Keeping Santa Rosa beautiful

By Jody Conrad | Special to the Press Gazette

When it comes to keeping Santa Rosa County beautiful, Kevin Smith is the face behind the organization.

Known as KSRB, Keep Santa Rosa Beautiful is the local affiliate of the national parent organization, Keep America Beautiful.

Kevin Smith shares materials for a local cleanup.

According to Smith, KSRB is a private, non-profit group whose mission is “protecting and enhancing our environment through education, awareness, and action.”

On a daily basis, Smith, as the executive director, carries forth the mission by making presentations to local schools, civic organizations, churches, and other interested groups on Florida-friendly gardening, correct disposal of hazardous household wastes, and recycling.

“Basically, we try to educate folks on ways to prevent littering and polluting, and how to properly dispose of hazardous things, like paint and electronic equipment,” Smith said.

When our roads and waterways become clogged with trash, Smith works with local organizations and individuals who assist with cleanups.

“We have wonderful groups in our community like the Blackwater Pyrates who do an extraordinary job of cleaning our waterways," Smith said. "We also have dedicated families, businesses, and groups in our ‘Adopt-a-Road’ program, who keep the trash picked up along their designated areas.”

Kevin Smith is the director of the local non-profit Keep Santa Rosa Beautiful.

Smith said he then has the “privilege to work with these groups and provide them with what they need to get the job done,” like trash grabbers, garbage bags, gloves, and reflective safety clothing.

“We also schedule our own annual events,” Smith said, “like the annual April Great American Cleanup.”

This year’s event is April 24, and dumpsters will be placed in three key locations to accept trash and hazardous waste from local residents: at the KSRB offices at 6758 Park Ave., Floridale, and the skate park at the Milton Community Center.

The next event is the annual International September Coastal Cleanup.

“Trash in our bays and rivers eventually ends up in our Gulf,” Smith said.

In addition to many volunteers combing the beach areas at this event, “the Blackwater Pyrates step up again and clean the upper river areas during this event,” he added.

Smith, who has run the KSRB program for seven years now, said “I like what I do because my efforts make a positive impact on our environment, and I enjoy working with like-minded volunteers.”

Keep Santa Rosa Beautiful director Kevin Smith loads trash grabbers for cleanup efforts.

Any group wishing to schedule an educational event or participate in a cleanup can reach him at director@srclean.org.