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Three Cities Receive Keep America Beautiful's Graffiti Prevention Grants

Submitted by: Keep America Beautiful

Categories: Sustainability, Community Development

Posted: Sep 11, 2008 – 12:19 PM EST


Sep. 11 /CSRwire/ - STAMFORD, CT. - September 11, 2008 - Keep America Beautiful, Inc. today announced the Kent Police Department (Wash.), ASPIRA, Inc. of New Jersey, and the Corcoran Neighborhood Organization (Minn.) are recipients of $2,000 graffiti prevention grants from the 2008 Graffiti Hurts(R) National Grant Program.

The grants are awarded to entities in communities with populations less than 100,000, between 100,000 and 300,000, and over 300,000 in an effort to enhance local graffiti prevention activities. The Graffiti Hurts(R) Grant Program was initiated in 2007.

"This year's grant recipients presented exceptional plans to educate and engage at-risk youth, and to bring their entire communities together to prevent and eradicate graffiti," said Matt McKenna, president and CEO of Keep America Beautiful. "All of the winners show wonderful examples of how to change behavior, prevent negative impacts to society, and create a sense of ownership for their community. We' re grateful to The Sherwin-Williams Company for their ongoing support of the Graffiti Hurts program, a nationwide resource for communities addressing graffiti problems."

Graffiti Hurts(R) was developed in 1996 through a partnership between Keep America Beautiful, the nation’s largest nonprofit education and community improvement organization, and The Sherwin-Williams Company (NYSE: SHW), maker of Krylon paint, to respond to the blight of graffiti vandalism in communities nationwide. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, graffiti contributes to lost revenue associated with reduced ridership on transit systems, reduced retail sales, and declines in property value.

The proposed programs include the Kent Police Department's initiative to enlist at-risk youth, businesses, neighborhood associations, and Weed & Seed volunteers to "adopt" 10 locations in the city prone to graffiti vandalism. Volunteers will be given graffiti removal kits as well as graffiti prevention training. Signs and other education will create awareness among community residents.

ASPIRA, Inc. of New Jersey in Newark will work with at-risk youth on graffiti education using the Graffiti Hurts(R)curriculum, execution of two graffiti cleanups, and the production of a PSA that will raise awareness about graffiti vandalism and the risks for youth.

The Corcoran Neighborhood Organization in Minneapolis, Minn., which also applied for a grant in 2007, will use Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) principles to change the environment at 10 neighborhood locations identified as graffiti vandalism "hot spots.' This will include changes to landscape, lighting, fencing, cleanup, and other activities.

Nearly 100 applications were submitted for the Graffiti Hurts(R) National Grant Program, representing the best of local governments, police departments, schools, nonprofit volunteer organizations, and other groups dedicated to eradicating graffiti vandalism.

"Sherwin-Williams is proud to sponsor the Graffiti Hurts program, and is dedicated to supporting initiatives that help prevent and eradicate graffiti," said Harvey Sass, president and general manager, Diversified Brands Division, The Sherwin-Williams Company. "Graffiti Hurts has effectively addressed this issue nationwide, and we commend the 2008 grant winners for their innovative plans to stop graffiti in their communities."

About Keep America Beautiful, Inc. and Graffiti Hurts(R)
Keep America Beautiful, Inc., established in 1953, is the nation's largest volunteer-based community action and education organization. With a network of nearly 1,000 affiliate and participating organizations, Keep America Beautiful forms public-private partnerships and programs that engage individuals to take greater responsibility for improving their community environments. For additional information, visit www.kab.org. For more information about Graffiti Hurts(R) and its resources to help communities prevent graffiti, visit www.graffitihurts.org or contact graffitihurts@kab.org.

For more information, please contact:

Robert Wallace Keep America Beautiful
Phone: 203.323.8987, ext. 811
Website: www.kab.org
Larry Kaufman Keep America Beautiful
Phone: 203.323.8987, ext. 817
Website: www.kab.org

For more from this organization:

Keep America Beautiful


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