32 million to support communities in the United States, Canada and Mexico. To learn more, visit Lowes.com/SocialResponsibility.
About Keep Knoxville Beautiful
Founded in 1978, KKB is an affiliate of Keep America Beautiful. Our mission is to promote a cleaner, greener, more beautiful community. Originally formed to help "clean up" prior to the 1982 World's Fair, KKB has plunged into community efforts to clean and beautify the community through its many programs. Join us in the effort by volunteering in our programs or becoming a member of Keep Knoxville Beautiful.