The 25th annual Keep Austin Beautiful awards will be handed out today at a luncheon at the Sheraton Austin. The awards are intended to “honor the efforts of businesses, individuals, and community groups, both large and small, that serve as inspirations for greater environmental stewardship.” The awards will acknowledge the contributions of eight different people and organizations, as well as a name a “best of the best” for the organization that has contributed most to the beautification of the city. Here are the eight winners:
Beautification: For Improving an area through landscaping, tree planting, artwork, architecture or other means. Winner: Sunset Valley Elementary- For its commitment to beautify its campus in hopes of influencing an environmental excitement in a new generation. (Honorable Mention: Austin Child Guidance Center)
Community Involvement: For inspiring community involvement and/or community ownership in order to clean, beautify or restore an area or promote environmental stewardship. Winner: PODER- For its transforming a shopping center-doomed land into a 6-acre preserve with freshwater springs. Winner: Little Helping Hands- For influencing children to be mindful of community beautification projects at a young age (Honorable Mention: Entrepreneur’s Foundation)
Applied Materials Education: For raising awareness about environmental stewardship through educational activities. Includes youth and adults, schools, organizations and other groups. Winner: Groundwater to the Gulf Teacher Institute- For leading a free 3-day seminar to help teachers’ be comfortable with teaching water curricula. (Honorable Mention: Sustainable Food Center)
Dennis Hobbs Individual Achievement: For providing visionary leadership or personal action in environmental efforts. Winner: David Matthews- For a numerous efforts over the last eleven years.
Industry Leadership: For raising the bar for innovative and/or enhanced environmental practices through new or ongoing programs and activities. Winner: Dell, Inc.- For its dedication to sustainability and its use of compostable bamboo in the packaging of its products. (Honorable Mention: Austin Convention Center Development)
Litter Abatement: For removing or preventing litter and committed to keeping an area clean. Winner: Friends of Red Bud Isle- For keeping the dog park near Lady Bird Lake dog poop free (no, really…).
Recycling and Waste Reduction: For establishing or maintaining a unique or comprehensive recycling and/or waste reduction program. Winner: Jack and Adam’s Green Team- For finding users of bike products that would have otherwise been tossed.(Honorable Mention: Bryker Woods PTA)
Freescale Youth Achievement: For implementing or maintaining outstanding youth projects or activities to clean, beautify or restore an area or promote environmental stewardship.Winner: Matthew Evans, Discover Green- For encouraging environmental awareness in teenagers by educating them and inspiring them to start their own beautification projects. (Honorable Mention: Anderson High School)