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Boy Scouts planting

Louisville boy scouts cleaned flower beds and planted flowers at Louisville welcome signs during Cass County's annual cleanup effort, part of the nationwide Keep America Beautiful project.

LOUISVILLE – Cass County is a little bit cleaner today through the efforts of hundreds of volunteers spending hundreds of hours taking part in the Great American Cleanup.

This event, the nation’s largest community improvement program of Keep America Beautiful, ran from March 20 through June 20.

Keep Cass County Beautiful (KCCB) is an affiliate of Keep America Beautiful, and headed by Linda Behrns of Louisville.

According to Behrns, KCCB provided litter cleanup supplies to the following organizations: Cedar Creek Tree and Park Board, Conestoga High School—Cougar Connections Community Service Project, Louisville Dream Dogs Robotics Team, Louisville Youth Advisory Council, Weeping Water Public Schools FBLA organization, Village of Eagle, Village of Manley and Union United, Inc.

Activities included the collection of debris and litter from roadways and parks.

Louisville Boy Scouts Troop 353 helped clean flower beds and planted flowers at the Louisville welcome signs.

Altogether, 214 volunteers spent a total of 314 hours in litter cleanups, planting flowers and collecting over a ton of litter plus 40 pounds of recyclables.

Cass County electronic collections held at Weeping Water, Beaver Lake and Eagle yielded a total of 16,500 pounds of metals and electronics for recycling.

Behrns herself provided litter prevention education programs for youth at Louisville and Weeping Water elementary schools, while older youth received a garbage bag to take home for a litter cleanup in their neighborhood.

KCCB also promoted litter prevention education during Earth Week with the help of Cass County Bank, Cornerstone Bank and Plattsmouth State Bank. Employees at these banks helped distribute KCCB car litter bags and literature, Behrns said.

“We appreciate the help from all our volunteers who give of their time and service for the betterment of our communities,” she said. “Litter is more than just blight on our landscape. Litter is costly to clean up, impacts our quality of life and economic development, and eventually ends up in our waterways and oceans.”

What’s more, KCCB will provide trash bags, gloves, and loan safety vests, safety signs and litter pickup tools to Cass County communities, Scout groups, 4-H clubs and organizations that wish to hold a summer or fall litter cleanup event, Behrns said.

Organizations may apply for a KCCB mini-cleanup grant and/or request recycling bins and cigarette receptacles for litter-free community events through the “Loan a Bin” program.

KCCB receives funding from Cass County, memberships and the Nebraska Department of Environment and Energy to support litter prevention, waste reduction and recycling programs. Contact the director at Linda@KeepCassCountyBeautiful.com to schedule supplies and mini-grant requests.

The Great American Cleanup, which marked its 21st year in 2019, engages more than 3 million volunteers and participants every year to create a positive and lasting impact, Behrns said.

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