Seven Louisiana Universities Become First Class Keep Louisiana Beautiful University Affiliates
Published 9:00 am Sunday, June 12, 2022
MANDEVILLE, La. – Keep Louisiana Beautiful (KLB), a non-profit focused on community improvement through litter prevention, environmental education, and beautification has graduated its first class of seven university affiliates and will open the new application cycle July 15. The KLB university affiliate program, engaging college students in environmental stewardship and sustainability practices, is now the largest and most successful program of its kind in the U.S.
The first graduating class of KLB university affiliates includes Gambling State University, Louisiana State University, Nicholls State University, Tulane University, University of Louisiana at Lafayette, University of New Orleans, and Xavier University of Louisiana.
KLB is happy to expand its current network of affiliates and partners to include these universities. California has the only other collegiate program, with two universities participating.
“We couldn’t be more impressed with our first class of university affiliates,” says Cabell Mouton, Affiliate and Grant Director for KLB. “Our goal was to onboard three universities our first year, and the fact that we have seven speaks to the energy and dedication universities are directing toward sustainability, waste reduction, and litter prevention.”
The universities have been working together and exchanging ideas in monthly meetings throughout the school year. To become affiliates, the applicants were required to conduct a waste audit, litter survey and assessment, participate in Love the Boot Week, form an affiliate leadership committee, and create a work plan.
“Our partnership with Keep Louisiana Beautiful as a university affiliate is greatly valued,” says Dr. Ellen Smiley, Dean of Honors College at Gambling State University. “It helps us create and maintain a more beautiful and cleaner environment that reflects the splendor that can only be experienced in our beloved state, Louisiana.”
KLB’s university affiliate program was developed in 2021 in response to a growing interest in sustainability, waste reduction, and litter prevention at the university level. The University of Louisiana at Lafayette, with Keep Louisiana Beautiful as a sub-recipient, secured a $500,000 five-year EPA Gulf of Mexico Trash-Free Waters Grant to create and launch the program, develop a litter assessment app, and develop educational training videos for campus communities, and fund grant opportunities for university affiliates.
As affiliates, universities benefit from KLB staff support, access to KLB tools and resources, use of data collection processes, educational training, and membership in the KLB university sustainability coalition. *University affiliates also have the option to apply for grant programs to support sustainability practices, the reduction of single-use disposables, and litter prevention initiatives.
“The university affiliate program engages college students to think critically about non-point sources of pollution while gaining skills in ArcGIS, policy analysis, strategic planning, and community service,” says Susan Russell, Executive Director of KLB. “It’s important that we empower our future leaders and help equip them with the resources they need to take action.”