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News Release


Robin Blut
Executive Director

31st Annual Mayor's Proud Partner Awards Honor Winners Whose Projects Have Made Lasting Contributions to Houston's Environment & Quality of Life

Houston, Oct. 26, 2015 — It's time to celebrate the many people who provide their time, energy and support to make a more beautiful, litter-free Houston for all of us! Join us Monday October 26, 2015 at Hilton Americas - Houston, 1600 Lamar St., to meet some of Houston's many environmental heroes at the 31st annual Mayor's Proud Partners Luncheon hosted by Keep Houston Beautiful.

The 2015 Mayor's Proud Partners Awards will spotlight 16 exceptional projects, supported by businesses, individuals and community groups that have made a positive lasting impact on the city of Houston's environment. In addition, there are 26 other projects that will be highlighted with Certificates of Recognition or Honorable Mentions.

"The City of Houston is blessed to have so many dedicated volunteers, businesses and organizations who are so willing to devote time and resources to neighborhood cleanups and park beautification to keep Houston beautiful," said Mayor Annise Parker.

Lori Carper, Chairman of Keep Houston Beautiful added, "These awards celebrate the ingenuity and dedication that sets our city's volunteers apart from any other. The winners are shining examples we can all strive to emulate".

Mayor's Outstanding Proud Partner Award
John and Bobbie Nau

This year's Outstanding Proud Partner award will be given to John and Bobbie Nau. Mr. & Mrs. Nau are majority owners of Silver Eagle Distributors, the nation's largest distributor of Anheuser-Busch products. Beyond their business leadership, each is deeply involved in our community, serving on numerous local boards, commissions, and committees. Bobbie serves on the boards of The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; the Bayou Bend Collection and Gardens Committee; the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft and the Houston Zoo. She is a life member of the American Red Cross Tiffany Circle, a founding member of the American Heart Association's Circle of Red and lifetime member of the Kezia DePelchin Society. John serves on the National Parks Foundation Board of Directors, Texas State Historical Association Board of Directors, the Civil War Trust Board of Directors, the Texas State Historical Association Board of Directors, and the Baylor College of Medicine Board of Trustees. In addition, John is Director of the Greater Houston Partnership.

Winners in five additional categories will also be recognized during this inspiring luncheon.

Founder's Award
BLVD Place by Wulfe & Company and Environmental Design
Ed Wulfe
BLVD Place along Post Oak Boulevard was selected for this year's J. Howard Rambin III Founder's Award. This high-energy mixed-use project has many amenities from a state-of-the-art Whole Foods Market to a Verizon store, and has changed attitudes and behaviors in the area.

Innovation Award
University of Houston Design Build Collaborative RE/CYCLE HUB
Associate Professor Cheryl Beckett
This pop-up destination promises creative interaction with sound, breeze, art, light and renewable energy within a mobile, pedal-powered shade environment. This portable structure brings together audience members through civic engagement to both participate and learn. Pedal power runs a Listening Station, a Cooling Station and a reMake reCreate Art Station which all make use of recycled materials to teach important environmental lessons about noise pollution, urban heat islands and unnecessary waste.

Landmark Award
Hermann Park Conservancy McGovern Centennial Gardens
Executive Director Doreen Stoller
This eight-acre commemoration of Hermann Park's 100th anniversary is dominated by a 30-foot garden mount. The gardens include: an arbor walk, a rose garden, the Tudor Family Pine Hill Walk, the Woodland Garden, an Arid Garden showcasing plants with low water and maintenance needs, and a Family Garden to teach children how plants grow. More than 490 new trees of 50 different species were added along with more than 107,000 shrubs, 650 azaleas, 115 camellias, 350 roses, 350 aloes, yuccas and agaves.

Distinguished Service Award
Council Member Larry V. Green and the District K Council Office
Council Member Larry V. Green
In collaboration with Trees for Houston, more than 2,000 trees have been planted in the district along major thoroughfares. For Arbor Day this year, more than 400 volunteers were recruited to add 400 15-gallon trees along 3 major thoroughfares. In addition, with the assistance of UP Art Studio, a mini-mural initiative transformed existing traffic control cabinets in the district. At 31 intersections, the blank utility boxes have become artistic expressions that beautify the landscape and build civic pride.

Distinguished Neighborhood Award
OST/South Union GO Neighborhoods
President Preston Roe, Southeast Houston Transformation Alliance
The "Rock the Block" collaborative effort with the University of Houston Metropolitan Volunteer Program recruited 200 volunteers who removed 4,180 pounds of litter for Keep Houston Beautiful Day. The Beacon of Light Christian Center purchased an auto storage facility and recruited volunteers who demolished the concrete so that it could be replaced with a baseball diamond, bleachers and a concession area.

Eleven individuals and projects were also singled out for Proud Partner Awards:

Alyce Coffey, Community Manager Solid Waste Management Department
Alyce has been committed to participating in numerous neighborhood improvement projects over the past 25 years. She mobilizes city resources, attends every neighborhood civic club meeting, solves problems, and is on-site weekends throughout the city. In short, she really makes civic action work when it comes to beautifying this city.

Anat Ronen, Houston Independent School District
With funding from HISD, mural artist Anat Ronen took a long, blank wall of Blackshear Elementary along a busy street and created a tribute to the many faces and lives in Houston's Third Ward. The 250-foot long wall has 55 portraits of people from the neighborhood who approached Ronen while he worked and asked to be included.

Bellerive Garden Project
PWE Street & Drainage, Houston Housing Authority, Office of Council Member Mike Laster
Herbert Payne, Field Supervisor, Public Works & Engineering, Street & Drainage
The Asian-American residents at the Bellerive Senior Living Center decided to plant a community garden on the easement adjacent to the facility. Abundant with peppers, eggplants, tomatoes and other fruits and vegetables, the garden needed to be leveled and the accumulated trash removed. It now has a regular watering source, mowing of the easement, and compost bins to enrich the soil.

Day in the District
Washington Avenue Arts District
Susanna Mitchell, Director, Washington Avenue Arts District
77007 With the assistance of 200 volunteers from Dow Chemical Company, the bike trail that runs from Sawyer St. to Holly St. in Houston's historic First Ward was de-littered and 500 wood bollards that line the bike trail were painted. The gardens and pond at Crockett Elementary were cleaned and moveable furniture assembled, which included benches, performance platforms and art walls designed by Sam Jones and Asakura Robinson.

Earth Day Houston
Air Alliance Houston
Paige Powell, Office Manager, Air Alliance Houston
Featuring more than 100 business and nonprofits and 15,000 attendees, the event creates awareness, stimulates dialogue, and fosters creativity in the realms of air, water, land, wildlife, healthy living, recycling, commerce, art, food, and more. A kid's stage provides family entertainment, in addition to children's activities scattered throughout the festival.

Houston Zoo Browse Garden
CenterPoint Energy
Scott Doyle, Senior Vice President, Regulatory & Public Affairs Centerpoint Energy
Animals at the Houston Zoo consume anywhere from 100 to 200 pounds of browse - leaves, twigs, or other high-growing vegetation - each day, and much of this is grown on the zoo grounds. In March, CenterPoint Energy volunteers helped plant 175 trees in a new browse garden adjacent to the new gorilla habitat at the zoo. The new garden will feed animals for the next 10 years.

Miracle League Complex at the Langham Creek YMCA
Harriet Foster, Volunteer, YMCA of Greater Houston
YMCA of Greater Houston/Langham Creek Center
The Miracle League Sports program is designed specifically for children with special needs. A new baseball field was built with a custom-designed rubberized turf that accommodates wheelchairs and other devices to prevent injuries.

North Houston Skate Park and Dylan Park
Greenspoint Redevelopment Authority
Sally Bradford, Executive Director, Greenspoint Redevelopment Authority
Ten acres of flat, treeless land have been transformed into two parks. One is a 78,000-square foot skate park complete with a 20-foot pipe, a snake run and six bowls for vert skating. The other park welcomes children of all skill levels and is named for a wheelchair bound child abuse victim that died of his injuries.

Repurposing Program
University of Houston Facilities Services Department
Craig Whitfield, Facility Manager, University of Houston Facility Services
A repurposing program collects and redistributes products headed for hazardous disposal, recycling, or general solid waste streams and re-utilizes them at least one more time before disposal. A refrigerator became a stage prop and 125 gallons of various quantities of paint were also used by the theater department.

Rivers, Lakes, Bays 'N Bayous Trash Bash
Houston-Galveston Area Council and Texas Conservation Fund
Lori Traweek, President, Texas Conservation Fund
Over 22 years, 98,010 volunteers have collected nearly 2,100 tons of trash, 13.46 tons of recyclable materials, and removed 9,617 tires while cleaning more than 1,119 miles of shoreline at Trash Bash sites. In 2015 alone, 4,384 volunteers cleaned 162 miles of shoreline, collected 37.4 tons of trash, and recycled 2,620 pounds of collected materials.

Sheldon Lake State Park Prairie Wetland Restoration
Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service
Marissa Sipocz, Wetland Program Manager, Texas Coastal Watershed Program
Ninety acres of prairie wetland habitat were restored during Phase 1 and 222 acres of prairie wetlands were restored in Phase 2 and 3 in 2013. Texas Parks and Wildlife was the primary force behind the excavation and preparation of the land while the Extension provided the essential plant community re-establishment to complete the project.

Congratulations to all of the 2015 award winners. For a complete list of this year's winners please visit:

About Keep Houston Beautiful

Keep Houston Beautiful (KHB), a 501 (c) 3, non-profit organization, is the City's leading organization in beautification, litter reduction and recycling education. Since 1979, KHB has been at the forefront of making Houston the extraordinary place it is today. From community cleanups and educational outreach to transforming public spaces into beautiful places by planting trees, flowers and community gardens; the work of KHB is apparent to every resident and visitor of our city every day. In 2015, KHB completed 495 community projects, mobilized more than 12,000 volunteers, removed over 420 tons of trash and debris from parks and city streets, mowed 1,989 vacant lots and educated 1,944 youth through presentations and service projects. The value of this labor of love was $1.2 million- a return of $24 for each $1 spent. For more information about how you can help keep our city beautiful by donating your time or money, please visit us at: