Keep America Beautiful Hometown USA award

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Keep America Beautiful
Hometown U.S.A. Award

Hometown USA emblem
(SKU: 356)
Last updated:
Level:Boy Scouts, Lone Boy Scouts, and
qualified Venturers and Sea Scouts[Note 1][Note 2]



Keep America Beautiful was founded in 1953 with the purpose of building and sustaining a national cleanliness ethic. The Boy Scouts of America has been affiliated with Keep America Beautiful for more than 50 years at the national level and through KAB’s national network of more than 600 community affiliates.

In 1971, Scouting Keep America Beautiful Day was first cosponsored by KAB and the BSA as a massive national cleanup and recycling program. Millions of Scouts still turn out annually to participate in community-enriching activities such as the Great American Cleanup and America Recycles Day.

Keep America Beautiful Hometown USA award requirements

  1. Merit badges. Earn three merit badges from the following list of 13 (*required for Eagle): Citizenship in the Community*, Communication*, Energy, Environmental Science*, Fish and Wildlife Management, Forestry, Gardening, Geocaching, Landscape Architecture, Photography, Public Speaking, Soil and Water Conservation, and Sustainability*.
  2. Community service project. In addition to earning the merit badges, a Scout is required to perform a community service project. The project should involve a minimum of eight hours of time, two of which must involve management planning, with the other six hours consisting of carrying out the project. The project should help keep America beautiful and benefit the community either physically or financially. One way to do this is to plan the community service project as part of a Keep America Beautiful program.

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  1. "All Boy Scout awards, merit badges, badges of rank, and Eagle Palms are only for registered Boy Scouts, Varsity Scouts, and Lone Boy Scouts; and also for qualified Venturers or Sea Scouts who are not yet 18 years old. Venturers and Sea Scouts qualify by achieving First Class rank as a Boy Scout, Varsity Scout, or Lone Scout." (Guide to Advancement § Scouting Ranks and Advancement Age Requirements)
  2. Effective December 31, 2017, BSA ended the Varsity Scouting program

List of Ideas for Community Service Projects

  • Plan and execute a Great American Cleanup in your local community. Adopt a park, block, beach, or vacant lot. Remove litter and debris. Build picnic tables or fix up oldones. Paint benches.
  • Build a nature trail or trashless trail for use as an outdoor classroom or for community enjoyment.
  • Register and organize an America Recycles Day event that involves your whole unit (i.e., newspaper, electronic gadget, and/or bottle collection).
  • Conduct a litter survey of local storefronts. Determine areas where litter has accumulated. Work with store owners/local government to help improve conditions.
  • Become involved in a local environmental/recycling issue. Attend public meetings, talk to public officials, and make a report to your troop about what you have learned. Decide how you want to become involved in resolving the issue and spend your project time educating your fellow citizens as to your viewpoint and assisting your "side" in its campaign.
  • Develop and help maintain a community garden or tree trail.
  • Plan and make a presentation to elementary students about the importance of conserving natural resources. Take students on a nature walk, pointing out natural resources.
  • Conduct soil and water conservation activities on a heavily used trail to prevent erosion. Record your activities.
  • Construct water facilities and plant vegetation that will provide food and shelter for wildlife in appropriate places.
  • Organize an anti-litter poster competition among junior and senior high schoolers. Arrange for businesses to donate awards for the winners and recruit community judges. Include media coverage. Get local businesses and schools to display the posters.
  • Adopt a park, block, vacant lot, etc. Erect signs urging others not to litter or vandalize. Protect a flower bed or plant species with fencing. Remove litter and debris. Build picnic tables or fix up old ones, paint benches, etc.
  • Research which plant species are native to your area, and plan and maintain a community wildflower garden. Include descriptive and educational signs for the public.
  • Establish and maintain a bird sanctuary.
  • Find out which birds, animals, and fish are native to your area. Write an article on the importance of maintaining proper balance between man and nature. Take steps to maintain habitat areas for this wildlife.

Keep America Beautiful Week

Keep America Beautiful Week developed from eleven consecutive years' observances of KAB Day. It originated in 1971 as "Scouting Keep America Beautiful Day." KAB Day was eventually extended to a weeklong observance (usually the fourth week of April). Millions of citizens across the nation participate each year.

National Public Lands Day

National Public Lands Day involves volunteers spending the day outdoors giving back to their community by pulling invasive species, maintaining trails, picking up trash, and more. This event falls annually on a Saturday during the month of September. The purpose of National Public Lands Day is "to connect people to public lands in their community, inspire environmental stewardship, and encourage use of public lands for education, recreation, and general health."

Requirement resources

Litter education The Recycling Journey Fact sheets on recycling, municipal solid waste

Award application

Keep America Beautiful Hometown USA Award Application

External links

Personal tools