AMES, Iowa -- At a ceremony today (Jan. 29), Iowa State University became the first higher education institution in the state to earn affiliation with Keep Iowa Beautiful.
Keep Iowa Beautiful assists local cleanup and beautification through research, education and public awareness, said Gerry Schnepf, executive director of the organization.
"Partnering with Iowa State is a great way to recognize the beauty of the campus and to help support and enhance university efforts that will define it as a model for other colleges in Iowa and around the nation," Schnepf said.
Iowa State's campus-wide, anti-litter initiative, Keep Iowa State Beautiful, was created last fall. Affiliation with the state program will give the ISU program access to statewide resources and opportunities to network and share ideas.
"Iowa State University, with its spectacular central campus and gorgeous Reiman Gardens, is one of the most beautiful campuses in the nation, and we are committed to keeping it that way," said Iowa State President Gregory L. Geoffroy. "We're proud to be joining the 'Keep Iowa Beautiful' initiative, and lending our support to this important statewide effort."
The Keep Iowa State Beautiful committee is a collaboration among the Office of Student Affairs, Facilities Planning and Management, Athletics, the Department of Residence, the Greek community and others.
To become affiliated, the ISU committee had to create a plan to address litter reduction on campus, conduct a litter survey and participate in training, said Jennifer Garrett, chair of the Keep Iowa State Beautiful committee and coordinator of leadership and service in the Memorial Union's student activities center.
"This has been a major endeavor," Garrett said. "Our committee worked hard to meet the requirements of this affiliation. We're thrilled to be the state's first college or university to partner with Keep Iowa Beautiful."
The committee has implemented an anti-litter marketing campaign. Their campaign slogan, "Cy says ... Keep it Clean, Keep it Green," is used at events on campus. Keep Iowa State Beautiful also encourages organizers of campus events to order extra trash cans or minimize products that generate debris.
"And this spring, we are starting an Adopt-Campus program -- similar to 'Adopt-a-Highway' -- in which teams monitor litter in assigned areas of campus," Garrett said. "We'll be recruiting and placing teams for the program soon."
Future plans include informing new ISU community members about the initiative through orientation and Destination Iowa State, and addressing the issue of classroom trash.