Providing Leadership and Education in Community Beautification, Litter Prevention and Recycling
The Keep Putnam County Beautiful Clean Commission is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization based in Cookeville, TN serving the residents of Putnam County. The group was founded in 1986 by Frank & Jo Brittnel as the Cookeville Clean Commission. We became affiliated with Keep America Beautiful in 2015 and changed our name to Keep Putnam County Beautiful Clean Commission at that time. Ms. Shannon Reese serves as our Executive Coordinator, the only paid staff position. We have a twelve-member board of directors.
2019 Board of Directors
Tara Wohlgemuth, President DeLayne Miller, Vice President
Mike Bolan, Secretary Angie Fennewald, Treasurer
Keith Street, Mark Green, Kristen Mattson, Stacey Clark, Gabby Lewis, Sam Glasgow
Key Accomplishments after 30 Years of the Clean Commission
Cleaning Up Legacy Dumps: We have worked with the county, state and willing landowners to clean up ten legacy dumps across the county, deploying an army of volunteers to remove years’ worth of household waste and thousands of tires. We posted signs at these locations to discourage future dumping.
Increasing Access to Recycling: For 30 years, we have worked alongside the Putnam County Solid Waste Department to increase recycling access. We started by hosting two recycling events per year in the 1980’s. Today, recycling is offered at all sixteen permanent recycling facilities across the county; businesses can register for recycling, and Cookeville is exploring curbside recycling through a pilot project.
Educating the Next Generation: We understand that the future of responsible solid waste management lies with our children. We have developed several classroom activities demonstrating the benefits of recycling and living in a clean environment free of litter. We also facilitate a lunchroom recycling program that empowers students to participate in a better future and generates extra funding for schools.
Budget & Fundraising
The 2018 annual operating budget was $30,121. Our Executive Coordinator works with the Board of Directors to fundraise this amount each year via a combination of local government funding, individual memberships, corporate donations, grants and fundraising event revenue.
Sixty percent of our funding comes from local governments. They recognize the community harm that irresponsible solid waste management causes and support our efforts to prevent and clean-up waste:
Putnam County: $12,000 (2018)
City of Cookeville: $5,000 (2018) and $9,000 (2015-2017)
Grant funding for project-directed work we have received in recent years includes:
$500 (2016), $1,000 (2017) and $1,000 (2018), from TWRA to coordinate Window Cliffs State Natural Area’s Cane Creek Cleanup event with 60+ volunteers from TN Tech.
$500 (2015) and $940 (2016) from the Cookeville Junior Women’s Club to support school programs
$2,000 (2015) from the Whole Kids Foundation for garden at Northeast Elementary and teaching children about healthy food choices, composting and growing your own food.
$2,000 (2017) from Keep Tennessee Beautiful to support clean-ups on lakes, river, and streams.
$5,000 (2015) from Keep America Beautiful and UPS for tree planting in Monterey.
$1,000 (2015) from Keep Tennessee Beautiful to support our Adopt-a-Road program.
$5,000 (2013) from Community Foundation of Middle TN to identify, assess and clean-up illegal dumps.