Everyday Hero Awards

Congratulations to all of our deserving honorees!

Each year, Keep Louisiana Beautiful recognizes those that go the extra mile to keep our communities clean, beautiful, and litter-free. These are the men, women, children, businesses and organizations that are moving Louisiana towards a more sustainable future through innovative programming, hard work, and dedication to greener, cleaner communities.

2021 Everyday Hero Award Recipients

Alice Foster Award | Andrew R. Johnson, IV

Louisiana’s former First Lady, Alice Foster, played a crucial role in beautification and preservation efforts across the state to launch Keep Louisiana Beautiful. The Alice Foster Award is the most distinguished and highest honor KLB awards each year, and it recognizes individual volunteers for their exceptional leadership in litter prevention, waste reduction, recycling, and beautification.

Andy Johnson has lived in Louisiana his entire life. He was born in Baton Rouge, raised in Lake Charles, and attended high school in Alexandria. After graduating from LSU, Andy attended LSU law school and returned to Lake Charles, where he practiced law for 26 years. While living in Lake Charles, Andy served on the board of CLEAN— the Calcasieu League for Environmental Action Now. He also served on the Calcasieu Parish Recycling Advisory Commission.

In 2010, Andy moved to Baton Rouge where he continued both volunteer work and pro bono legal work. In 2013, Andy was elected to the Board of Keep Louisiana Beautiful. One year later, KLB’s board Chair and its Executive Director retired, and the organization was suddenly rudderless. But the board elected Andy to serve as Chair, and he immediately got to work.

Andy led the effort to hire KLB’s new Executive Director. He pushed for and helped revise the KLB bylaws. He made sure KLB was in compliance with all applicable laws and best practices and was instrumental in modernizing the organization.

Andy went on to serve as Chair for four years. He helped revitalize KLB by recruiting top-notch board members, and insisting upon their active participation and excellence. He held difficult discussions with those members who were unable to uphold his standards. He made the subcommittees more functional, and he served on every one of them. He has met with numerous legislators, municipal leaders, and executive branch leaders on KLB issues. He researched legislation, wrote white papers, and performed other legal work for the organization. He even secured a trademark for Love the Boot.

Andy never missed a meeting, and, rarely, an event. He performed everything from executive functions to manual labor. He was a frequent emcee of the awards banquet. He judged grant applications, and he was always at the forefront of efforts to find and secure the best home for KLB within the existing State framework. There was nothing he wouldn’t do and didn’t do, always putting the best interests of KLB first.

Golden Can Award | Wayne Heckford

This 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.

As the Executive Director of Keep Ouachita Parish Beautiful,  Wayne has played a key role in setting up our now hugely successful Household Hazardous Waste Collection event each spring. He works tirelessly to partner with local community groups to hold monthly litter cleanups and beautification projects. Wayne’s heart for his community shows in all he does, and every task completed to make Louisiana a more beautiful and litter free state is done with a smile on his face. 

Recently Wayne has had tremendous success setting up a litter hotline, and he has also served the Ouachita Parish Sheriff’s Dept. for over 29 years, serving as Director of Code Enforcement for over 16 years. He began as the very first Code Enforcement officer for Ouachita Parish, over the years Wayne has shown tremendous dedication to the fight against litter, illegal dumping, blighted properties, and derelict structures.

In 2004 Wayne led the charge to implement  Ouachita Parish’s “Trash Court” to enforce the Parish’s abatement ordinances. Since then, he has been vital to creating similar programs in many other communities across the state. 

Under the leadership of Sgt. Heckford the Ouachita Parish Code Enforcement Dept.  have processed more than 13,000 cases. In nearly 75% of the cases, the responsible brought their property into compliance without further legal action or taxpayer expense. Through these proceedings, Trash Court generated nearly $125,000 in 2020 largely offsetting the cost of the Code Enforcement Department.

Most Innovative Program Award | Glass Half Full

 This award recognizes a successful beautification, litter prevention, recycling, or waste reduction program led by a school, civic group, non-profit, or KAB affiliate.

This year’s award goes to the ‘GLASSROOTS’ team at Glass Half Full for the work they have done to put glass recycling on the map in New Orleans. Less than 2 years ago, a couple of Tulane graduates saw a deep disconnect in a city without glass recycling. A city that uses and wastes enormous amounts of glass daily, but also desperately needs coastal restoration. 

Deciding over a bottle of wine one night to do something about it, Franziska Trautmann and Max Steitz launched Glass Half Full. They got to work to create a glass recycling drop-off program. 

Glass Half Full collects NOLA’s glass and converts it into beach-like sand and glass cullet that’s used for coastal restoration, new glass products and so much more.  They’re reimagining recycling.

From flooring and glass products, to artisan jewelry, to disaster relief sandbags to mitigate hurricane and flood damage, to clean, beach-like sands to rebuild our coasts, they work to creatively integrate our recycled materials into everyday life. 

Just this weekend it was announced that Glass Half Full will partner with Tulane engineering and biology scientists to use a $700,000 National Science Foundation grant to conduct a feasibility study to determine if “glass sand” is viable for coastal habitats, and where it could be strategically placed to reduce land loss. 

But Glass Half Full doesn’t stop there.  When Hurricane Ida devastated the Pointe-au-Chien Tribal community in Terrebonne, Glass Half Full put out a call for hundreds of volunteers and hundreds of thousands of dollars to give direct aid to the community. 

They’ve also partnered with Feed the Second Line to outfit neighborhood New Orleans restaurants with solar panels and batteries, so that when the lights go out following a hurricane, they can get cooking to feed the city. Their Stay Lit initiative is a plan to increase resilience especially in the most vulnerable neighborhoods so food isn’t wasted, phones can be charged, and neighbors can cool off during power outages. 

Even though they’ve diverted over a million pounds of glass from landfills, their program goes beyond mere glass recycling– it embodies the best of innovation and philanthropy! 

Outstanding Affiliate Award | Keep Abita Beautiful

This award recognizes a Keep America Beautiful affiliate that shows fortitude, leadership, creative and diverse programming, and community engagement.

Keep Abita Beautiful  was formed in 2016 for the purpose of encouraging litter prevention, recycling and beautification in Abita Springs. Since 2017, KAB has received a value of nearly $14,000 from Keep Louisiana Beautiful’s grants programs to help fund their initiatives. 

With almost 200 Adopt-A-Spot volunteers who have committed to keeping their area of Abita Springs litter free, Keep Abita Beautiful engages the town of Abita Springs and advocates for a clean community. KAB holds weekly Wipe Out Wednesday cleanups each week, hosts shred days throughout the year, and participates in  countless community events. Despite a challenging year in 2020, Keep Abita Beautiful made great strides with five cleanups that removed almost 2½ tons of trash from the town’s roads and waterways. In addition, the group held two events that diverted 90 pounds of recyclable materials from the waste stream, planted 12 trees and performed maintenance on two public gardens. The work was performed by 286 volunteers who put in over 1,000 hours of time. 

In 2021, Keep Abita Beautiful held 12 cleanup events, and a successful glass recycling event where the glass was pulverized into sand for sandbags which were then donated back to the town. Keep Abita Beautiful continues to be a leader and a collaborator among affiliates and what makes this group even more remarkable is the fact that they are ALL volunteers!

*A Memorial gift of $500 Honoring C.B. Forgotston Jr. will also be awarded. 

Outstanding Affiliate Award | Keep West Monroe Beautiful

This award recognizes a Keep America Beautiful affiliate that shows fortitude, leadership, creative and diverse programming, and community engagement.

Keep West Monroe Beautiful has been an affiliate for over 20 years, and in 2018 KWMB was completely re-envisioned and experienced a rebirth under the direction of Mayor Staci Mitchell. In just over 3 years Keep West Monroe Beautiful has completed over 50 litter cleanup events, engaging over 2,000 volunteers, and has hosted 3 parish wide Household Hazardous Waste Collection events. Keep West Monroe Beautiful In partnership with Ouachita Green has planted over 100 trees, and helped with planning, fundraising, and organization of the Blue Star Memorial beautification project, the Pat Edmondson Landscaping Project, & The Next Level Campaign, a that campaign awarded mini-grants to local businesses to be used to improve the exterior of the business. KWMB awarded 2 of these grants in March of 2021 and plan to make this an annual event.

Keep West Monroe Beautiful also hosts an annual poster contest to educate students on the importance of recycling, and has played a vital role in implementation of their successful recycling drop-off program, theWest Monroe Recycling Center. KWMB believes environmental education is a large part of making our community a cleaner and greener place to live.

*A Memorial gift of $500 Honoring C.B. Forgotston Jr. will also be awarded. 

Outstanding Affiliate Director Award | Thomas “Trey” Brownfield, III

This award recognizes a Keep America Beautiful affiliate director who demonstrates exceptional dedication to KLB’s mission and leadership in building a healthy and sustainable organization.

Trey became the director of  Keep Slidell Beautiful in 2019 and took what was already a fairly successful effort and really elevated it to a super affiliate level that the entire community rallies behind. He is dedicated to the mission not only as a director but as a citizen who loves his community. One of his most recent successes took place this summer when he organized Christmas in July to raise money to bring  holiday lights back to Olde Towne.  
For the first time since Hurricane Katrina, Slidell will be shining bright during the holidays because of Trey’s efforts. I’m told that this fundraiser, combined with a golf tournament and other efforts,  raised a total of $200,000!  What a  tremendous success! When he isn’t raising money, he’s busy coordinating city wide cleanups, recycling collections, paper shredding events, tree giveaways, and bayou cleanups. With  help from community service workers to the tune of  4000 man hours over 50 tons of waste and litter is removed each year. 
Trey is most proud of the weeklong program for Earth Day that he presented on earlier today. He is always out and about shaking the trees for volunteers, partners and donations and spreading the mission on the radio, at speaking engagements or to just about anybody who will listen to him! He is truly a wonderful ambassador for Slidell and Keep Louisiana Beautiful.