Keep Louisiana Beautiful and the State Library of Louisiana Partner to Distribute “Harry the Snakebird” Books to Public Libraries to Educate Youth on Litter’s Negative Impacts on Wildlife
BATON ROUGE, La. – In an effort to educate young people on the ways litter can harm wildlife, Keep Louisiana Beautiful (KLB) and the State Library of Louisiana are partnering to distribute 722 hardback copies of the children’s book, Harry the Snakebird, to the State Library, 335 public libraries, and 25 bookmobiles. Written by Louisiana author Wendy Carbo and illustrated by Louisiana artist Paula Merritt Windham, this book is inspired by true events and tells the tale of two children, Marie and Brian, who freed an Anhinga (aka a snakebird) at Capitol Lake in Baton Rouge from a littered band binding its beak, which caused it to endure starvation. Each library and bookmobile will receive two copies of Harry the Snakebird. One copy of the book will be cataloged and available for patrons to check out, and the other is for librarians to use in youth programming.
“Through effective litter education for the children of Louisiana, we can increase a child’s understanding of just how litter causes various environmental issues,” said Lieutenant Governor Billy Nungesser. “If we can reach our children when they are young, they can form anti-littering habits. Research shows behaviors developed as a child are more likely to extend into adulthood. We are trying to prevent littering from being one of those behaviors. And just maybe, our state’s children can help change the behaviors of some adults when it comes to littering.”
“Our children are our future leaders,” said author Wendy Carbo. “We hope this beautiful book will instill in our young people a desire to protect the environment and all of God’s creatures. May young readers see even the smallest actions can change the world.”
“At Keep Louisiana Beautiful, we believe it’s important to not only educate our youth about litter’s impacts on the environment but also empower them to take action and be changemakers,” said KLB Executive Director Susan Russell. “In addition to reading Harry the Snakebird, we invite educators and families to explore our environmental lessons in Rocksey’s Toolbox related to Wendy Carbo’s story.”
KLB has 11 lessons for grades kindergarten through fifth grade in “Rocksey’s Toolbox,” designed to help children better understand how to care for the environment and prevent litter. Two lessons, “Lesson 5: Keeping Our Waters Clean” and “Lesson 6: Trash Effects of Wildlife,” directly correlate with Carbo’s story.
Harry the Snakebird is inspired by the actions of one of the founders of the Louisiana Stormwater Coalition (LSC), Marie Constantin, and photographer Brian J. Boudreaux. The book shares the two friends’ real-life experience of rescuing a bird at Capitol Lake in Baton Rouge. The book is dedicated to Harry, the bird saved from death by litter.
“We are so pleased that Harry the Snakebird is being made available in libraries statewide,” said Kelly Hurtado, Co-Founder of Louisiana Stormwater Coalition. “We are grateful to author, volunteer, and donor, Wendy Carbo, who is donating proceeds from the book sales to our Louisiana Stormwater Coalition to help us create litter-free paddle trails in the Capital Region for all to enjoy!”
The Office of Lieutenant Governor Billy Nungesser is a supporter of the litter education initiative.
Visit HarrytheSnakebird.com to purchase a copy of the book.
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. In affiliation with Keep America Beautiful, Keep Louisiana Beautiful is comprised of a statewide network of 40 Community Affiliates and 7 University Affiliates. Learn more at KeepLouisianaBeautiful.org.
About Author Wendy Carbo
Wendy Carbo was born and raised in northeast Louisiana. She graduated from Louisiana State University in elementary education with a minor in English and library science. She has devoted her life to working with young children and has taught school for more than fifteen years. Wendy developed a passion for nature while camping in the pine forest of Caldwell Parish as a young girl. She lives in Baton Rouge, Louisiana with her husband, Jeff, a landscape architect, and their son, William, and three dachshunds.
About Illustrator Paula Merritt Windham
Paula Merritt Windham was born and raised in Louisiana. She has been married for fifty years to her high school sweetheart and is the mother of three wonderful sons, three daughters-in-law, and four grandchildren. Paula has been a self-employed artist and graphic designer for thirty-five years. She is an avid nature and animal lover and enjoys the outdoors, her grandchildren, and her horses.
Back Cover Description for Harry the Snakebird
With its towering oaks, cypress, and magnolia trees, Capitol Lake is known for its beauty and wildlife. Over time, the lake became littered with bottles, cans, and old tires. No one knew where the trash came from. No one knew it could be dangerous until it was.
Join Brian and Marie as they attempt to save the life of a bird on the lake. Follow them on their quest to discover where the dangerous litter is coming from. Inspired by an actual event, Harry the Snakebird tells how Brian and Marie’s adventure motivates a community to restore a lake and save the bird’s habitat.
About Louisiana Stormwater Coalition
The Louisiana Stormwater Coalition is an all-volunteer, grassroots effort to increase awareness about the benefits of stormwater management and how stormwater management programs will help solve Louisiana’s flooding and litter problems. For years, our focus has been litter on the streets, but now it’s time to focus on litter and flood-causing sediments filling up and harming our watersheds that are vital to our Sportsman’s Paradise. A two-pronged approach to managing stormwater is the solution to Louisiana’s flooding and litter problems. Learn more at LouisianaStormwater.com.