Loyola University New Orleans, Northwestern State University, and the University of Louisiana Monroe Become Keep Louisiana Beautiful University Affiliates
Keep Louisiana Beautiful (KLB), has graduated its second class of University Affiliates, including Loyola University New Orleans, Northwestern State University, and University of Louisiana Monroe. The KLB University Affiliate program, engaging college students in environmental stewardship and sustainability practices, is the largest and most successful program of its kind in the U.S.
New Affiliates, Loyola University New Orleans, Northwestern State University, and University of Louisiana Monroe, join Grambling State University, Louisiana State University, Nicholls State University, Tulane University, University of Louisiana at Lafayette, University of New Orleans, and Xavier University of Louisiana.
“Louisiana’s universities are leading the way in sustainability and waste reduction in higher education,” says Cabell Mouton, Affiliate and Grant Director for KLB. “Together, these 10 institutions have developed a collaborative forum for learning from one another. There is no other statewide group like this in the country, and I’m just so proud to be a part of their journey.”
The universities have been working together and exchanging ideas in monthly meetings throughout the 2022-23 school year. To become an Affiliate, the applicants were required to conduct a waste audit, litter survey and assessment, participate in Love the Boot Week, form an Affiliate leadership committee, design an Affiliate logo, and create a work plan.
A new class of University Affiliates will begin in the Fall of 2023. Invited to apply starting July 15 are two- and four-year colleges committed to continual improvement in sustainability and environmental issues, the promotion of student environmental stewardship and engagement, and strategic outcome measurement. More information about the Affiliate application process can be found at www.keeplouisianabeautiful.org.
KLB’s University Affiliate program was developed in 2021 in response to a growing interest in sustainability, waste reduction, and litter prevention at the university level. University of Louisiana at Lafayette, with KLB as a sub-recipient, secured a $500,000 five-year EPA Gulf of Mexico Trash-Free Waters Grant to create and launch the program, develop a litter assessment app, develop educational training videos for campus communities, and fund grant opportunities for University Affiliates.
As Affiliates, universities benefit from KLB staff support, access to KLB tools and resources, use of data collection processes, educational training, and membership in the KLB University Sustainability Coalition.* University Affiliates also have the option to apply for grants to support sustainability practices, the reduction of single-use disposables, and litter prevention initiatives. In 2023, KLB distributed $29,317 in reimbursement grants to the universities.
“Student interest and engagement in environmental sustainability and waste reduction has been growing on the Loyola University campus so we are very excited to be joining the Keep Louisiana Beautiful University Affiliate community to share ideas on how to educate, engage, and empower the student population on these important issues,” says Mark Tobler, Environment Program Research Associate, Loyola University New Orleans.
“Northwestern State University is excited about being named a Keep Louisiana Beautiful University Affiliate,” says Jennifer A. Kelly, Executive Director of University Affairs, Northwestern State University. “This program has enhanced the beautification of our already beautiful campus. NSU will continue to educate our campus community on waste reduction and sustainability. The ability to gather and share information with our sister institutions is always rewarding. The faculty, staff, and students of NSU look forward to being a long-time participant in the Keep Louisiana Beautiful program.”
“The University of Louisiana Monroe is proud to join this distinguished group of institutions that have made a commitment to continual improvement in sustainability, stewardship, measurement, and engagement,” says Andrew Hardee, Assistant Director of Residential Life, University of Louisiana Monroe. “Along with my amazing KULMB Co-Coordinator, Joel Sinclair, Coordinator of Student Activities, we were able to encourage students, faculty, and staff to actively participate in litter abatement, recycling, and sustainability practices throughout our affiliation process. We have already begun planning and are excited about the opportunities and resources available to ULM as a KLB University Affiliate.”
“The University Affiliate program engages college students to think critically about non-point sources of pollution while gaining skills in ArcGIS, policy analysis, strategic planning, and community service,” says Susan Russell, Executive Director of KLB. “It’s important that we empower our future leaders and help equip them with the resources they need to take action.”
Contact Melissa Kenyon at email@example.com for more information on the KLB University Affiliate program.
*University Sustainability Coalition
KLB presented the idea for a university sustainability coalition to a steering committee of university representatives working to develop the university affiliate program. KLB and the steering committee realized Louisiana’s higher education institutions lacked a forum to discuss sustainability goals and efforts. To open lines of communication and initiate a network between the state’s colleges and universities, the university sustainability coalition was established in 2021, with Dr. Jerrod Penn, Assistant Professor with the Department of Agricultural Economics and Agribusiness at LSU, as chair and KLB as the lead facilitator.
The group of 15 colleges and universities meets for eight months throughout the academic school year with one goal—to increase higher education sustainability efforts in Louisiana. Monthly meetings consist of a time of presenting and sharing program ideas, successes, and challenges related to campus sustainability. Networking and sharing has led to members replicating successful programs focused on implementing more sustainable campus dining practices and reducing waste during the student move-out process.
The University Sustainability Coalition includes representation from:
Dillard University, Fletcher Technical Community College, Grambling University, Louisiana State University, Louisiana Tech, Loyola University New Orleans, McNeese State University, Nicholls State University, Northwestern State University, River Parishes Community College, Tulane University, University of Louisiana Lafayette, University of Louisiana Monroe, University of New Orleans, and Xavier University of Louisiana.
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 44 Community Affiliates and ten University Affiliates. Learn more at www.KeepLouisianaBeautiful.org.