Most Iowans will be getting their W-2 forms in the mail within the next few days. The executive director of the Keep Iowa Beautiful campaign is asking people to keep that check-off in mind as they fill out their tax returns. Jerry Schnepf says Iowans can donate as little as one-dollar to the fund and he says every dollar helps. In its first year, 2001, the program netted 56-thousand dollars from the tax form check-offs, which helped ten communities launch beautification programs. Last year, it brought in 62-thousand dollars and the awards will be presented soon. He says 70-percent of the money is routed directly back toward local beautification programs, for which communities need to apply and compete. The other 30-percent goes toward statewide beautification efforts, largely things like litter prevention programs and other education efforts in schools to encourage more of an ethic in kids to care more about the land. He says communities all over the state have seen the benefits of the program in its first two years. Scott County used money for landscaping and planting, Burlington used the program to beautify the riverfront and Osceola created “Blooms and Brooms” to get volunteers active in cleaning up the streets. For more information, surf to “keepiowabeautiful.com” or call (515) 323-6507.
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