Nominations for the Keep Texas Beautiful award open through April 30

Each year, Keep Texas Beautiful awards youth and educators across the state for their efforts to improve their communities.

Nominations are open through 5 p.m. April 30 for people to nominate individuals in both the youth and educator categories who continue the nonprofit organization’s mission "to educate and engage Texans to take responsibility for improving their community environment," according to the Keep Texas Beautiful website.

Keep Texas Beautiful was founded in 1967 and uses education to "inspire and empower" Texans to clean and beautify their communities.

The Ruthe Jackson Youth Leadership Award recognizes youth, as an individual or in a group, who work to "beautify the community and create cleaner, greener campuses, parks and neighborhoods," according to the organization’s website.

Sadie Ray Graff Educator Awards honor teachers, school staff members, volunteers and institutions at all grade levels from pre-kindergarten through college who encourage students to get involved and promote the mission of "Keep Texas Beautiful" through environmental education.

Each application requires a $15 entry fee and award winners will be announced May 11. Every award winner will be recognized at the Keep Texas Beautiful conference in Georgetown on June 11-13.

First-place winners in both categories will receive a cash prize as well.

Applications should include a background on the nominee, the person’s leadership and impact in the community, unique or creative ways the person went "above and beyond the call of duty" and how the work supports the Keep Texas Beautiful mission.

Previous winners have included individuals, schools and organizations from Nolanville, Sugar Land, Killeen, Grand Prairie, San Antonio, San Saba and Alpine.

To nominate someone or to find out more about the organization or awards, go to the Keep Texas Beautiful website at or contact the nonprofit at 1-800-CLEAN-TX (1-800-253-2689).

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Nikki Bolton