NEWARK, NJ - The city and one of the world's leading candy manufacturers are partnering to bring a nonprofit that will work to beautify Newark.

Mars Wrigley Confectionery, which is slated to move into the new Ironside Newark building, will be the sponsor that brings Keep America Beautiful to Newark. The nonprofit organization will create a city hub in 2020 that works to reduce littering and improve recycling.

“Clean, healthy, livable communities are the foundation for strong local economies – and all of the people of Newark deserve to live in such a community,” said Malkia King, founding executive director of Keep America Beautiful-Newark. “Keep America Beautiful-Newark will provide yet another way to move Newark forward.”

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The nonprofit will be in charge of the Great American Cleanup, which will kick off April in Newark. The organization also plans to participate in America Recycles Day and work to obtain grants to beautify open spaces and create urban community gardens that provide fresh produce to residents.

Keep America Beautiful’s network includes branches in Chicago and more than 600 community-based affiliates. More than 3.4 million volunteers work with the organization each year, helping to improve vacant lots, plant trees and flower and responsible manage waste.

“As part of the Keep America Beautiful Network, the Newark branch will act as a catalyst for positive community change, with a goal of improving the quality of life for every resident,” said Keep America Beautiful President & CEO Helen Lowman. “Keep America Beautiful-Newark will help transform public spaces into beautiful places as an important representative of our national movement and our local efforts to expand our presence in New Jersey.

Mars has partnered with the nonprofit for more than 60 years to educate youth about environmental responsibilities and better communities throughout the U.S. The company, which was located in Newark around the 1940s until it decided to expand, reportedly signed a lease in the Brick City last year.

“We are proud to have a strong legacy and future in Newark,” Mars Wrigley Confectionery U.S. Workplace Strategy Director Alison Mulligan. “More than 75 years ago, Mars opened its doors in Newark to create the first M&M’s as military rations. We are excited to come back to the community by opening a new market hub in 2020.”

Newark Mayor Ras Baraka has praised Mars’ decision to come back to Newark. Today, he called the company a “good corporate neighbor.”

“Keep America Beautiful has done an outstanding job of supporting sustainability and community programs across the nation,” said Mayor Ras Baraka in a statement.

“Mars Wrigley Confectionery is returning to its historic Newark roots as both an economic engine for our city and a good corporate neighbor by partnering with Keep America Beautiful and us to create this important program to make Newark a more sustainable, clean, and strong city.”

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