From the Beginning
History of Keep Rome-Floyd Beautiful, formerly known as The Rome-Floyd Clean Community Commission, formerly, Rome Clean Community Commission.
Keep Rome-Floyd Beautiful was established in 1976 and is one of the oldest programs in the Keep America Beautiful (“KAB”) system. The organizational format of the KAB system was a perfect umbrella for the many beautification programs already in place in our community. The Beautification Committee of the Chamber of Commerce had participated in KAB programs for several years prior to 1976.
In 1976, Betty Peartree, Chairman of the Chamber of Commerce’s Beautification Committee, along with Martin H. “Buddy” Mitchell, representing the Rome City Commission, attended a KAB workshop in Dallas, Texas. After this workshop, Rome became a certified city in KAB’s Clean Community System. Mary Louise Payne was hired as the coordinator for the Rome Clean Community Commission and served in that capacity from 1976 until 1980.
In a November 14, 1977 Rome News Tribune article, Buddy Mitchell, designer of the Anti-Litter emblem of the Rome Clean Community, stated that the emblem portrays a balance of man stated that the emblem portrays a balance of man and nature, and attempts to sell the idea that the two forces can live together in harmony. The design, which was adopted in 1977, was inspired by the ancient Chinese symbol of Yin and Yang, which depicts a duality of creative and destructive forces at play. “The house in the logo represents man, who has the ability to destroy the beauty and order of his environment with litter and pollution, while the tree represents nature, which continually works to cleanse and purify the earth,”Mitchell said. In the same November 14, 1977 Rome News-Tribune article, Mary Louis Payne, stated that “The Clean Community Commission works to identify major litter problem areas, to get these cleaned up, and to educate the public on the detrimental effects of litter. The thing is, no litter control program works if the emphasis is just on clean-up. The emphasis, studies have shown, must be on changing the public’s littering habits. Then, and only then, can we make a dent in any area’s litter build-up.
In 1980, Mickie Dobbs was hired as the coordinator for the Rome Clean Community Commission and served in that capacity for almost 20 years. Under Mickie Dobbs’ leadership and the service of a dedicated volunteer commission, our affiliate has won many national and state awards. In March 1996, Mickie Dobbs was named “Woman of the Year” and received the “Carolyn Creighton Award” at the Georgia Clean and Beautiful Awards luncheon. Also in 1996, Mickie Dobbs received an award at the Keep America Beautiful National Convention for her outstanding service.
In 1996, under Chairman Georgia Burns’ volunteer leadership, our affiliate adopted a new mission statement: “To achieve a cleaner and more beautiful community through the education and involvement of its citizens.” Also in 1996, the Rome-Floyd Clean Community Commission took part in the Summer Olympic celebration by donating money towards the purchase of a highway entrance sign on Highway 411 which welcomes visitors driving into Rome and Floyd County.
In 1998, our affiliate changed its name from “The Rome-Floyd Clean Community Commission” to “Keep Rome-Floyd Beautiful”. After Roger Powers, long-term president of Keep America Beautiful, Inc., stepped down from that position, the new president , Raymond Empson, encouraged all affiliates to change their names to more closely align themselves with “Keep America Beautiful.” Volunteer member Pam Roberts helped develop the new emblem which is used in conjunction with our old emblem.
Our affiliate continues to educate and inform the public of the need for proper solid waste management and to reflect the change in philosophy from a concern for roadside litter to a multi-faceted concern for the preservation of our environment.