Newark, N.J., Mayor Ras J. Baraka and Mars Wrigley Confectionery U.S. announced that the city and the confectioner are partnering to bring national nonprofit Keep America Beautiful to Newark, establishing a branch of the sustainability organization in a city hub to enhance ongoing programs and add new ones. Working with the city, the business community and a variety of nonprofits, Keep America Beautiful-Newark will work to curtail littering, improve recycling and beautify the local community.
The move expands Keep America Beautiful's network, which includes branches in more than 600 community-based affiliates across the U.S., 27 state and several international affiliates, as well as Keep Jersey City Beautiful.
"Keep America Beautiful has done an outstanding job of supporting sustainability and community programs across the nation,” said Baraka in a statement. “Mars Wrigley Confectionery is returning to its historic Newark roots as both an economic engine for our city and a good corporate neighbor by partnering with Keep America Beautiful and us to create this important program to make Newark a more sustainable, clean and strong city. I commend these organizations on developing this partnership and look forward to engaging our administration and residents with them."
"Through our many partnerships across the city, we will bring programs and resources to help keep Newark clean, safe, healthy and beautiful," said Malkia King, founding executive director of Keep America Beautiful-Newark, in a statement. "Clean, healthy, livable communities are the foundation for strong local economies—and all of the people of Newark deserve to live in such a community. Keep America Beautiful-Newark will provide yet another way to move Newark forward. I'm honored to lead this initiative, along with my advisory board and partners. We welcome all who share the same desire to create and provide a better quality of life for Newark's citizens."
One of the community improvement programs that Keep America Beautiful-Newark will produce in the coming year is the Great American Cleanup, which will kick off in Newark in April.
Keep America Beautiful-Newark also plans on participating in America Recycles Day, a Keep America Beautiful national initiative that annually takes place in mid-November. Keep America Beautiful pass-through grants from national partners will also be pursued to improve public space recycling, beautify open spaces and create urban community gardens that can provide fresh produce to Newark citizens.
Mars has a long history of partnering with Keep America Beautiful as a key corporate partner, working with the organization for more than 60 years to educate America's youth about environmental stewardship and improve local communities nationwide.
"We are proud to have a strong legacy and future in Newark. More than 75 years ago, Mars opened its doors in Newark to create the first M&M's as military rations. We are excited to come back to the community by opening a new market hub in 2020," said Mars Wrigley Confectionery U.S. Workplace Strategy Director Alison Mulligan in a statement. "As part of our commitment to treat the communities where we live and work, Mars will join forces with Keep America Beautiful to further the revitalization of Newark for workers and residents alike."
Keep America Beautiful's network mobilizes more than 3.4 million volunteers each year to take positive action on community improvement concerns. Through their programs, litter is reduced, solid waste is responsibly managed, citizens improve vacant lots, highways and other public spaces, trees and flowers are planted and recycling and composting efforts are implemented.
The formation of Keep America Beautiful-Newark exemplifies the organization's trisector model for social good in which the business community, local government, nonprofits and citizens work together to champion environmentally healthy, socially connected, and economically sound communities.
"As part of the Keep America Beautiful Network, the Newark branch will act as a catalyst for positive community change, with a goal of improving the quality of life for every resident," said Keep America Beautiful President and CEO Helen Lowman in a statement. "Keep America Beautiful-Newark will help transform public spaces into beautiful places as an important representative of our national movement and our local efforts to expand our presence in New Jersey."