Love Circles

Love Circles, Melisa Hargrove

In honor of Valentine’s Day, I wanted to share my thoughts on how we can make the earth our Valentine this month, one “love circle” at a time. We all have many loves. I imagine a bullseye, with circles that start in the center and work their way out. To have an impact, we just need to do little things in each of our “love circles.”

Keep Florence Beautiful wants to help us impact each of our love circles. Please consider subscribing to our newsletter and following us on Facebook. These are simple ways to stay in touch with us. Once you have subscribed (or if you already subscribe) to our newsletter/updates, make sure we don’t end up in spam or in a “promotions” folder.

My center love circle is me. I often think of myself first. So how can I personally show the planet some love this month in a way that is completely selfless (no benefit to self)? I am struck with the thought that most every action of love (even if it appears selfish on the surface) benefits someone or something. The most selfless actions of love are ones that are secret. No fan fair, no thanks you, no accolades. So … my suggestion, is just pick up one piece of trash without telling a single person.

The next love circle in my love bullseye is my family and friends. Goodness, I love these people. I want to leave this planet healthy for my grandson, who is not quite two years old. He loved the recent snow and called it bubbles (oh the mind of a two-year-old). The snow covered everything: the grass, dirt, and litter. It was nice to see everything covered with a clean blanket of snow/bubbles. But that only lasted a short time and then the ground was muddy, and the trash was visible again. My suggestion to show the planet some love is to take your young loved ones (they are the ones that we can most influence about the environment) to a place where litter is prevalent and then to a place that is clean. The visual impact of litter can forever influence a young person.

My next love circle is the outdoors. From a young age, my parents encouraged outdoor activities. I have not always enjoyed them, nor was I an athletic child. But the constant outdoor activities made me appreciate and enjoy nature. Now, if you want to find me on the weekends, look for me outside. Why? … Because I love the peace and wonder of nature. As a result of loving it so much, I want nature protected. There are so many ways we can protect nature. One simple way is we can use a reusable water bottle instead of a disposable one, but the list is endless.

The outer rings of my love circle are my neighbors. My neighbors vary from my co-workers, those who live on my street; and people in my town, county, country, and planet. How can I impact my neighbors? Just like the circles of love, we start close to home and work our way out. This month I am excited to be starting Mini Clean Ups with Keep Florence Beautiful. These will be short clean ups during lunch for about 30 minutes in different places around Florence. The goal will be to have an impact in a small area in a short time. Our first Mini Clean Up will be on February 24, 2022 at 12:30 pm at Jeffries Creek Park. Look for the Event on our Facebook page. I hope you will take this opportunity to do something simple with me to show the planet some love.

Melisa Hargrove

Keep Florence Beautiful Secretary

KFB Launches Pet Waste Outreach Campaign

Clean Water, Clean Yards, Clean Shoes Logo

Keep Florence Beautiful is about to tackle a different form of litter in the community: pet waste.  Funded in part by a grant from PalmettoPride, the “Clean Water, Clean Yards, Clean Shoes” campaign seeks to educate citizens about the negative impacts of pet waste. “The ultimate goal of the project is to increase the number of people picking up after their pets,” said KFB Board Chair Michelle Bailey.

Pet waste is unattractive and has a certain “yuck” factor that deters people from using public spaces. Pet waste also contains bacteria, viruses, and parasites that may be transported to local waterways during rain events which could lead to illness in pets or humans that ingest the water. “It’s a bigger problem than people realize,” Bailey said. “In Florence County alone, it is estimated that more than 2.8 tons of pet waste are left on the ground each day.”

In an effort to promote proper disposal of pet waste disposal, 15 pet waste stations are available to homeowners associations, neighborhood associations, and public parks through an application process. Organizations interested in receiving a pet waste station should complete the application/agreement form.

In addition to the pet waste stations, portable pet waste dispensers along with an educational brochure from the Florence Darlington Stormwater Consortium have been provided to the Florence Area Humane Society. “We feel like education is key to getting people to pick up after their pets. The Consortium brochures do a great job of explaining the relationship between pet waste and water quality and the portable bag dispensers make picking up after your pet convenient.”

Pet Waste Bag Dispenser

Volunteers Needed For Winter Cleanup

River Sweep 2013

Do you have community pride?  Join KFB for a winter cleanup at Freedom Florence and surrounding trails this Saturday, January 11, 2014 from 10:00 AM – 12 Noon.

Participants should meet in the rear corner of the paved parking lot at Freedom Florence.  Follow this link for a map.

The meeting location is marked with a red star.  Cleaning can take place anywhere within the Freedom Florence complex or along the trail system which leads to the Stockade and National Cemetery.  Trash bags and gloves will be provided.

*All participants will be required to sign a waiver.  A parent or guardian must sign for anyone under 18.  Participants under the age of 15 will need to be supervised by a parent/guardian.

5 Points Beautification Project

Five Points Median Chosen For Beautification Project

The median in front of the Sav-Way convenient store and gas station will soon get a much needed makeover.  Spearheaded by Keep Florence Beautiful, the beautification project is underway. The median is owned by Rainwater Gas & Oil, leased by Chase Oil and Adams Outdoor Advertising has the easement rights to the property.  This is the first time Keep Florence Beautiful has had the pleasure of working with 3 companies at once, but they have all been very supportive of the project. 

Funded by a Keep South Carolina Beautiful Affiliate Grant awarded by Palmetto Pride, cleanup efforts to remove overgrown vegetation are already underway with completion expected by the end of October.  The original plans for the project called for a complete overhaul of the median including concrete work.  “Unfortunately, we only received partial funding from PalmettoPride which meant we had to eliminate the concrete work.  The new plants and mulch will still be a vast improvement and perhaps one day we will be able to re-visit the possibility of improving the concrete around the area.” said KFB Board Chair Michelle Bailey. 

The group chose the site because it is such a high traffic area.  “5 Points is a high traffic area which provides access to I-20 and I-95.  We are really excited to have a project which will be viewed by so many people on a daily basis.”  

Volunteers: Volunteers are needed to help install plants and spread mulch.  For more information on how to get involved, visit


Media Contact: Michelle Bailey, Chair Keep Florence Beautiful 843.206.3205