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Hello from Nebraska City, Nebraska! The Annual Keep Nebraska Beautiful Conference is underway as I’m writing this column. KNB affiliates from across the state are here to discuss a variety of topics over the next two days, including the state of recycling, grant funding through the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality and the ever growing importance of waste reduction.

While I’m here in Nebraska City, the birthplace of Arbor Day (the tree planter’s holiday), it’s only suitable that I take a moment or two to acknowledge the important role trees play in our lives. The Arbor Day foundation says it best: TREES ARE SIMPLY AMAZING.

Ah, now that’s a statement that’s worth repeating. Repeat it with me now: Trees are simply amazing. TREES ARE SIMPLY AMAZING. TREES ARE SIMPLY AMAZING! They can help to conserve energy and reduce energy bills, reduce storm water runoff which in turn reduces the amount of harmful contaminants that are carried into local bodies of water, they add value to homes, provide food for wildlife and they clean the air. Like we all said just a moment ago; trees are simply amazing.

“Simply amazing” is a description that can easily be applied to this year’s conference location too; the Lied Lodge and Conference Center at Arbor Day Farms. The lodge sits on 260 acres of sheer beauty. The number of trees is breathtaking and what better place to learn about the health and wellness of Nebraska communities than in an eco-friendly lodge surrounded by trees? It sure feels like they go hand in hand.

Following the conference, business will resume as usual. KFB will move on to the annual Litter Index, metal and electronic recycling event, household hazardous waste collection, community paper shredding sponsored by Nye Health Services, then finally some holiday festivities! I’ve been rolling around a few ideas specifically for the holiday season and I hope they come to fruition this year, but if not I’ll be sure to enact them in 2019.

First things first though, All Metals Market and Cross Electronics Recycling Event will take place on Wednesday, August 29 from 5:30-7 p.m. at the Ilgenfritz Parking Lot in downtown Fremont (4th & Park Avenue). That’s this Wednesday, so come on down and bring your metal discards and unused or broken electronics with you!

In the mix of these events, KFB Education Specialist, Deb McCord, will be in the classroom working with the fine youth of our community. I’m going to sit in on the second grade presentations and am thrilled to hear the students’ take on litter, waste reduction, recycling and beautification. What types of environmental stewardship education do you share with your families and friends?

Something you can share with your community is gratitude by nominating deserving homeowners for the KFB Certificate of Appreciation and nominating business owners for the Clean Sweep Award. This is your last chance for the season to submit nominations, so please take the time to acknowledge your fellow community members that provide us all with great example of environmental stewardship and adhering to city ordinances. Include home owner name, contact information and a brief description of why you feel they are deserving of an award.

Leila Hybl is executive director of Keep Fremont Beautiful. She can be reached at 529 North Main Street, Suite 4, Fremont, or at 402-941-6122.

Leila Hybl is executive director of Keep Fremont Beautiful. She can be reached at 529 North Main Street, Suite 4, Fremont, or at 402-941-6122.

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