Keep Pinellas Beautiful works with Key Club once again

The nonprofit known as KPB is working with Lakewood to promote environmental friendliness.



Martin Harvey and his wife picks up trash on Feb.3 at Bartlett Park. “This is our first Saturday doing this but our church was doing a help around the city and county area so we jumped in and wanted to keep Pinellas beautiful,” Harvey said.

JULES EAST, SNN Staff Writer

Keep Pinellas Beautiful, a nonprofit organization known as KPB, focuses on conservation and protecting the state of Florida’s environment. KPB has been working since 1992 to keep Pinellas County and other places in Florida clean and has even helped a Lakewood High School student club get litter out of local parks.

KPB has worked across several parts of Florida from Tampa Bay to the Gulf of Mexico, Tarpon Springs to Fort Desoto, and in many other areas. Not only is KPB working to protect beaches, they also are advocates for conservation of neighborhood parks and community centers.

KPB works to strengthen communities and motivate individuals to keep their neighborhoods beautiful.

Lakewood High School’s Key Club program, which cleans up local parks, once again has partnered with KPB for multiple volunteer projects. Last year, KPB worked with Key Club to do a major clean-up in Vinoy Park in St. Petersburg.

KPB also provides materials to Key Club for their projects and allows them to use their volunteers for some of the club’s big clean-ups.

“Since we have partnered with Keep Pinellas Beautiful, we’ve been able to do more park clean-ups and get more members involved. It has just been very great overall,” Key Club Lt. Governor Ethan Koh said.

Koh also said that even though Key Club does not partner with KPB that often, whenever they do volunteer together, KPB provides helpful resources.

KPB has had an impact on the Florida environment just in 2021 alone. That year, KPB performed 1,260 community projects and their volunteers logged 41,305 hours of service.

One of the people that helped make this possible is Executive Director Patricia DePlasco. She has worked with Keep America Beautiful affiliates for many years. After working as the development director for Keep Tampa Bay Beautiful, in 2015 she accepted the role as executive director of KPB.

DePlasco has helped coordinate events of all sizes. She arranges about 1,500 community improvement projects every year and works with nearly 20,000 volunteers.

“I love my job. I enjoy bringing the community together with a common goal,” DePlasco said. “I am fortunate to wake up every morning excited about coming to work because I know that my team and I are dedicated to keeping our slice of paradise beautiful.”