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Our History


Keep NC Beautiful has been providing environmental education and beautification opportunities that elevate the quality of life in North Carolina for over 57 years. The organization was chartered in 1967 as part of Governor and Mrs. Dan K. Moore’s pledge to emphasize preserving the physical beauty of North Carolina.


Heading in his speech at the Governor’s Conference on Beautification in Raleigh on April 8, 1966, Governor Moore said, “Let us work together to make…[North Carolina] a more beautiful state and to bring about its full potential development.”

The goal behind Governor Moore’s vision was to use the gifts North Carolina was blessed with-its natural resources, scenery, climate, and the physical variety ranging from the coast to the mountains-to provide quality of life benefits for its citizens. That vision became NC Beautiful’s mission: To foster environmental stewardship through education and outreach to perpetuate the natural beauty of North Carolina.

In the early 70s, NC Beautiful focused on promotional and educational activities that would improve the state’s visual and physical environment. As the organization continued to grow through the 70s and into the 80s, it initiated programs aimed at enhancing the state’s visual appeal, preserving natural resources, and educating children and adults on how they could impact environmental quality. Programs like the Clean Community System to fight litter, Adopt-A-Highway, Take Pride in the Carolinas, and the School Beautification Awards all helped create awareness and action. In the 90s, its focus broadened to include programs addressing environmental literacy issues such as waste management, environmental protection, and preservation of natural resources.

Today, Keep NC Beautiful concentrates on hands-on programs designed to encourage and empower active involvement by all North Carolinians. Programs such as Windows of Opportunity Grants, the Environmental Scholars Program, the Moore Fellowship Program, and the Annual Azalea Celebration, have become organization and community standards.

Keep NC Beautiful has been part of the state’s environmental preservation community for 57 years, supporting awareness, education and beautification efforts that affect our quality of life. We concentrate on hands-on and merit-based programs designed to empower our citizens to preserve the natural beauty of the state of North Carolina. Whether it’s school children building outdoor classrooms, graduate students developing cutting edge research, a Boy Scout troop planting azaleas at an elder care facility, or a planting or litter clean-up project with one of our 36 affiliates statewide, we make it possible for North Carolinians to keep NC Beautiful!

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