MANDEVILLE, La. – Each year, in conjunction with the Keep Louisiana Beautiful (KLB) State Conference, KLB hosts the Everyday Hero Awards luncheon, recognizing those going the extra mile to keep Louisiana litter-free and beautiful. The luncheon on October 12, 2022, 12:30 – 2 p.m. at the Hilton Baton Rouge Capitol Center features Governor John Bel Edwards as the keynote speaker and will highlight the work of nine Everyday Heroes making a difference in their communities.
The 2022 Everyday Heroes include Jane Boudreaux of Assumption Parish (Alice Foster Award), Oscar D. Howard Jr. of the City of Alexandria (Golden Can Award), New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center (Corporate Leadership Award), Louisiana Stormwater Coalition (Most Innovative Program Award), Gabreyela Gonzalez of Zachary High School (Youth Leadership Award), Keep Bossier Beautiful (Outstanding Affiliate Award), Ginger Tastet of Keep Tangipahoa Beautiful (Outstanding Affiliate Director Award), Corporal Jason Stagg of Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) (Litter Enforcement Award), and Keep Tiger Town Beautiful (Let Louisiana Shine Award).
The nine award categories include:
Alice Foster Award: Louisiana’s former First Lady, Alice Foster, a staunch advocate for a clean and beautiful Louisiana, played a crucial role in launching Keep Louisiana Beautiful. The Alice Foster Award is the highest award KLB bestows each year to one individual for their exceptional, longtime leadership in moving our mission forward.
Golden Can Award: This $200 cash award recognizes a public servant who displays a deep commitment to KLB’s mission in their daily work by going above and beyond the call of duty. Eligible parties include state, parish and municipal employees, elected officials, and educators.
Most Innovative Program Award: This $500 cash award recognizes a successful beautification, litter prevention, recycling, or waste reduction program led by a school, civic group, non-profit, or KLB Affiliate.
Youth Leadership Award: This $200 cash award recognizes a student or youth group that embraces environmental stewardship, engages and influences their peers, and contributes to positive behaviors supportive of a clean and beautiful community.
Outstanding Affiliate Award: This $500 cash award recognizes a KLB Affiliate organization that displays fortitude and leadership while engaging stakeholders, businesses, and citizens in actively improving the appearance of their community.
Outstanding Affiliate Director Award: This $200 cash award recognizes a KLB Affiliate director in Louisiana who demonstrates exceptional dedication to KLB’s mission. This individual displays leadership in building a strong and sustainable organization.
Corporate Leadership Award: This award recognizes a business that demonstrates a consistent dedication to KLB’s mission, environmental stewardship, and community engagement.
Litter Enforcement Award: This $200 cash award recognizes law enforcement officers including justices of the peace, constables, judges, and code enforcement officers who are successful at enforcing state, parish, or city litter and illegal dumping laws.
Let Louisiana Shine Award: This $200 cash award is a new award recognizing volunteers doing their part to Let Louisiana Shine through efforts to combat litter and keep our state beautiful.
Presenting these awards are Chuck Brown, Secretary of LDEQ; Mark Cooper, Governor’s Chief of Staff; Jay Dardenne, Commissioner of Administration; Jennifer Lawson, President and CEO of Keep America Beautiful; Jack Montoucet, Secretary of LDWF; Lieutenant Governor Billy Nungesser; and Shawn Wilson, Secretary of LDOTD.
The Everyday Hero Awards luncheon is the closing event for the KLB State Conference, taking place October 11-12 at the Hilton Baton Rouge Capitol Center. KLB’s State Conference is an annual educational training and networking forum welcoming all individuals, Keep America Beautiful Affiliates, universities, state and local governmental agencies, community and business partners, and non-profit organizations. Attendees can look forward to learning about proven practices and innovative programs designed to achieve a cleaner, greener, and more resilient Louisiana. This year’s conference is designed to cover topics related to the eight recommendations made by the Governor’s 2022 Task Force on Statewide Litter Abatement and Beautification. Registration is available at keeplouisianabeautiful.org. Luncheon tickets are included in conference registration and are also available separately online.
Information about the 2022 Everyday Heroes follows the close of the release. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Jane Boudreaux, Alice Foster Award
Jane Boudreaux devoted herself to making Louisiana and Assumption Parish the healthiest and cleanest place possible. As the mother of six children and a retired school nurse for Head Start, she has always been very concerned about the living conditions our youth will inherit. She stepped up to organize community action against a proposed landfill in Assumption Parish, which lasted 2o years. Under Jane’s leadership and with the help of many, the landfill was finally defeated. She also served as a board member of the Assumption Chamber of Commerce and was on the LSU AgCenter Healthy Communities Committee. She helped to begin Keep Assumption Beautiful (KAB), serving as the Executive Director/President for 12 years and promoting many projects to clean up and beautify Assumption Parish. Her dynamic drive and caring personality have enabled her to reach the citizens on ways to reduce litter and care for the environment.
Oscar D. Howard Jr., Golden Can Award
Oscar D. Howard Jr. (Donta) is the Assistant Director of Public Works for the City of Alexandria. He has gone above and beyond expectations and fully embraced the city’s participation in the annual Cleanest City competition, working year-round to encourage and document clean up efforts throughout the city. He also played a key role in developing the city’s new Adopt-A-Street program. It is safe to say Howard has a passion for improving his community and has become the face of the city’s efforts to clean up and beautify Alexandria.
Louisiana Stormwater Coalition, Most Innovative Program Award
Louisiana Stormwater Coalition (LSC) was formed to spearhead an all-volunteer, grassroots effort dedicated to increasing public awareness concerning the benefits of stormwater management systems. Employing a two-pronged approach, LSC has taken on the challenge of minimizing litter in Louisiana’s streets and watersheds by emphasizing litter enforcement and awareness, capital improvements, and technological innovation in the deployment of cutting-edge trash-trap systems. Deriving directly from LSC’s achievements, HB 713 was signed into law by Governor John Bel Edwards in June 2022, officially declaring stormwater a utility. This legislation gives municipalities a local option to create and permanently fund stormwater management programs, and it empowers these communities to effectively solve their litter and flooding problems in the long term. LSC’s work in the last two years has directly resulted in less flooding and litter, economic development and jobs, and a safer and healthier environment throughout the state.
Gabreyela Gonzalez, Youth Leadership Award
Gabreyela Gonzalez initiated Zachary’s anti-litter campaign with the help of local government and the Zachary High BETA Club. Over the last few years, Gonzalez saw the negative impacts of litter on the community and felt inspired after seeing advertising for Keep Louisiana Beautiful’s Love the Boot Week. As a Co-President of the Zachary High BETA Club, Gonzales has led local cleanups with her club and volunteers as part of the Governor’s 4th Saturday Cleanup Pledge Program. The cleanups continue to have a positive response, as many businesses, parents, students, and other residents have reached out to the city and the Zachary High BETA Club to volunteer. She is also planning an anti-litter program as President of Zachary High’s Student Government Association with help from Zachary High’s Future Farmers of America Club.
Keep Bossier Beautiful, Outstanding Affiliate Award
Keep Bossier Beautiful (KBB), founded in 1985 and restructured in 2019, hosts programs to end litter and promote environmental education. Led by Executive Director Lynn Bryan and an advisory board, KBB has made major headway in recent years, creating a recycling resource hub for citizens, and hosting numerous cleanup and beautification events. In 2021, KBB conducted 31 events, engaging 1051 volunteers in 61,698 volunteer hours. These events led to the planting of over 720 plants, shrubs, flowers, and trees, and the removal of 49,530 pounds of litter from Bossier’s roadways and waterways. KBB received a Cleanup Supplies Grant, Healthy Communities Grant, and Program Grants from KLB totaling over $20,000. One of the organization’s major accomplishments was the first ever recycling program at a correctional facility in Louisiana, diverting cardboard and paper waste from the landfill using a baler purchased by the local Police Jury. KBB also created a “Keep Your Butts in Your Pants” cigarette butt litter campaign, removing over 9,000 cigarette butts, engaging over 1,000 local citizens, and distributing over 500 pocket ashtrays.
Ginger Tastet, Outstanding Affiliate Director Award
The longtime coordinator for Tangipahoa Parish’s litter prevention project and Executive Director of Keep Tangipahoa Beautiful, Ginger Tastet lives and breathes the message of community beautification. Whether she’s organizing a Saturday morning cleanup, taking school children on educational tours of the parish landfill, or simply walking around a neighborhood picking up trash, Tastet is ever mindful of the mission to make Tangipahoa Parish shine. Her leadership style is one of gentle mentorship—not heavy-handed lecturing, and as a result, she’s making tremendous progress in helping change attitudes and behaviors that lead to littering. She spearheaded Rocksey’s Toolbox in Tangipahoa Parish, an elementary school educational program that teaches children about litter awareness, who in turn, share what they have learned with their parents and other adults in their lives. Tastet had over 1,000 elementary students participate in Rocksey’s Toolbox and continues to expand the program.
New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, Corporate Leadership Award
The New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center regularly hosts national conferences, tradeshows, sporting events, and high-profile local events such as charity galas and Carnival balls. But now they are talking trash! In 2021, they completed their first ever Event Waste Audit, in pursuit of a Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) certification. The results of the audit were shared with the public in two presentations: Life City’s “Talking Trash” Ted Talk and a Keep Louisiana Beautiful webinar, both in late 2021. With the knowledge learned from the audit, the Convention Center improved the facility’s recycling/waste reduction programs – doubling the footprint of attendee recycling, adding in plastics, and increasing pallet and cardboard recycling. They also piloted composting in the public spaces and exhibit halls and will be launching event attendee compost this year. Completed projects include 87 new bottle filing stations that will reduce plastic use, restroom upgrades for water reduction, and a new pedestrian park with 200 trees, rain gardens, and outdoor space.
Corporal Jason Stagg, Litter Enforcement Award
Corporal Jason Stagg, a 17-year veteran with the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement, has dedicated himself to fighting litter though enforcement and education. With the support of his fellow agents, he has implemented a camera program with 25 cameras in five parishes for LDWF that has been extremely successful since its inception in 2016. The cameras have resulted in 319 citations for littering, which would have gone unsolved without the right set up and management. Corporal Stagg was successful in getting a bill passed this year (HB 69 now Act 101) that gives an inference for license plates when you cannot identify the driver. To help pass the legislation, Corporal Stagg created a video of litterers captured on camera and testified at House and Senate committees. With the help of his testimony and video, the bill passed without opposition in the House and Senate. Leading the state in litter citations, Corporal Stagg’s efforts were recognized this year with the LDWF Enforcement Division’s Top Litter Award.
Keep Tiger Town Beautiful, Let Louisiana Shine Award
Led by local realtor and volunteer extraordinaire, Jennifer Richardson, Keep Tiger Town Beautiful is a group of litter warriors in Baton Rouge who are passionate about keeping their community clean through weekly cleanups. The group was created 21 months ago, and they are already 3,800 members strong. During Love the Boot Week, 100 volunteers covered over 8 miles, filling 133 bags with litter. Since their inception, the group has filled 4,700 bags with litter, placed and maintained 72 public trash cans, and raised awareness for the issue of litter in Baton Rouge. Keep Tiger Town Beautiful continues to grow its impact as a grassroots, citizen-funded organization, and they are in the process of becoming a 501c3 non-profit.
Keep Louisiana Beautiful is an anti-litter and community improvement non-profit organization focused on achieving a clean and beautiful Louisiana through education, enforcement, public awareness, and community engagement. Keep Louisiana Beautiful is affiliated with Keep America Beautiful and comprised of a statewide network of 40 Community Affiliates and seven University Affiliates. Learn more at www.keeplouisianabeautiful.org.