New Initiatives to Keep Prince William Beautiful

Google+ Pinterest LinkedIn Tumblr +

Like this article? Support us by subscribing here. Your donation will help us continue to provide quality-of-life news and make local impact possible.

By Wendy Migdal | Sponsored by Keep Prince William Beautiful

Since Rico Fleshman joined Keep Prince William Beautiful in September 2021 as Executive Director, he’s made quite a few improvements to the organization. Like the bulbs we plant in fall and look forward to seeing in spring, so too have some of his changes begun to appear.

New Leadership

KPWB, Rico Fleshman

Rico Fleshman

Fleshman brings a wealth of business development experience to Keep Prince William Beautiful, having worked on the business development side for federal government contractors, a transportation company, and an organization for people with disabilities. He helped design and fund programs to reduce traffic congestion and improve air quality by encouraging people to walk to work, carpool, ride bikes, etc. He also has a natural love for being in the outdoors. When he learned of the role at Keep Prince William Beautiful from the previous executive director, he thought it felt like the right fit for him.

“It made sense to me personally. It struck me that I would be remiss if I didn’t follow through on it,” he says.

His goal has been to help the organization grow from their current footprint. To that end, he’s reorganized positions within KPWB to better enable growth. “We’re doing events we haven’t done, ever, or at least not in a long while and it’s an exciting time for us.”

He’s also helped rebrand the logo, produce litter and recycling videos and add other content to the website. As a result, KPWB has seen traffic increase by 267%. The website is still being used to recruit and help train volunteers and has now become the hub for all environmental education, volunteer, and professional development opportunities in Prince William County.

“We will now serve as a clearinghouse for other environmental groups,” says Fleshman, noting that their events calendar will now include events from all other environmental groups in Prince William.

Bus Shelter Beautification

One event Fleshman is excited about will be carried out in concert with several other groups and organizations in Prince William, including OmniRide, PWC Neighborhood Services, Parks, Recreation and Tourism and Apple Federal Credit Union. Local artists will be invited to apply to create public artwork for bus shelters throughout the County on the theme of environmental sustainability. Once artists are chosen for the five shelters that are part of the pilot program, they will be given a grant to purchase supplies.

“We’re expecting a range of styles and quality artwork. The theme of environmental sustainability can be in whatever form the artist conceptualizes,” says Fleshman.

After the work has been displayed for a year, it will be removed and auctioned, with the proceeds split between the artist and Keep Prince William Beautiful. Fleshman explains that as the project moves forward, businesses, organizations and even residents will be able to adopt a shelter, like KPWB’s Adopt-a-Spot program. The fees collected will pay artists and allow the program to expand and continue in perpetuity.

Church Memorial Garden Project

Another upcoming event will take place on April 23 at Mount Pleasant Baptist Church in Gainesville. It’s been nearly 10 years since the historic Black church became the target of an arsonist. KPWB will support the Prince William Chapter of Jack and Jill, the Master Gardeners of Prince William (MGPW) and the Virginia Cooperative Extension Prince William Unit Environment and Natural Resources as they work to beautify the memorial garden at the historic site. KPWB is providing shovels and materials, while Jack and Jill is expecting between 30 to 50 volunteers. Together, they will plant a variety of native plants to beautify the garden.

Closing Thoughts

Fleshman wants to encourage everyone to get involved in making Prince William a cleaner and greener place, and to remind them that of the “9 Rs of sustainable living,” the first one is “rethink.”

“We’d like everyone at home to rethink what they can do in their homes to live more sustainably. Then they should use Keep Prince William Beautiful as a resource and a tool in the process of implementing a more sustainable environmentally friendly lifestyle.”



Wendy Migdal is a freelance writer who has lived in the Northern/Central Virginia area since 2000. She has written extensively for The Free Lance-Star and also works for online educational companies. Wendy enjoys traveling around the area to learn about parks, restaurants, attractions, and especially history.


Comments are closed.