Tallahassee – A virtual experience celebrating businesses and organizations for their efforts to keep Florida clean, green and beautiful! Keep Florida Beautiful (KFB) recently held its annual Awards Recognition Ceremony to honor the top Florida Affiliates of Keep America Beautiful and community partners for their environmental efforts. The award winners were instrumental in organizing cleanup events, increasing recycling efforts and hosting beautification projects.
“Like many nonprofits, we have had to think outside of the box because of the pandemic. We are proud of our first-ever virtual awards ceremony. It was an opportunity to recognize affiliates and volunteers across the state. Affiliate leaders found creative ways to keep people engaged in safely picking up litter in communities and along our beaches. Our goal is to keep Florida in a continuous state of eco-improvement. We also work to increase recycling, reduce waste and encourage sustainable practices,” said Elizabeth DeWitt, Keep Florida Beautiful board chair and Florida Beverage Association president.
KFB staff members presented awards in 10 categories. They named TECO Energy Outstanding Business for its effort to help the Tampa Bay community remove 120,000 pounds of invasive plants and clean up 25,000 pounds of litter and debris.
Engaging youth was also a key component of the celebration. KFB gave an award to Danielle Hightower, a Port St. Lucie student, for her leadership in promoting behavior change in litter prevention, recycling and beautification.She recruited her peers to participate in an Adopt-A-Street program and served as a mentor, encouraging others to beautify and keep the community clean.
The Repurpose Project in Gainesville was named Creative Community Partner based on their nomination by Keep Alachua County Beautiful. According to its website, the Repurpose Project is a non-profit community based effort to divert useful resources from the landfill, redirect these items to the public for art and education, inspire creativity, and help us all rethink what we throw away. Lets all help protect the planet and buy USED!
Keep Florida Beautiful is a state affiliate of Keep America Beautiful. It consists of over 40 affiliates from the Panhandle to the Keys that engage with more than 200,000 volunteers. The volunteers work to remove litter from Florida roads and waterways as well as participate in beautification programs and encourage recycling. KFB receives funding from the Florida Department of Transportation’s DRIVE IT HOME – Keep Our Paradise Litter Free Campaign to complete successful events across the state.
2020 Keep Florida Beautiful Award Winners
- Outstanding Business – TECO Energy
- Outstanding Great American Cleanup, Drive It Home “Trash-Off” -Keep Nassau Beautiful
- Outstanding Education Involvement – Keep Charlotte Beautiful
- Outstanding Youth Champion – Danielle Hightower
- Outstanding Law Enforcement Officer/Agency -Highlands County Code Enforcement
- Outstanding Recycling Effort – Keep Sarasota County Beautiful
- Outstanding Communication Outreach -Keep Pensacola Beautiful
- Adopt-A-Waterway Recognition – Keep Pinellas Beautiful
- Adopt-A-Highway Recognition -Keep Panama City Beach Beautiful
- Creative Community Partner – The Repurpose Project