UPS Foundation awards tree grant to Saluda Riverwalk

Keep the Midlands Beautiful (KMB) recently received a $5,000 Keep America Beautiful/UPS Community Tree and Recovery Tree Planting Grant for the soon-to-open Saluda Riverwalk. The grant is one of 12 grants from The UPS Foundation that have been provided to Keep America Beautiful affiliates in 2019.

Keep the Midlands Beautiful will plant thirty trees at the soon-to-open Saluda Riverwalk to beautify the Riverwalk entrance and facilitate opportunities for volunteerism through environmental stewardship. Keep the Midlands Beautiful, KMB volunteers, and UPS volunteers will gain an understanding of the ecosystem services trees provide and will be actively involved in monitoring tree health and sustainability.

“Our hope for this project is to convert awareness into action by facilitating opportunities for volunteers to learn more about environmental stewardship,” said Jacqueline Buck, Executive Director. “We will be working closely with Karen Kustafik, Assistant Superintendent of the Columbia Parks and Recreation Department, to ensure that this project is a success. We look forward to beautifying the Riverwalk’s entrance alongside Midlands citizens and UPS employee volunteers.”

The grant program, open exclusively to Keep America Beautiful community-based affiliates, provides grants for tree plantings that will have a greater likelihood of withstanding natural disasters in communities that have lost a significant number of trees because of a recent disaster. In addition, local Keep America Beautiful affiliate grant recipients work with UPS employees who provide volunteer support to plant the trees and to fulfill other community improvement projects.

“With natural disasters ranging from hurricanes to flooding to wildfires there is a critical need to focus significant attention on strategic tree plantings that can add to a community’s resilience while replenishing the trees lost to these disasters,” said Helen Lowman, Keep America Beautiful’s president and CEO. “The UPS Foundation has been focused on this issue for years through its global tree-planting initiative. Keep America Beautiful is proud to be among the NGOs partnering with UPS to meet this fundamental global challenge.”

Keep the Midlands Beautiful is dedicated to enhancing the day-to-day experiences of Midlands citizens and visitors by partnering with local organizations and county agencies to create vibrant spaces that are inclusive, accessible, and welcoming to all. Beautification projects also have the added benefits of deterring illegal behaviors such as littering and illegal dumping, which is a core component of the mission of Keep the Midlands Beautiful.

Since 2011, Keep America Beautiful and The UPS Foundation have worked together to plant more than 23,700 trees throughout the country. The collaboration with Keep America Beautiful is part of The UPS Foundation’s global tree-planting initiative intended to help sequester levels of carbon dioxide through strategic plantings; emphasize the importance of native tree planting; or produce fruit from fruit trees for local consumption.