Keep Atlanta Beautiful Believes in Outer Order, Inner Calm
For more than 12 years, nonprofit Keep Atlanta Beautiful has eradicated illegal signage, reduced litter, upheld code enforcement and established recycle spots throughout the city. Its impact eliminating eyesores in Atlanta is clear, but many may not know how Keep Atlanta Beautiful has colored our city.
Executive Director Peggy Denby knows the difference between murals of original design and graffiti of obscene defiance. When she restarted Keep Atlanta Beautiful in 2005, painting over graffiti became a priority.
“When we first organized, graffiti was a huge, huge problem in the city,” she says. “We got funding and grants and did everything we possibly could to get it ready for the city to take over.”
Keep Atlanta Beautiful armed themselves with paintbrushes and worked for years to improve the graffiti ordinance and equip residents with paint in graffiti kits. Soon, the organization’s Graffiti Task Force included Atlanta police and the court system. Today, Keep Atlanta Beautiful supplies the city of Atlanta with recycled paint and volunteers can often be spotted giving Atlanta a fresh coat of paint.
Peggy urges Atlanta to leave murals to the artists and call ATL 311 to report unsightly art.
Keep Atlanta Beautiful collects recyclables and paint twice a month at various drop-offs in Atlanta. Visit KeepAtlantaBeautiful.org to learn more.