Carbondale Foundation for a Better Environment. | Southern Illinois University Special Collections Research Center
The Carbondale Foundation for a Better Environment (Illinois) began as the Mayor's Beautification Committee in 1968. It became defunct 1985.
The origin of the Carbondale Foundation for a Better Environment (CFBE) was the Mayor's Beautification Committee. During a Beautification Conference, a question regarding the decay of the downtown Carbondale came into discussion. A meeting of concerned citizens to start a planning group intent on improving the downtown area followed the discussion. The Foundation emerged from these humble beginnings to form one of the first environmentally active organizations in Carbondale.
From 1970 until 1973, the Foundation spent their time working to beautify the downtown area through various cleanup projects, tree plantings, and seminars. In 1974, the Foundation began to branch out. The Carbondale Design Awards became another venue explored by the Foundation to promote improvement within respective environments. The Foundation also began to have increased interest in Southern Illinois University Carbondale student environmental groups and worked in conjunction with them to make projects such as newsletters, Earth Day, and clean-up organizers, a success. During this time, the Foundation served as a watchdog to the community and a big brother to student organizations. There was also an increased interest in Arbor Day during this time. The Arbor Day celebration became a tradition in Carbondale, and the city became known as a "Tree City, USA" in 1981 and 1982.
In addition to helping beautify the city, Foundation inspired environmentally friendly work to help renovate two areas, Turley Park and Cedar Lake. The work done by the Foundation is still evident through the continuation of the Carbondale Design Awards, the progress of Southern Illinois University Carbondale environmental groups, and the renewal of the Beautification Committee through the Main Street Committee.