“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” — Margaret Mead
Each year, Keep Louisiana Beautiful recognizes those individuals that go the extra mile to keep our communities clean, beautiful, and litter-free. An Everyday Hero might be the young person that introduced recycling to your local festival, the law enforcement officer that tracks down illegal dumping in your community, or a group of students that has taken it upon themselves to reduce waste in their school cafeteria. These are the people that one by one, work to change the landscape of Louisiana with just a little extra effort and a tremendous level of commitment. Nominations for these awards open in late spring each year, and awardees are announced and honored at our annual Everyday Heroes Awards Banquet.
Alice Foster Award:Alice Foster Award | Courtney Hornsby, Monroe
Louisiana’s former First Lady, Alice Foster, played a crucial role in beautification and preservation efforts across the state in helping to launch Keep Louisiana Beautiful. The Alice Foster Award recognizes an individual volunteer for their exceptional leadership in litter prevention, waste reduction, recycling and beautification. Courtney Hornsby, who has directed beautification, recycling and anti-litter initiatives at Keep Natchitoches Beautiful and Keep Monroe Beautiful as well as serves on the Board of Directors at Keep Louisiana Beautiful, received the award, which was presented by Mr. Troy West, son of former First Lady Alice Foster.
Golden Can Award | Jennifer Roberts, New Orleans
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. Jennifer Roberts, who has worked on water issues in Southeast Louisiana for over ten years, committing herself to watershed protection advocacy, education, research, and enforcement was this year’s recipient. Jennifer was presented the award by Dr. Susan Strain, sponsor of the Golden Can Award with her husband, Commissioner Mike Strain.
Most Innovative Program Award | Red River Cleanup, Bossier City
This award recognizes a successful beautification, litter prevention, recycling, or waste reduction program led by a school, civic group, non-profit or KAB affiliate. Adam and Lisa Willard, a dynamic power couple and founders of the Shreveport-based Red River Cleanup, received this year’s Most Innovative Program. The Red River Cleanup is a non-profit organization that provides watershed education and has removed over 87,000 pounds of trash from the Red River and its tributaries, an area that stretches over twenty miles. Adam and Lisa were presented with the Most Innovative Program Award by Dr. Chuck Carr Brown, Secretary of the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality.
Youth Leadership Award | Joey Goutherie, Shreveport
This award recognizes a student or youth-led group that displays creative thinking, demonstrates effective leadership, and engages their peers to make a significant impact on their community. This year’s Youth Leadership Award was presented to twelve-year-old Joey Goutherie. Through the non-profit organization Geaux Show Love that Joey shares with his sister, Joey has formed Geaux Green, a program that has brought recycling to his elementary and middle schools and has spread to a membership base that now organizes clean-up days and garden adoptions. Joey encourages the public to take the Geaux Green pledge to: recycle; pick up litter; plant trees and flowers; and conserve water and electricity. Joey was presented the Youth Leadership Award by Representative Stuart Bishop, an advocate of youth environmental education who authored House Bill 111 last year, requiring litter and environmental education in Louisiana public schools.
Outstanding Affiliate Award | Keep Greater Lake Charles Beautiful
This award recognizes a Keep America Beautiful affiliate that shows fortitude, leadership, creative and diverse programming, and community engagement. This year’s Outstanding Affiliate Award was presented to Keep Greater Lake Charles Beautiful. Since its inception in 1982, Keep Greater Lake Charles Beautiful has worked to encourage its citizens to take an active role in the improvement of their city by offering annual trash bashes for household hazardous waste disposal; a robust community recycling program; an Earthkeepers Tree Planting Week; a Beach Sweep event in conjunction with the Ocean Conservancy; and much more. They invest in a future of environmental stewards by providing ongoing education and leadership opportunities to their Jr. Team Green, 12-18-year-olds that serve as a youth advisory committee to Team Green. This award was presented Blake Trahan affiliate director of Keep Greater Lake Charles Beautiful, by Cecile Carson, Vice-President of Litter and Affiliate Relations at Keep America Beautiful.
Outstanding Affiliate Director Award | Donna Baltakis, Eunice
This award recognizes a Keep America Beautiful affiliate director who demonstrates exceptional dedication to KLB’s mission and leadership in building a strong and sustainable organization. This year’s Outstanding Affiliate Director Award was presented to Donna Baltakis of Keep Eunice Beautiful. Donna has established a drop-off recycling center that helps fund the LSU (Eunice) Performing Arts Series; she has applied for and won several grants to increase recycling and proper ash and waste disposal in her community; she is an active member of the Eunice Garden Club that works to beautify public spaces; and she has worked closely with Eunice police and sheriff’s departments to improve litter law enforcement and abatement. Donna was presented the award by Helen Lowman, president and CEO of Keep America Beautiful.
Corporate Leadership Award | CenturyLink, Monroe
This award recognizes a business that demonstrates a consistent dedication to KLB’s mission, environmental stewardship and community enrichment. This year’s Corporate Leadership Award was presented to CenturyLink for their incredible generosity and vision in partnering with Holyfield Construction and the Ouachita Business Alliance to invest in a plan to combat litter and embrace beautification as a long-term commitment. CenturyLink invested $100,000 in the project, which has transformed the city’s main highway by planting 321 oak trees and landscaping eight high-traffic interchanges. Tim McIlveene, Manager of Economic Development at CenturyLink, was presented by Dr. Mike Strain, Louisiana Commissioner of Agriculture and Forestry.
Law Enforcement Recognition Award | Rick Moore, Covington
This award recognizes law enforcement personnel 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. This year’s Law Enforcement Recognition Award was presented to Constable Rick Moore of St. Tammany Parish for his establishment of a parish-wide litter court in order to combat litter and ease the process of penalizing litter offenders. He was also the driving force behind the newly established litter abatement program in St. Tammany Parish, which has picked up 187,000 lbs. of litter since its inception last year. The litter court that Rick established in St. Tammany Parish has served as a model for several other cities and parishes throughout the state. Rick was presented the award by Jack Montoucet, Secretary of the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries.