Bulb Blitz 2017: Enter to win free flower bulbs!

Keep Durham Beautiful 

2016 Year in Review
What a year! We are proud of everything Keep Durham Beautiful was able to accomplish this past year, thanks to the generous support of all of you, our volunteers, donors, and partners who make this work possible.

Here are some of the highlights from 2016:
  • Raising Awareness of Pollinators. In 2016, Durham became a Bee City USA and we launched our new Healthy Bee, Healthy Bee Pollinator Garden Program, establishing 8 pollinator gardens throughout Durham County.
  • Supporting School Lunchroom Recycling. With support from the Carton Council, Keep Durham Beautiful partnered with Durham Public Schools to initiate a new lunchroom recycling program in 13 elementary and two middle schools.
  • Preventing Litter. Volunteers helped clean up an astonishing 59,783 lbs of litter throughout Durham this past year! These results can be attributed to our initiatives including the formation of a Litter Prevention Task Force, success of the Tire Recycling Drive that raised awareness of the connection between water-catching bulky litter and mosquito-borne zika virus, kicking off our first Clean Your Block Party, and seeing record participation numbers in Big Sweep and Creek Week programs.
  • Beautifying Public Spaces. Giving away hundreds of trees and flower bulbs to Durham residents, planting an orchard at Merrick-Moore Elementary School as part of Green Apple Day of Service, and building a Playground at Crest Street Park with KABOOM! DPR, and BCBS are just a few of the ways KDB has worked to beautify public spaces in Durham in 2016.
  • Growing the KDB Team. This past year we hired a full time Sustainability Specialist and welcomed two new AmeriCorps members and two summer interns to the Keep Durham Beautiful team. 
We look forward to all the adventures in 2017 has in store.
Durham-based community groups are invited to register for the Keep Durham Beautiful 2017 Bulb Blitz Giveaway. Groups registering by January 15 will be selected randomly by raffle to receive a selection of bulbs to plant in a publicly visible location. Our goal 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 perennial bulbs such as hostas and daylillies that should be planted by volunteer groups as directed.

Participation Rules for the 2017 Bulb Blitz:
  • Register here by Sunday January 15, 2017 at midnight
  • 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 pick up bulbs from Keep Durham Beautiful at 2011 Fay Street during the week of January 16
  • Winning groups must submit pictures of (1) volunteers planting the bulbs and (2) of the bulbs blooming 

KDB Community Beautification Grants Available

KDB Seeks Applications for Community Beautification Grant Program
Durham-based residents, volunteer groups and educators looking to improve Durham’s appearance, but lacking the necessary funds to get their project going, are encouraged to apply for the Keep Durham Beautiful semi-annual grant program. KDB will award competitive grants of up to $500 each to support projects that address our key focus areas of litter prevention, waste reduction and community greening. Priority will be given to projects that leverage multiple partners, engage volunteers to complete the work, and have a clear maintenance plan. The next deadline to submit applications is Tuesday, January 31 via our online grant application.
Pollinator Education
KDB Seeks Applications for Healthy Bee, Healthy Me Pollinator Garden Program by January 31

Ever wonder where all the luscious fruits and veggies we partake of come from? Yes we know from plants but who is responsible?

Pollinators, that’s who! Over one-third of all fruits and veggies grown are attributed to the help of pollinators. All of which come in many forms, from the most notable honey bee, to the beautiful hummingbird, native bees, even bats and butterflies. They all play a special part in keeping us healthy and nourished. With all of the environmental hazards and problems caused by humans, these friendly little helpers are at risk. Things such as habitat destruction and colony collapse disorder all play a major part in pollinator decline.
Here’s how you can help ... plant a pollinator garden! Keep Durham Beautiful in partnership with Durham County Cooperative Extension offers pollinator garden grants through our “Healthy Bee, Healthy Me” Pollinator Garden Program. The program seeks 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.
Community 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. 

This program is made possible in part with grants from The Burt’s Bees Greater Good Foundation and Triangle Community Foundation’s Support for Places: Environmental Conservation Public Benefit Program.
For more information visit our website at:

Last month we had the pleasure of teaming up with over 300 students and staff from Merrick-Moore Elementary School to beautify their school grounds. The day consisted of planting an orchard and revitalizing the outdoor classroom space at the school. This effort was part of Green Apple Day of Service, a collaboration between Keep Durham Beautiful, the USGCB NC, and Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) Raleigh-Durham that provides the funding, tool lending, and skilled volunteer labor to help with a school beautification project each fall. We would like to give a special thanks to the Inter-Faith Food Shuttle, Lowe's Home Improvement of Durham, and Jimmy Johns for their generous support for this project.

Keep Durham Beautiful Tree Giveaway

Recycling Tour
Keep Durham Beautiful gave away 300 trees to Durham residents in the fall of 2016 on three designated dates. Giveaways in Long Meadow Park and Walltown included tree planting demonstrations. Our giveaway at Durham Central Park included a food drive for Inter-Faith Food Shuttle's Backpack Buddies Program where we collected 275 lbs of healthy foods! We are thankful for your food donations, giving the trees a new home, and our amazing partners. If you were not able to participate in the tree giveaway, please stay tuned for our next giveaway on Arbor Day. 
The Keep Durham Beautiful 2016 Tree Giveaway was made possible by CSX through a partnership with the Alliance for Community Trees, a program of the Arbor Day Foundation.

The Keep Durham Beautiful Team Continues to Grow!

Britt Huggins - Public Allies AmeriCorps Member with Keep Durham Beautiful

It is our pleasure to announce that Britt Huggins has joined the Keep Durham Beautiful team as our newest AmeriCorps member! Britt is part of the Public Allies program with the North Carolina Institute of Minority Economic Development and will be serving with us for 8 months. She will primarily be filling the role of the Healthy Bee, Healthy Me Pollinator Garden Coordinator but will also be helping with other community greening efforts. She is studying Environmental Science at Wake Tech and passionate about horticulture and food access. Prior to joining us, Britt served as the volunteer and community engagement coordinator at the Hope Center at Pullen.

January Events & Volunteer Opportunities 

In the month of January, we remember Martin Luther King Jr., he was an inspiration to many. We dedicate our service to honor his legacy and to give back to our community.  

Join us on any of the below volunteer opportunities:
  • Saturday, January 14th- Walltown Tree Planting from 1pm-3pm. Sign up here
  • Monday, January 16th - Lakewood Community Cleanup and Beautification from 9:30am-12pm. Sign up here
  • Monday, January 16th- Fullsteam Brewery Tree Planting from 2pm-5pm. Sign up here
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