Sandra Slifer, Chair
ABOUT KEEP ABITA BEAUTIFUL
Abita Springs is a charming, historic small town whose residents cherish the natural beauty and history of its healing waters from deep artesian wells. This site of magical water that first brought the Choctaw Indians generations ago now attracts visitors and an increasing number of residents. The citizens of Abita Springs have a long history of advocacy for their natural environment but the increase in litter and concern about pollution of the Abita River prompted action in 2015.
That year a group of citizens started the process to battle litter and preserve the beauty of their community. The solution was to form Keep Abita Beautiful and in 2016 Keep Abita Beautiful (KAB) became an official affiliate of Keep America Beautiful and Keep Louisiana Beautiful. These organizations provide local affiliates opportunities for resources such as cleanup supplies and grants for program development. In the first year of its existence Keep Abita Beautiful volunteers teamed up with the Abita Springs Garden Club members to win the Louisiana Cleanest City Contest.
Over the years, KAB has expanded to become a nonprofit with hundreds of volunteers who work to remove litter, plant trees, and provide recycling opportunities. In October 2021 Keep Louisiana Beautiful recognized the efforts of KAB with the award of state affiliate of the year. This award represents the dedication of the KAB Board of Directors and the outstanding support of town officials. However, the true winners of this award are the many Abita Springs volunteers who help to fulfill the mission of KAB.
OUTSTANDING AFFILIATE AWARD
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.
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