Keep Austin Beautiful hosted its 29th annual awards celebration and brunch on February 4. The event honored award winners in six categories, including the Dell Youth Achievement Award and the Silicon Labs Education Award.
“The Keep Austin Beautiful program has been one of the core foundation elements of the city. Austin is a magical, wonderful place. I really appreciate groups like this, that are building this city,” said Austin mayor Stephen Adler.
The Dell Youth Achievement Award honors a young person who implemented or maintained an outstanding youth project or activity to clean, beautify or restore an area or promote environmental stewardship. Carlos Venegas, a 7th grader at Martin Middle School, won the award. Runner-up was Lorenzo Sanchez, a 12th grader at Eastside Memorial High School.
Venegas, a participant in Keep Austin Beautiful’s Green Teens after-school program, participated in numerous gardening and beautification projects, including pulling weeds and cleaning up creeks.
The Silicon Labs Education Award honors a school, organization or other group that raises awareness about environmental stewardship through educational activities. NYOS Charter School in Austin won the award. Runner-up was AISD’s Lamar Middle School.
Led by Keep Austin Beautiful staff, 90 seventh graders from NYOS planted native seeds, painted over a weathered bridge, removed invasive grasses and cleaned up Walnut Creek. The cleanup project was preceded by classroom lessons on watersheds and the impact of litter. NYOS has made a school-wide commitment to recycling, composting and caring for their campus garden.
Keep Austin Beautiful provides resources and education to engage citizens in building more beautiful communities.