Over 48,000 Gardens and Green Spaces Created in 2008 through Keep America Beautiful’s Great American Cleanup

Emphasis on Greening Public Spaces Produces Astounding Results and Benefits for Thousands of Communities

STAMFORD, Conn., Dec. 11 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Keep America Beautiful announces that the Great American Cleanup, the organization’s annual campaign to clean-up and green-up thousands of communities in all 50 states, resulted in a record 48,000-plus gardens, green spaces and xeriscapes created in 2008.

This is the first year that the organization tracked the number of gardens created. In previous years, participating organizations tracked only the number of trees, flowers, bulbs and shrubs planted.

“The impact of more than 48,000 gardens nationwide is wonderful to imagine,” said Matthew M. McKenna, president and CEO of Keep America Beautiful, Inc. “Every one of these public spaces could be providing a quiet place to reflect on nature, food for the community, a gateway for the neighborhood, an activity space for kids, or even an offset to a community’s carbon footprint. We are incredibly thankful to all the volunteers and partners who made this possible.”

The movement to create gardens in 2008 involved public-private partnerships between businesses and governments at the national, state and local levels. One such partnership involves The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company, which has provided more than 45 grants to Keep America Beautiful affiliates to support the creation and maintenance of green spaces and community gardens since 2005. This year, Scotts Miracle-Gro also supported a national campaign to educate consumers about the importance of conserving water. Participants signed a pledge to be “Water Smart” and voted for their communities to receive a $10,000 green space grant. The winning community, Flint, Mich., will use the funds to create a gateway garden at the Flint Farmers’ Market.

“Green spaces and community gardens provide numerous benefits to our environment and neighborhoods, from protecting our water, to providing a place for relaxation and recreation,” said Rich Shank, chief environmental officer for Scotts Miracle-Gro. “We are proud to have played a part in this remarkable effort, and remain committed to building green spaces and gardens for communities to enjoy.”

About Keep America Beautiful:

Keep America Beautiful, Inc., established in 1953, is the nation’s largest volunteer-based community action and education organization. With a network of nearly 1,000 affiliate and participating organizations, Keep America Beautiful forms public-private partnerships and programs that engage individuals to take greater responsibility for improving their community’s environment. The Great American Cleanup is one of its many programs that encourage people to care for communities through volunteer participation. To join the Great American Cleanup and campaign for a cleaner, greener America, visit http://www.kab.org.

About Scotts Miracle-Gro:

With $2.9 billion in worldwide sales and more than 6,000 associates, The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company, through its wholly-owned subsidiary, The Scotts Company LLC, is the world’s largest marketer of branded consumer products for lawn and garden care, with products for professional horticulture as well. The Company’s brands are the most recognized in the industry. In the U.S., the Company’s Scotts(R), Miracle-Gro(R) and Ortho(R) brands are market-leading in their categories, as is the consumer Roundup(R) brand, which is marketed in North America and most of Europe exclusively by Scotts and owned by Monsanto. The Company also owns Smith & Hawken, a leading brand of garden-inspired products that includes pottery, watering equipment, gardening tools, outdoor furniture and live goods. In Europe, the Company’s brands include Weedol(R), Pathclear(R), Evergreen(R), Levington(R), Miracle-Gro(R), KB(R), Fertiligene(R) and Substral(R). For additional information, visit us at http://www.scotts.com.

    CONTACT: Robert Wallace

    Larry Kaufman

    Su Lok

[Via http://www.prnewswire.com]

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