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KAB Awards 2010
WHAT ARE THE KAB AWARDS?
The KAB Awards recognize the efforts made by individuals and groups to enhance and protect Austin's environment. As KAB celebrates 25 years of keeping Austin beautiful we want to recognize the best of the best that are making an impact in Austin’s environment!
Winners were recognized at the 25th Annual Awards Luncheon on November 3rd, 2010.
Click here to submit an application for next year's award.
Beautification - Improved an area through landscaping, tree planting, artwork, architecture or other means.
2010 Beautification Winner: Sunset Valley Elementary
With the support of the City of Sunset Valley’s Public Works Department, the students and teachers of Sunset Valley Elementary gave their entire campus a makeover. Starting with a small rosemary bush, the project evolved into a major overhaul that included a flagpole garden with native grasses and plants; two courtyard gardens with raised vegetable beds, native plants, a waterfall, granite walkways, and limestone rocks; and a vibrant xeriscaped garden surrounding the school’s front sign. The school’s Garden Club maintains the beds and meets before and after school to weed, water, sweep and clean. These elements have become “the heart of the campus,” and continue to inspire a new generation of environmental stewards.
2010 Beautification Honorable Mention: Austin Child Guidance Center
In an effort to enhance their therapeutic environment, the Austin Child Guidance Center (ACGC) transformed an unremarkable lot into a garden and green space for guests to enjoy. Incorporating an attractive and sustainable landscape allows the Center to provide a calming environment for families who are often experiencing grief, while educating about the importance of permaculture. The City of Austin proclaimed October 24, 2009 “Children’s Healing Garden Day,” and Congressman Lloyd Doggett paid a visit to the site.
Community Involvement - Inspired community involvement and/or community ownership in order to clean, beautify or restore an area or promote environmental stewardship.
2010 Community Involvement Winner: PODER
Thanks to the dedicated efforts of the Oak Springs Water Preserve and its partner organizations, what began as an abandoned dumpsite slated for clear-cutting and pavement to become a shopping center is now a thriving 6-acre preserve with freshwater springs, giant oak trees and hundreds of native plant and animal species. The partners that came together to save this green space include PODER (People Organized in the Defense of Earth and her Resources), City of Austin’s Watershed Protection Department, and several environmental groups. Cleanup, restoration, and maintenance were spearheaded by PODER and supported by countless members and organizations present in the preserve’s East Austin community. Students from Oak Springs Elementary can now visit the site and witness first-hand the results of a concerted effort to clean and beautify an urban landscape -- one that will continue for years to come.
2010 Community Involvement Winner: Little Helping Hands
Little Helping Hands seeks to instill the values of community service in early childhood to strengthen communities, and highlights the importance of service that focuses on the environment through its Lil’ Green Hands program. In partnership with numerous public and non-profit organizations, including the City of Austin Graffiti Abatement Program, the Austin Parks Foundation, Goodwill GreenWorks Project, and the Hill Country Conservancy, Lil’ Green Hands has provided gardening services to local parks and businesses as well as removing graffiti and recycling computers. From June 2009 until March 2010, 395 families and 610 children donated over 1,327 hours of community service through the Lil’ Green Hands Program.
2010 Community Involvement Honorable Mention: Entrepreneur's Foundation
In an effort to make volunteerism more accessible, the Entrepreneur’s Foundation (EF) organizes two service days a year, geared toward smaller tech companies whose philanthropic resources are limited. Service Days in 2009 included trail restoration, beautification, maintenance, landscaping, and other projects, all benefitting Andrews Elementary School and Zilker Park. The Entrepreneur’s Foundation boasts approximately 20 member companies who contributed over 5,000 volunteer hours.
Applied Materials Education - Raised awareness about environmental stewardship through educational activities. Includes youth and adults, schools, organizations and other groups.
2010 Education Winner: Groundwater to the Gulf Teacher Institute
13 Collaborating organizations, 5 successful years, 3-days of hands-on and field based water education, 250 teachers trained, and a potential 25,000 students reached are just a few of the highlights of The Groundwater to the Gulf Teacher Institute. The free 3-day, based institute engages teachers in hands-on activities and fieldtrips to provide teachers with the knowledge and tools necessary to lead water-based curricula for students. Participants follow the path of Water in Central Texas from its origins to its final destination in the Gulf of Mexico as they learn about hydrology, groundwater, urban watersheds, water quality, water protection, and water conservation.
2010 Education Honorable Mention: Sustainable Food Center
The goal of the Sustainable Food Center (SFC) is to create opportunities that encourage individuals to make healthy and environmentally sound food choices. The Sprouting Healthy Kids Farm-to-School Project was developed to promote and provide support for the use of fresh, locally-grown fruits and vegetables in school food service operations while offering holistic and experimental food systems education to young people. Thanks to SFC, 1,897 students received access to fresh locally grown fruits and vegetables in school cafeterias last year.
Dennis Hobbs Individual Achievement - Provided visionary leadership or personal action in environmental efforts.
2010 Individual Achievement Winner: David Matthews
David Matthews, an educator at Small Middle School, is a dedicated naturalist and the 2009 recipient of the John Ahrns Award for Environmental Education. Over the past eleven years, David has implemented projects that include the creation of school compost bins; a National Wildlife Federation certified schoolyard habitat with over 250 native plant species; and a school greenhouse that expanded on existing vegetable gardens and a rainwater collection system. With plans for new compost bins, more recycling stations, a rain harvesting and irrigation system, and expansion of the native gardens, David Matthews serves as the visionary, gardener, and community organizer behind Small Middle School’s “green” transformation. When David is not spreading the seeds of growth at school he is serving on any number of committees including the AISD Environmental Envisioning Committee, and Board of Council for Westcave Preserve and organizing summer camps at Bamberger Ranch.
Industry Leadership - Raised the bar for innovative and/or enhanced environmental practices through new or ongoing programs and activities.
2010 Industry Leadership Winner: Dell, Inc.
Dell's vision is to create a company culture where environmental excellence is second nature. As the recognized industry leader in sustainable products and the top 2009 company according to Technology Business Research Inc., Dell sought creative, renewable alternatives to traditional packaging to reduce negative impacts to the planet and help customers do the same. In November 2009, Dell became the first technology company to offer compostable bamboo packaging for its products. Compostable bamboo packaging is now used for 50% of all Dell Inspiron notebook models, and Dell plans to expand to more products in the future. As a result of this program Dell reduced its packaging by over 8.7 million pounds.
2010 Industry Honorable Mention: Austin Convention Center Department
The Austin Convention Center Department has a commitment and a goal of becoming the “greenest” building in Austin. Their ultimate goal is achieving a Silver or higher certification in the U.S. Green Building Councils’ Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) for Existing Buildings. They outlined benchmarks and facility-wide goals in a Department Climate Protection Plan, all designed to improve resource efficiency and reduce the Convention Center’s environmental footprint.
Litter Abatement - Removed or prevented litter and committed to keeping an area clean.
2010 Litter Abatement Winner: Friends of Red Bud Isle
Red Bud Isle is Austin’s 13-acre dog park located in West Austin on Lady Bird Lake. Despite the high number of responsible dog owners, the high volume usage guarantees the problem of pet waste. In reaction to public concern, the Friends of Red Bud Isle decided to formalize their cleanup efforts and formed the Friends of Red Bud Isle Poop Patrol. The group held cleanups that picked up wayward poops and people’s trash quarterly -- averaging 50 to 75 pounds of waste every cleanup.
Recycling & Waste Reduction - Established or maintained a unique or comprehensive recycling and/or waste reduction program.
2010 Recycling & Waste Reduction Winner: Jack & Adam's Green Team
After noticing the amount of bicycle-related waste the company was generating, Jack and Adam’s began to look at city-based recycling options for businesses. The Green Team Bicycle Re-Cycle Project connected with local cyclists and tri-athletes, then aligned themselves with organizations such as Texas School for the Deaf, Future Craft Collective, the TX 4000, the Orange Bike Project, the Yellow Bike Project and others in need of free bicycle waste products. Over the course of a few months the project collected 100 bike frames, thousands of bike tubes and tires, hundreds of bike parts, and over 3,000 unclaimed race shirts and banners, diverting the waste from landfills and creating unique recycling opportunities.
2010 Recycling & Waste Reduction Honorable Mention: Bryker Woods PTA
Led by its “Go Green Committee,” the Bryker Woods PTA has made many efforts to improve their school’s recycling and waste reduction programs, including enhancement of the existing paper recycling program by reaching out to the community and installing an Abitibi Paper Retriever. Recycling and compost bins were acquired for school events, and there are plans to install recycling bins in all classrooms. To address the growing number of recycled materials, a school recycling center was installed to enable recycling of batteries, printer cartridges, cell phones, and gift cards.
Freescale Youth Achievement - Implemented or maintained outstanding youth projects or activities to clean, beautify or restore an area or promote environmental stewardship.
2010 Youth Achievement Winner: Matthew Evans, Discover Green
In 2008, a group of friends got together at a birthday party and pledged their commitment to involving other teens in community-based environmental activism. This gathering led Matthew Evans and his friends to form Discover Green—Young Environmental Leaders Inc. By training youth to partner with community groups and lead their own service projects, Discover Green has planted over 3,500 trees, collected over 38,000 pounds of trash, and reached over 3,800 youth through direct recycling and watershed presentations.
2010 Youth Achievement Honorable Mention: Anderson High School
Anderson High School’s environmental efforts have been a true group effort. The “Green Club” was formed with the placement of recycling bins in all classrooms. The school’s Darfur Club collects discarded cell phones and sends them in aid to impoverished countries with communication needs. The school itself hosted a City Waste Collection event for materials not suitable for trash. Future plans include solar panel installation and participation in the “Stop Coal Plants” Bike Rally.