Ways You Can Help Fight The Zika Virus In Your Community

As the Rio Olympics rapidly approach one topic that everyone is talking about is the Zika Virus. The reason is because in May 2015 Brazil became ground zero with the first human infection of this outbreak. By today the virus has spread throughout South American and into North America. Now with it in the United States, we must endeavor to stop it’s spread.

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(Source: CDC)

Zika is a disease that was first identified in 1947 and named for the Zika forest in Uganda. The disease as appeared throughout Africa, Southeast Asia and Pacific Islands and now has come to the Western Hemisphere. It is spread through certain species of mosquitoes and sexual transmission from an infected male. Some common symptoms of the disease are fever, rash, red eyes, and joint pain. While the disease is rarely fatal, it poses a serious risk to unborn children. If a woman contracts Zika it can cause severe fetal brain defects and/or microcephaly. Microcephaly is when the head is smaller than those of other infants. This can lead to an impairing of brain development.

While the researchers at the University of North Carolina and Duke University work to better understand and fight the disease here are few things you can do to help control the spread of the disease. Share this advice with your neighbors and together you can help lower the mosquito population in your neighborhood.

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Mosquitos breed in standing water, so if we want to reduce their numbers, then we have to eliminate their breeding grounds. Anything lying around that collects water is important to remove. This will help reduce the overall population and allow you to take back your yard. It is even suggested that you should empty out dog dishes and refill them daily to help reduce the chance of mosquito larvae. You should also remove any yard debris as they use the moisture held by leaves on the ground. A well-maintained yard goes a long way to help reduce mosquitoes, so protect your family and up your curb appeal all at once. Durham City and County residents are encouraged to dispose of old tires they may have in their yards to help prevent mosquito breeding during our Durham Tire Recycling Drive on Saturday, July 9th (see below).

For more information on the Zika Virus please check out the CDC website.

Durham Tire Recycling Drive

Durham Recycles Tires – Unlimited Free Tire Disposal for Non-Commercial Durham City and County Residents

We are encouraging residents to properly dispose of old tires and other items that may hold standing water to prevent mosquito breeding and the diseases they may carry. The Durham Tire Recycling Drive will take place on Saturday, July 9, 2016 from 8am-2pm at the City of Durham Waste Disposal and Recycling Center (2115 E. Club Blvd.)

The Tire Recycling Drive is a City-County Collaborative effort that includes Keep Durham Beautiful, The City of Durham Solid Waste Management Department, City of Durham General Services Department, the Durham County General Services Department and the Durham County Department of Public Health. Residents will be able to drop off unlimited tires (including tires with rims) for free during the event.

To learn more about mosquito diseases including Zika Virus and ways you can prevent mosquito breeding, visit the Durham County Department of Public Health’s website or check out our blog post about ways you can help fight the zika virus in your community.

50 Shades of Green: The Sex Lives of Plants

What some may not know is that process of pollination is similar to the process of reproduction by animals. Plants have a stamen (“male organ”) and a pistil (“female organ”) in which pollen must travel from the stamen to the pistil. There are various methods to this process with some plants being self-pollinators while others cross-pollinators. Meaning that some produce the pollen they need on their own or they require other plants from the same species for the pollen. Either way, these plants typically require pollinators.
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Everyone knows about the importance of bees and how they are common pollinators, but there are a lot more birds, animals, and insects at work in pollination. For this reason, plants have evolved with various mechanisms to attract different pollinators to ensure their species continues. The most common way is through the lure of candy.

Not the candy you hand out on Halloween, but nature’s similar sweet, nectar. This has led to some interesting pollinators, especially carnivores. A recent discovery found the Cape gray mongoose of South Africa is one of these pollinators. The mongoose does not eat plants for sustenance but is drawn in for a sweet treat. The pollen then sticks to their faces as they go from plant to plant seeking more sweets.
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Some plants open at night and give off strong smells that attract bats. Many tropical fruits are reliant on bats as major pollinators. While the plants have evolved to attract the bats, the animals have likewise evolved to get the nectar. In Ecuador, the tube-lipped bat, whose tongue is longer than it’s body, is a prime example of this. When symbiotic relationships lead to changes in animals this is called coevolution.

Sometimes it is something as simple as the wind that is the method of pollination. Something we in North Carolina are familiar with on those yellow spring days. Plants have found some rather unique ways to survive from one generation to the next, but the preservation of ecosystems remains vital. That means promoting healthy, sustainable practices in your neighborhood and city. For more information on how you can help protect pollinators check our Healthy Bee, Healthy Me program.

 

Tips For Hosting A Clean Your Block Party

With Clean Your Block Party rapidly approaching on Saturday, we thought it would be good to share a few ideas to help with planning. This event promises to be a great experience for everyone to help and develop pride in their community. So here are a few things you will need and some stuff you may want to add.

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People: Obviously you are going to need people, but you also need motivated leaders to keep everyone going. As the day warms up and people get dirty you are going to need leaders to keep people excited about what they are doing. It is also important that everyone has a clear vision of what projects you are working on. That way teams can divide up and more effectively tackle all the aspects.

Plan: You have your neighbors organized and ready to seize the day. Now you need an idea of what everyone wants to accomplish. Without out a plan, people will just go out and try to find something to do, but this is not the most economical way to spend the day. Without direction, it is easy for some volunteers to become disillusioned with the project and decide to call it a day. Everyone likes checking things off a list so maybe have a whiteboard where people can cross off tasks. This also allows everyone to see how much they have improved the neighborhood.

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Safety: The great thing about events like this is that it brings people of all ages and abilities together. So it’s important to remember that some people manage heat and physical exertion differently. Make sure to have cold water on hand, encourage people to take breaks, and keep drinking water. It’s easy to forget to take care of yourself when you are working with an enthusiastic group. Also, make sure people are taking proper precautions. As you pick things up you can come into contact with hazardous materials, sharp objects, or wildlife. Make sure people are wearing gloves, appropriate attire, and footwear. Work together and continue to check on each other to make sure everyone has a safe experience.

Recognition: When it’s over, make sure you recognize everyone’s contributions. When people feel appreciated they take pride in what they do. This may help keep people motivated to continue maintaining an orderly neighborhood. Once people are invested you will likely see a lot less garbage to clean up next year so you can focus on new projects.

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Optional After Party: A great way to continue the community building is to have a potluck cookout after you all are finished. Everyone can go home to wash up, then return to a designated spot where you can continue to get to know your neighbors and celebrate all that you have achieved.

We hope that everyone has a wonderful day and are excited to see how you beautified Durham. During and after the event please share your hard work on Social media and be sure to tag us in it. Here are some ideas you can use for inspiration:

During:
Twitter:

We care about your neighborhood because we are a community. That’s why we cleaned our block! @DurhamBeautiful #cleanYOURblock #Durham

Instagram:

Our neighborhood is building community while cleaning up the block. This is how we celebrate where we live here in [Insert Community Name]. @KeepDurhamBeatuiful #cleanYOURblock #Durham #NorthCarolina #[InstertCommunityName]Neighborhood.

After:
Twitter:

We had a great time cleaning up our community. This block is now clean! Thank you to all the volunteers. @DurhamBeautiful #cleanYOURblock

Instagram:

Look at how much better our block looks! This is how the community in [Insert Neighborhood Name] does it. Thank you to everyone who came out and helped. @KeepDurhamBeatiful #cleanYOURblock #Durham #NorthCarolina #[InsertCommunityName]Neighborhood

Join the Keep Durham Beautiful “Clean Your Block Party” in June

2016 “Clean Your Block Party,” Engages Volunteers to Take Action to Clean-up and Beautify Durham

June 12, 2016 – Keep Durham Beautiful invites residents to join with their neighbors as part of the nation’s largest annual Keep America Beautiful cleanup program, the “Clean Your Block Party,” to beautify Durham communities on June 18, 2016. Groups selecting other dates in June may also participate in the program.

Our goal is to end littering, improve recycling and beautify Durham, one block at a time. Whether a weedy corner, broken sign, littered street, or a garden bed needing attention, the “Clean Your Block Party” is an opportunity for neighbors, friends, and family to band together to create a positive, lasting impact, and to celebrate their accomplishments.

Registered “Clean Your Block Party” communities will be able to pick up available cleanup supplies from Keep Durham Beautiful on the afternoon of Thursday June 16, 2016 or by appointment. Supplies include litter grabbers, safety vests, trash bags, gloves, gardening tools, volunteer waivers, and a variety of prizes and goodies to show appreciation to our volunteers.

This initiative provides the best practices, activity ideas, and online toolkits for community cleanup organizers to learn about relevant Durham City and County ordinances and what they can do to address common maintenance issues in public spaces. Best practice tips are available for mosquito prevention, bird bath and rain barrel maintenance, standing water, tire disposal, recycling, paper shredding, bulky waste, the impact of cleanups to reduce pests, enforcement for unsightly areas, debris in the stormwater, and dog waste disposal.

Keep Durham Beautiful, along with other organizations in Keep America Beautiful’s national network of community-based affiliates, plan volunteer events and education programs that help to remove litter and renew parks and trails, clean waterways, reduce waste and improve recycling, and plant trees, flowers and community gardens.

In 2015, Keep Durham Beautiful volunteers:
• Participated in 120 events that engaged 3,230 individuals
• Contributed 7,693 volunteer hours valued at $23.07/hour
• Donated $177,478 worth of their time to make Durham more clean, green and beautiful
• Planted over 1,150 trees and distributed 800 tree seedlings to strengthen green infrastructure
• Collected and diverted 11,992 lbs recyclables and compostables from the landfill
• Removed 18,695 lbs litter from Durham parks, streams, bus stops and roads to create safer, cleaner communities

As part of this year’s community cleanup effort, we encourage residents to properly dispose of old tires and other items that may hold standing water to prevent mosquito breeding and the diseases they may carry. A special tire collection event is planned for July 9, 2016 at the City of Durham Solid Waste Transfer Station.

Keep Durham Beautiful seeks to educate and encourage volunteers to build a sense of community pride and environmental stewardship, offering experiences that help change behaviors to improve community appearance, block by block.

To get involved and register for “Clean Your Block Party,” please visit the website at: http://keepdurhambeautiful.org/our-events/cleanyourblockparty/ or contact us at: volunteer@keepdurhambeautiful.org or 919-560-4197 ext. 21244

About Keep Durham Beautiful
Keep Durham Beautiful is a nonprofit, volunteer organization working in partnership with the City of Durham General Services Department and Durham County to encourage residents, businesses, and community organizations to protect the environment and enhance the appearance of Durham through cleanup events, beautification projects, waste reduction, and educational activities. To learn more, visit the website, like on Facebook, and follow on Instagram, flickr, and Twitter.

About Keep America Beautiful
At Keep America Beautiful, we want to ensure that beauty is our lasting signature. A leading national nonprofit, Keep America Beautiful inspires and educates people to take action every day to improve and beautify their community environment. We envision a country where every community is a clean, green, and beautiful place to live. Established in 1953, Keep America Beautiful provides the expertise, programs and resources to help people end littering, improve recycling in America, and beautify America’s communities. The organization is driven by the work and passion of more than 600 community-based Keep America Beautiful affiliates, millions of volunteers, and the support of corporate partners, municipalities, elected officials, and individuals. To learn how you can donate or take action, visit kab.org.

BEEing A Kind Neighbor

People tend to like the work that bees do, but typically do not enjoy when they are around. Bees are an important part of any eco-system as they carry pollen from male plants to female plants. This allows plants to reproduce themselves and continue as a species. The problem is bee behavior can be a bit intimidating to us because of their defensive stingers.

Since the dawn of time people have been attracted to bees sweet honey much like a certain Pooh Bear. The earliest records of beekeeping can be traced back to Ancient Egypt where there are hieroglyphic depictions and stories about beekeeping. The practice of beekeeping continued to grow and was common throughout medieval Europe. Honeybees are not native to North America and were imported sometime during the mid-1600s to the European colonies. They adapted well to North America and have long since been a part of our agriculture, but now they are facing several challenges. Topping the list are the issues of pesticides usage, habitat loss, and Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD).

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People tend to see bees setting up around their homes as a threat to them and their family’s safety. For this reason, people move quickly to eradicate hives or swarms with various poisonous chemicals. Honeybees are not typically aggressive and can be safely removed by experts. If you find a swarm of honeybees and are uncomfortable with how close they are to your home, please contact the Durham County Beekeepers for assistance in relocating them.

Due to the fear of bees and the growth of urban and suburban areas bees are also losing their natural habitats. Bees are fairly adaptable so they will make homes in storm drains, open pipes, and in roof eaves. This is a great aspect of bees but leads to many bad encounters between people and pets. For this reason, communities should maintain green spaces where bees can nest.

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Source: Pixabay

The final issue affecting honeybees is Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD). Scientists continue to debate the cause of CCD, but it is leading to a steady decline in honeybee populations. This is why it is important to work on preserving the bees. CCD is also connected to a major loss of wild bee colonies. This makes the work for beekeepers even more important as they are preserving the species.

Beekeepers alone cannot prevent the loss of bee colonies and there are ways that everyone can help.

  • The biggest way is not to kill honeybees or destroy their hives. If you are concerned about bees being in proximity to your home please do contact someone to relocate the hive.
  • Plant a pollinator garden or bee friendly species around your house. Not only is this a great way to spruce up the yard or neighborhood but also you are helping to protect a vital species to North Carolina. You can find more information here.
  • Advocate for green spaces around your neighborhood. Green spaces not only benefit our wellbeing but the ecosystem’s as well. A healthy, diverse ecosystem makes the area much more sustainable.

These are some of the simple ways to help maintain a healthy, beautiful community. Please do not hesitate to reach out to Keep Durham Beautiful and find out how you can help your neighborhood. There are plenty of projects for all to contribute to making Durham a better community.

Bee City, USA Press Release

From: Durham Bee City Committee

The Durham Bee City Committee is happy to announce the certification of Durham, NC as an official Bee City USA by the Durham City Council on June 6, 2016.  We will be celebrating this happy inauguration with the kick off of 2016 Pollinator Week. See community events below. (http://www.beecityusa.org)

Please send any questions to :

Joanne Andrews :joannetandrews@gmail.com

The Durham Bee City Committee is a volunteer group that promotes and facilitates the education, conservation and prosperity of our native and honeybee populations in and near Durham County. This group has been partnering with Keep Durham Beautiful

and other individuals, organizations and local businesses since 2015 in an endeavor to facilitate the official designation of Durham an official Bee City USA by our City Council.

The Durham Bee City Committee currently consists of:

Joanne Andrews, Mz. Polly Nator, 2015 Beaver Queen: http://beaverlodgelocal1504.org

Paula Alexander: Burt’s Bees : http://www.burtsbees.com/

Lee-Katherine Bonner and Justin Mannes: Bee Downtown: http://www.beedowntown.org

Lee Moore Crawford, lee attracting birds and bees: http://leeattractingbirds.blogspot.com

Diane Currier: Honeygirl Meadery:  http://honeygirlmeadery.com

Tania Daulick and Erin Victor: Keep Durham Beautiful: https://keepdurhambeautiful.org

Margaret Sands: Triangle Land Conservancy: https://www.triangleland.org

Cheralyn Schmidt: Durham County Agricultural Extension :

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Molly Strayer: NC Museum of Life and Science: http://www.lifeandscience.org/calendar

Matthew Yearout: The Durham County Bee Keepers: http://www.durhambeekeepers.org

Pollinator Week Activities in Durham 2016

Monday June 20th: 430-630pm : Pollinator Friendly Flowers and Plants with Lee Attracting Birds and Bees: Create Art and learn about creating bird and bee friendly urban habitats at The Makery.401 Geer St http://themakeryatmercury.com

Tuesday June 21st: 9:30-11:30am- Pollinator Week at the Museum of Life and Science: Join the Museum as we celebrate National Pollinator Week! Visit The Garden, our sustainable demonstration garden, and see real pollinators helping our plants to grow. With the help of our educators and local scientists, learn about the important role the animals play in the survival of plants and people alike. Free with museum admission.  Museum of Life and Science, 433 W Murray Ave. http://www.lifeandscience.org/calendar

Wednesday June 22nd:

9:30-11:30am- Pollinator Week at the Museum of Life and Science: Join the Museum as we celebrate National Pollinator Week! Visit The Garden, our sustainable demonstration garden, and see real pollinators helping our plants to grow. With the help of our educators and local scientists, learn about the important role the animals play in the survival of plants and people alike. Free with museum admission.  Museum of Life and Science, 433 W Murray Ave. http://www.lifeandscience.org/calendar

5:30-8pm-Wild Ideas for Birds and Bees, with the Triangle Land Conservancy

At The Frontier @The RTP

For Pollinator Week, the Triangle Land Conservancy is bringing together beekeepers, ecologists, naturalists and pollinator advocacy organizations to share wild ideas for the birds and bees. Enjoy pecha kucha style presentations from pollinator experts, sip some Honeygirl mead and local beer, visit with local beekeepers, and more. Free admission. Pre-registration suggested, Register and info

https://www.triangleland.org/event/wild-ideas-birds-bees?instance_id=105

Thursday June 23rd: 9:30-11:30am- Pollinator Week at the Museum of Life and Science: Join the Museum as we celebrate National Pollinator Week! Visit The Garden, our sustainable demonstration garden, and see real pollinators helping our plants to grow. With the help of our educators and local scientists, learn about the important role the animals play in the survival of plants and people alike. Free with museum admission.  Museum of Life and Science, 433 W Murray Ave. http://www.lifeandscience.org/calendar

Friday June 24th: 9:30-11:30am- Pollinator Week at the Museum of Life and Science: Join the Museum as we celebrate National Pollinator Week! Visit The Garden, our sustainable demonstration garden, and see real pollinators helping our plants to grow. With the help of our educators and local scientists, learn about the important role the animals play in the survival of plants and people alike. Free with museum admission.  Museum of Life and Science, 433 W Murray Ave. http://www.lifeandscience.org/calenda

Saturday June 25th:

10 AM-11:30 AM Get Wild! Bugs and Bees at Horton Grove Nature Preserve, join TLC as we hunt for bugs, bees, and other pollinators. We’ll search the grasslands, stream banks, and forest floors for an up close look at the many types of beetles, butterflies, ants, and millipedes which call Horton Grove Nature Preserve home. We will learn some of the important ways insects help our environment and talk about which insects are safe to hold and which should be observed from a distance. We’ll also talk about how the native grassland at Horton Grove supports pollinator insects. This program is perfect for anyone interested in insects and families with children ages 4 and up.

1-6pm, Pollinator Day Festival, Honeygirl Meadery in downtown Durham

Come celebrate all things pollinators: learn how to plant a pollinator garden, taste varieties of honey, see how mead is made from honey, sip some local mead (21 and over, $5), shop a pop-up pollinator flower shop, or head out for an expedition with the Durham Parks and Recreation’s Botany Bar Crawl from 2-4pm (pre-register and fee- http://www.dprplaymore.org/). At Honeygirl Meadery, free admission, 105 Hood Street, # 6 in downtown Durham. http://honeygirlmeadery.com

Durham as a Bee City:

Bee City USA certification is both an honor and a responsibility. Launched in 2012, the Bee City USA program endorses a set of commitments, defined in a resolution, for creating sustainable habitats for pollinators, which are vital to feeding the planet. Cities, towns and communities across America are invited to make these commitments and become certified as a Bee City USA affiliate.”

  • By being a Bee City USA community, city leaders can improve their city or town’s environment, eating habits, and economy.

Durham as a Bee City continued….

  • Help to ensure the survival of vital animal species crucial to our planet’s complex food web.
  • Raise community awareness of how our food grows and improve local food production through expanded pollination. More than 150 food crops in the United States depend on pollinators, including blueberries, apples, squash, strawberries and almonds.
  • Improve local plant nursery markets by increasing demand for native, pollinator friendly plants.
  • Raise community awareness of the dangers of non-native invasive plants to the local ecosystem.
  • Raise community awareness of the local environment’s seasonality as understanding grows about the pollinators’ reliance on blooming plants and trees.
  • By encouraging urban beekeeping, increase micro and small business opportunities. Newly discovered pride in local food products, such as artisanal honey and other honey bee products, creates new business opportunities. Honey is absolutely unique to the nearby flowers from which the bees gather nectar. Its taste and color vary dramatically as a result. Furthermore, as the community of beekeepers grows, the market for beekeeping supplies grows.

 

 

 

 

Keep Durham Beautiful Seeks Pollinator Garden Applicants

Healthy Bee, Healthy MeKeep Durham Beautiful Seeks Pollinator Garden Applicants – Deadline April 25, 2016

Durham-based community gardens are invited to apply for the “Healthy Bee Healthy Me” Pollinator Garden Program  

 
Durham, NC – (April 20, 2016) – Keep Durham Beautiful (KDB) currently seeks applications from community gardens interested in installing a pollinator garden and interpretive signage near an existing community garden space. Eight Durham-based community gardens will be selected to participate in the 2016 “Healthy Bee Healthy Me” Pollinator Garden Program.
 
The “Healthy Bee, Healthy Me” Pollinator Garden Program is brought to you by Keep Durham Beautiful in partnership with Durham County Cooperative Extension to promote pollinator habitat throughout Durham City and County. The program is made possible in part by a grant from The Burt’s Bees Greater Good Foundation.
 
The goal of the program is to establish educational pollinator gardens in proximity to pre-existing community gardens to ensure the sustainability of nectar and pollen sources for our honey bees, native bees, butterflies and other pollinators throughout the year, and to increase the yield of the food crops grown within the community gardens. 
 
Gardens selected to participate in the Healthy Bee, Healthy Me program will receive pollinator plants, tool loaning, technical guidance, and interpretive signage. Preference will be given to well-managed community gardens that serve low income or underserved populations, with a focus on food and revenue generation.
 
Our goal at Keep Durham Beautiful is to create more vibrant and beautiful spaces, where our residents are engaged to be good stewards of their community environment. Providing bees and other pollinators with plenty of food sources throughout the year ensures the sustainability of their populations and increases the health and yield of the food crops grown nearby. Establishing pollinator gardens is one of the many ways that KDB promotes community greening and beautification. 
 
For more information or to download the application visit: http://keepdurhambeautiful.org/programs/healthybeehealthyme or contact Keep Durham Beautiful at 919-560-4197.
 
About Keep Durham Beautiful
Keep Durham Beautiful is a nonprofit, volunteer organization working in partnership with the City of Durham General Services Department and Durham County to encourage residents, businesses, and community organizations to protect the environment and enhance the appearance of Durham through cleanup events, beautification projects, waste reduction, and educational activities. To learn more, visit the website, like on Facebook, and follow on Instagramflickr, and Twitter.
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Keep Durham Beautiful 2016 Bulb Blitz Giveaway

Share! Win free flower bulbs! #BulbBlitz2016 #giveaway @durhambeautiful http://bit.ly/21g8jtH

Keep Durham Beautiful 2016 Bulb Blitz Giveaway

Durham-based community groups are invited to register for the chance to win free flower bulbs

Durham, NC – (February 24, 2016) – Durham-based community groups are invited to join the Keep Durham Beautiful 2016 Bulb Blitz Giveaway. Five community groups will win 100 bulbs each to help keep our community clean, green, and beautiful.

Our goal at Keep Durham Beautiful is to create more vibrant and beautiful spaces, where our residents are engaged to improve their community environment.

Flower bulb planting, a signature Keep Durham Beautiful volunteer effort, is one of the many paths to achieve community greening and beautification.

The giveaway will feature a mix of summer blooming bulbs (Cannas, Daylilies, and Asiatic Lilies) that should be planted by volunteer groups in the spring for optimum performance. All of these bulbs are perennials, which means they’ll come up again each year, beautifying Durham for years.

We believe that programs like the Bulb Blitz help to inspire further beautification and develop practices that will prevent litter, reduce waste and increase recycling, and beautify the community.

Participation Rules for the 2016 Bulb Blitz:

  • Deadline for submission is Monday, March 14, 2016 at 5 p.m. EST
  • Registration is open to any Durham-based group. Groups may be: neighborhood, civic, faith-based, non-profit, service, scouts, schools or any other community group
  • Bulbs must be planted by volunteers
  • Bulbs must be planted where visible from public streets or public spaces anyplace within Durham County
  • Winners must plan to pick up bulbs from Keep Durham Beautiful at 2011 Fay Street during business hours within two weeks of notification of bulb delivery
  • Bulbs are expected to arrive between mid-March and mid-June 2016 
  • Bulbs should be kept cool and dry (not freezing, not in the refrigerator, not in warm house) such as a basement or protected garage until planted
  • For optimal performance, bulbs should be planted by groups as soon as they are received
  • Winning groups must submit pictures of (1) volunteers planting the bulbs and (2) of the bulbs blooming 

Register at: http://keepdurhambeautiful.org/our-events/bulb-blitz/

About Keep Durham Beautiful
Keep Durham Beautiful is a nonprofit, volunteer organization working in partnership with the City of Durham General Services Department and Durham County to encourage residents, businesses, and community organizations to protect the environment and enhance the appearance of Durham through cleanup events, beautification projects, waste reduction, and educational activities. To learn more, visit the website, like on Facebook, and follow on Instagram, flickr, and Twitter.

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Durham to Celebrate Arbor Day March 6

Public Invited to Plant Trees After Ceremony

What: City of Durham 2016 Arbor Day Celebration with Community Tree Planting 

Who: City of Durham General Services Department Urban Forestry Division, Keep Durham BeautifulTrees Across Durham, and Durham City-County Sustainability Office

When: Sunday, March 6, 2016, from noon to 4 p.m.

Where: Museum of Life and Science (433 W. Murray Ave. Durham, N.C. 27704)

Fast Facts:

This annual celebration of Durham’s trees is free and open to the public. Activities are suitable for all ages and tools are provided for the volunteer tree planting. The schedule of activities includes:

o   Noon: Ceremonial presentation of the City’s Arbor Day proclamation and Tree City USA award

o   1 p.m.: Tree seedling giveaway and educational table displays, where attendees can choose from eight varieties of seedlings and receive guidance on tree selection, planting, and care.

o   1 p.m.: Arborist equipment demonstration as well as a “Meet a Scientist” lab demonstration.

o   2:30 p.m.: Community volunteer tree planting of 30 trees along North Glendale Avenue

Entry to the Museum of Life and Science is free to all Durham County residents on Sunday, March 6.  Showing proof of residence for each adult is required to receive free admission, and the limit is five children per adult resident. For additional information, or to volunteer for this community tree planting event, sign up online or email info@keepdurhambeautiful.org or call (919) 354-2729.

About the General Services Department

The City of Durham General Services Department creates, manages and maintains City properties to provide best value to the Durham community. The core business functions include: Administration/Business Services, Facilities Operations, Landscape Services, Urban Forestry, Real Estate, Project Management, Cemeteries, and Keep Durham Beautiful. As guided by the City’s Strategic Plan, General Services serves as a steward of the City’s physical and environmental assets. Through annual and long-range facility planning activities, the department plans, provides, and maintains the City’s facilities infrastructure, which supports the community’s quality of life and serves as a foundation of a healthy economy. 

About Keep Durham Beautiful

Keep Durham Beautiful is a nonprofit, volunteer organization working in partnership with the City of Durham General Services Department and Durham County to encourage residents, businesses, and community organizations to protect the environment and enhance the appearance of Durham through cleanup events, beautification projects, waste reduction, and educational activities. To learn more, visit the website, like on Facebook, and follow on Twitter and Instagram.

About Trees Across Durham

Trees Across Durham is a broad-based partnership dedicated to making Durham a healthier and greener community now and in the future through the planting and protection of trees; the education of tree caretakers and the general public about how to maintain healthy trees; and the measurement and communication of the benefits trees provide to the environment and community.

About the Durham City-County Sustainability Office

The mission of the Durham City/County Sustainability Office is to help protect and improve Durham’s environment through wise use of natural resources by providing guidance and resources to City and County employees, businesses, and residents. For more information, like on Facebook and follow on Twitter and Instagram.

Durham Seeks 2016 Golden Leaf Awards Nominations

Golden Leaf Awards

Golden Lead Award Recipients at the 2010 Golden Leaf Award Reception

DURHAM, N.C. – Beginning February 14, nominations can be submitted to recognize Durham properties that illustrate the best visual or environmental contributions to the community.

The Durham City-County Appearance Commission, Keep Durham Beautiful, and the Durham City-County Environmental Affairs Board are seeking 2016 Golden Leaf Awards nominations, which recognize new developments, buildings, and landscaping in Durham County that provide positive attributes to the built environment.

Nomination categories include Neighborhood Garden & Landscape; Hearth & Home; Adaptive Reuse–Old Building New Design; Small Development (under 12,000 sq. ft.); Large Development (over 12000 sq. ft.); Keep Durham Beautiful; and Sustainable Design.

Homeowners, building owners, architects, landscape architects, developers, realtors, and anyone involved in design, planning, and construction are encouraged to enter projects completed within the last five years. Residents who think there are certain Durham properties that have outstanding curb appeal are also invited to nominate those properties.

Visit the Golden Leaf Awards website to review complete descriptions of the categories, submission criteria, and nomination forms. Submissions can be made beginning Sunday, February 14, 2016, and are due by Sunday, March 13, 2016.

Winners in all categories will be honored with a Golden Leaf award at this year’s awards reception and ceremony, which will be held on Thursday, April 14, 2016, at 6:30 p.m. in the Durham County Government Administrative Complex Commissioners’ Chambers, 200 E. Main Street, Durham. For more information, contact Planning Supervisor Aaron Cain with the Durham City-County Planning Department at (919) 560-4137, ext. 28226 or by email.

About the Durham City-County Appearance Commission

The Durham City-County Appearance Commission is made up of 15 members, seven appointed by the City Council and eight appointed by the Board of County Commissioners. Its mission is to cultivate excellence in design, preservation and stewardship of the natural and built environment; to communicate the economic, social, and aesthetic value of good design and planning; and to celebrate exemplary design within the community.

About Keep Durham Beautiful

Keep Durham Beautiful is a nonprofit, volunteer organization working in partnership with the City of Durham General Services Department and Durham County to encourage residents, businesses, and community organizations to protect the environment and enhance the appearance of Durham through cleanup events, beautification projects, waste reduction, and educational activities. To learn more, visit the website, like on Facebook, and follow on Twitter and Instagram.

About the Durham City-County Environmental Affairs Board 

The City of Durham and Durham County jointly established the Environmental Affairs Board (EAB) in 1991, in recognition of the importance of local cooperation on environmental issues. The EAB is an advisory board of appointed volunteer citizens to provide the City and County with expert and comprehensive advice on various environmental matters. It is also a mechanism for facilitating communication between the public and local government leaders. The EAB considers topics such as watershed protection, natural resource protection, air quality, environmental impacts of industrial development, environmental education, green building design, energy conservation, and global climate change.