Saturdays are normally a day of relaxation or work around the home, but a group of dedicated Bartlett citizens known as the Keep Bartlett Beautiful (KBB) Commission gathered at 1 p.m. in Bartlett Station Municipal Center to celebrate their latest accomplishment. Their efforts earned an affiliation with Keep America Beautiful (KAB) and Keep Tennessee Beautiful (KTnB).
Mayor Keith McDonald talked about how Bartlett got on the path to earning this affiliation. He kept sending Bartlett Community Relations Director Debbie Gelineau (who is also the KBB executive director and KAB/website liaison collaborating with KBB Chair Tommie Jean Moore) to multiple meetings to learn more about the national and state-level programs. She came back with information about the broad scope of KAB and KTnB operations.
“I remember when I first became mayor, even back when I was an alderman 20 years ago, we used to talk about the ‘Frayser Creep,’ McDonald said. “And then it got to be the ‘Raleigh Creep.’ I’m determined it’s not going to be the ‘Bartlett Creep.’ And the only way that can happen is with your help.”
Bartlett can’t give up on the beauty, cleanliness and self-pride of one neighborhood or even one street, because then disarray creeps in. McDonald continued, “That’s why I frequently call about the properties that are owned by rental companies right on the edges of our western and southern border, and I’m going to continue to do that. I don’t intend to let one house go and give up on it. But with your help and programs like this, it will never be the ‘Bartlett Creep.'”
Missy Marshall, KTnB’s executive director, was also on hand Saturday to present a certificate and take part in the group’s celebration.
“I’m excited to be here,” Marshall said.
“… I’m really proud of y’all for joining the Keep America Beautiful family.”
Established in 1953, KAB is a leading national nonprofit that provides the expertise, programs and resources to help people end littering, improve recycling and beautify America’s communities.
It took more than a year for the Bartlett commission to gather the information necessary to join KTnB. Moore said the affiliation will make the commission eligible to apply for more grants for the city.
After the certificate presentation, Marshall said KBB will now be able to apply for various national grants, such as ones available from Lowe’s, Coca-Cola, Waste Management, Glad Bags, Nestle Water and more. She also displayed a colorful new “Keep Bartlett Beautiful” logo that reflects the Bartlett commission’s expanded mission to promote education and community involvement in recycling, beautification and litter control.
Also on hand for the festivities were Bartlett Chief Administrative Officer Mark Brown, Bartlett Alderman and Commission Liaison Emily Elliott, Bartlett Vice Mayor Jack Young, Bartlett Public Works Division of General Maintenance Manager and Commission Liaison Matt Crenshaw, Bartlett Parks and Recreation Director Shan Criswell and KBB Commission members.
In addition to the members and city liaisons previously mentioned, the KBB Commission includes Joe Bledsoe, Bill Browning, Mark Guenin, Linda Howe, Donald Keith, Michelle Page, Kenneth Parks, Wayne Ray, Laurie and Tom Rieman, Kathleen Robertson, Deb Ross, Becky Sykes, Danny Thompson and Karen Winemiller.
Editor’s note: See The Bartlett Express for an upcoming story on the data KBB gathered about the city’s beautification needs and what KBB’s plans are.
CAROLYN BAHM is the editor of The Bartlett Express. Contact her at (901) 433-9138 or via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.