NEWS

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Community Star Award Goes to 'Keep Senior Beautiful'

Billings, January 19, 2022 

Bright n’ Beautiful, the Keep America Beautiful affiliate for Yellowstone County, is proud to announce that the Billings Senior High School Student Council ‘Keep Senior Beautiful’ Committee is the recipient of its 2021 Community Star Award. Bright n’ Beautiful established the annual honor in 2018 to recognize people who make valuable contributions to the beauty and well-being of Billings and Yellowstone County.

 The Senior Student Council is being honored for launching an innovative, ongoing, student-powered initiative, “Keep Senior Beautiful,” to assess and address litter problems on the large downtown campus and areas surrounding it.

 Challenged by the news that last year’s prom had to be cancelled due to COVID-19, the Committee got creative and turned the April 29th Keep Senior Beautiful launch into a colorful COVID-safe event for all the Senior students who wanted to participate. Teams of students clad in bright orange ‘Keep Senior Beautiful” t-shirts poured into the Senior High neighborhood to collect the litter for which students are often held responsible.

 “Keep Senior Beautiful is indeed a thing of beauty,” says Joanie Tooley, Executive Director of Bright n’ Beautiful. “It’s inspiring to see young people take notice and take action by addressing litter problems hands-on in our shared environment. They’ve found ways to have fun doing it, too. Billings is blessed to have such good neighbors at Senior High.”

Keep Senior Beautiful students have also been helping out at a Billings landmark, the Moss Mansion. “The Keep Senior Beautiful team does an amazing job of cleaning up the grounds,” says Moss Volunteer Coordinator Stacey Jacobs. “We really appreciate their enthusiasm, energy and hard work. What a great group of young people!”

 Keep Senior Beautiful is an ongoing initiative of the Senior High Student Council. An awareness campaign and cleanups continue throughout the school year and spring 2022 will bring another big event. After the success of the pilot program at Senior, Bright n’ Beautiful hopes to partner with other high schools in Billings and  Yellowstone County.

 The 2021 Bright n’ Beautiful Community Star Award was presented to Keep Senior Beautiful leaders Parker Friday and Grace Carr and the Student Council at Billings Senior High School Library on Wednesday, January 19. 

Congratulations and Go Broncs!

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 Christmas Tree Recycling a Big Success 

Billings, February 14, 2022

Over 3,000 trees collected in Yellowstone County

 The Yellowstone County Christmas Tree Recycling Program stretched from Sunday, December 26 through Thursday, January 21, 2022. 

A popular joint project of Bright n’ Beautiful, the City of Billings, and the County of Yellowstone, as well as generous community partners Republic Services, Rocky Mountain Compost, ZooMontana, Schnitzer Steel, and Hanser’s Automotive, the 2021-22 Christmas Tree Recycling effort was a resounding success, An estimated 3,000 trees were saved for good purpose from the landfill. Starting the day after Christmas folks dropped off their trees at ten convenient locations in Billings and Yellowstone County. We owe special thanks to the Billings Public Works Department Solid Waste crew for placing and hauling hefty containers in Billings. Republic Services did the honors elsewhere in the county by generously donating their large containers and hauling services in Lockwood, Huntley and Shepherd.    In late January, the trees were transported to Rocky Mountain Compost for grinding into rich pine mulch to be used around the community in locations like ZooMontana and the Montana Audubon Center.

Rocky Mountain Compost reports that 13 huge loads of trees from the City of Billings and Republic Services, totaling 65,000 lbs., plus 5 semi-truck loads from ZooMontana came to a grand total of 106,785.73 lbs (or 53 tons) of trees. They estimate the number exceeded 3,050. That's a lot of trees!

This year, the City added a convenient drop off location at Clevenger Park. Thanks to all our partners for hosting drop-offs in Billings and neighboring communities: 

ZooMontana 

Schnitzer Steel 

Hanser’s Automotive 

Rocky Mountain Compost 

Billings Landfill 

Billings Parks and Recreation

City of Laurel

Lockwood High School

Shepherd High School 

Huntley United Methodist Church 

Thank you, bright and beautiful people. In fact, thank you very 'mulch'! See you next Christmas! 

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A Great American Cleanup for the Ages

Billings, June 2022

Bright n' Beautiful once again hosted the region's Keep America Beautiful Great American Cleanup this spring. As last year, we enjoyed a big Cleanup Day in Billings on Saturday, April 23.  As luck would have it, we had to contend with freezing rain all day. Several dauntless teams could be seen on Billings Blvd., in Two Moon Park, at Yellowstone County Museum grounds and all along Minnesota Avenue downtown. Good thing we extended the Cleanup period through Mother’s Day, May 8, (and beyond into June, truth be told) so that everyone could get their neighborly efforts supported and reported to Keep America Beautiful. This year, some 65 different teams representing over 1800 individuals volunteered in Billings, Shepherd, Huntley, Worden, and Laurel, showing up to give our beautiful Yellowstone County home a good spring cleaning.

Bright n’ Beautiful was honored to partner again with JustServe.org as their Community Day of Service coincided nicely with our Billings Cleanup Day. Some of those efforts were postponed as well but, by the end of Cleanup season, beloved landmarks from Yellowstone Art Museum to Two Moon Park, from the Moss Mansion to the Canyon Creek Battlefield Historic site, got a well-deserved spruce up. The Billings Public Works Department again donated three enormous roll-off dumpsters for our use during Earth Day weekend lat Castle Rock Park in the Heights, the Senior & Community Center downtown and, new this year, Shiloh United Methodist Church on the West End. Thank you all for kindly accommodated our mighty bright n' beautiful roll offs!

Here are some highlights of 2022 Great American Cleanup:

  • Billings Senior High shone with their ongoing ‘Keep Senior Beautiful.' 300+ students and staff cleaned campus, park, neighborhood and Moss Mansion grounds. Broncs filled 82 33-gallon bags with litter!

  • Billings Central Catholic High School, Sky View High, and West High all staged wonderful campus cleanups with hundreds of students and teachers participating during the busiest time of their year. Thanks, teens! 

  • 155 Laurel volunteers worked for two days doing away with 121 litter bags and 18 trailer loads of old appliances and debris 

  •  RMC’s River Research Institute volunteers recycled 760 lbs. of metal, 1780 lbs. of trash, and 24 car, truck and tractor tires out of our beloved river.

 Keep the spirit of Great American Cleanup all year long! If you’d like to tackle litter anytime in Yellowstone County, we'll help with free supplies and the loan of gear. We'll get the word out if you want new friends to join you in your efforts. Call Bright n’ Beautiful at 406-248-6617, email brightnbeautifulbillings@gmail.com, or visit www.bnbyc.org. Have some fun making Yellowstone County bright and beautiful all year long!