The Sweat-Hogs or Team KVB
by Maria Baskin

Team Keep Venice Beautiful (KVB) is an offshoot of Venice Area Beautification, Inc. (VABI).  Team KVB is a diversified group of 33 men and women of all ages who come from different professional backgrounds.  KVB’s goal is not to organize ribbon cuttings or hold charity balls or line the streets with pretty flowers, although there is nothing wrong with any of these activities.  Their goal is to literally “make a difference on the ground,” says Corky Dalton, Leader of Team KVB.
KVB’s mission is to:

* Remove invasive species (only goal when Team KVB first formed 12 years ago known as Brazilian Pepper Patrol)
* Clean and remove leaves and branches from around bushes and trees
* Remove “human” trash around plant beds

Doesn’t sound like glitz and glamour, does it?  Well, ask Tim Leach, a Venice resident, who noticed “the overgrown and ugly appearance at the back of the Venice High School fence line.” Team KVB is responsible for cleaning up truck loads of invasive bushes and carting them away from the Venice High School fence.  People notice when green spaces are neglected and they also notice when the vegetation cared for and thriving.

KVB requires its volunteers to get their hands dirty and break a sweat. That’s how they became known as the Sweat-hogs.

Why should you consider volunteering?  Here are some of the reasons the members of Team KVB joined the team:

“When I finish our Thursday work, I can see the difference my fellow-KVBers and I have made, and I can feel it in my muscles.”

“When I work with this group and share some sweat, a little dirt, and a pinch of humor, it strengthens my sense of belonging in Venice.”

“As I go about my work, I appreciate the immediate Thank you’s received from passersby. It reinforces my reason for being part of KVB.”

Partnering with the Department of Public Works and Sarasota County this little-big army of helpers from Team KVB care for the following green areas along with many others:

Venice downtown, Heritage Park, Centennial Park, Fountains, Festival grounds at the airport, Venice Museum, and the Arboretum

Next time you are driving around Venice, look for the yellow T-Shirts with Team KVB written on them.  You may even discover the inner Sweat-hog you didn’t know you had in you. Bring your own implements or use those provided by Team KVP, and join Team: Keeping Venice Beautiful.  If you would like more information call 941-207-8224 or email