Keep Fremont Beautiful receives more than $100k in state grants
COLLIN SPILINEK Fremont Tribune
With 2021 ahead of them, Keep Fremont Beautiful received more than $100,000 in grants from the Nebraska Department of Environment and Energy.
“Coming into 2021 and being fully funded, we were fully awarded what we asked for in the grants,” KFB Executive Director Casey Vaughan said. “And having the experience of making the adjustments last year just makes us even more optimistic about going into 2021 with the funding that we need and the ability to adapt to any changes that come early.”
The department awarded KFB a $70,785 Litter Reduction and Recycling Grant, as well as a $30,414 Waste and Recycling Grant. The nonprofit applied for the grants in late summer 2020 and was notified in December.
With its origins in the 1970s before becoming official in 1983, KFB provides environmental education outreach for the Fremont community. It obtained its nonprofit designation in 2010.
Vaughan said KFB refers to the Litter Reduction and Recycling Grant as its public education grant. Although it covers areas like office rent and internet, the grant also includes advertising and environmental education outreach, including a kindergarten presentation.
“We do a second-grade presentation, we do the fourth-grade eco-fair, which is going to look a little bit different this year again with COVID,” Vaughan said. “And then it also goes into some of our recycling events and the advertising for it, local recycling opportunities, just pretty much overall organizational costs.”
The Waste Reduction and Recycling Grant is referred to as KFB’s hazardous waste grant, Vaughan said, as it covers the cost of hiring an environmental services contractor to dispose of hazardous waste.
“This also goes with the advertising of the hazardous waste event and just pretty much everything that we need to host that event,” she said. “So the Waste Reduction and Recycling Grant is very specific to our hazardous waste event and then summer parks recycling also.”
As KFB received grants last year, Vaughan said the nonprofit did well during 2020 despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
“It was more so maneuvering our programming around not meeting in person or if we were, doing it as safely as we could,” she said. “We had to move a lot of things to electronic versions, but we were able to do it, and we managed to accomplish everything that we wanted to in 2020.”
Vaughan said she was very thankful to NDEE for providing KFB with the grants it applied for, as well as the city of Fremont, which contributes $10,000 annually toward its efforts and renewed a four-year term in 2018.
“Without this grant, we wouldn’t have our program,” she said. “And we’re also thankful to the Dodge County Board of Supervisors, our partners association, everyone that helps us with our funding so that we’re able to have our environmental education program continue in our community.”