Brought To You By NSU; Written by Leah Jackson
Keep Northwestern State Beautiful was selected as a recipient of a Keep Louisiana Beautiful (KLB) University Affiliate Grant. KLB is the state’s premier anti-litter and community improvement organization.
The $5,000 grant will reduce single-use plastic waste on campus. Grant funds will be used to purchase a filtered-water bottle filling station and distribute 350 refillable stainless-steel drinking bottles on NSU’s Natchitoches campus. Keep Northwestern State Beautiful partnered with the NSU Conservation Club to develop the grant proposal. NSU Conservation Club is a Recognized Student Organization on campus that strives to bring together like-minded individuals interested in natural science and conservation. Students from the club will distribute water bottles and conduct outreach to recipients about the Conversations Club’s goals, events and meetings.
“We’re excited about this partnership and look forward to working with the Conservation Club and other student groups in the future. We believe that this grant will not only help reduce waste, but also deliver the important message about the value of teamwork and collaboration towards achieving common goals,” said Steven Gruesbeck, NSU’s director of Service-Learning.
The University Affiliate Grant program was developed as part of a $500,000 five-year EPA Gulf of Mexico Trash-Free Waters Grant secured in 2021 by the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, with Keep Louisiana beautiful as a sub-recipient. The funding has created and launched the University Affiliate Program, developed a litter assessment app, developed educational training videos for campus communities in addition to grant opportunities for University Affiliates. The program is in response to growing interest in sustainability, waste reduction, and litter prevention at the university level.
NSU became a university affiliate of Keep Louisiana Beautiful last year and is committed to continuing improvement in sustainability and environmental issues by promoting student environmental stewardship and engagement. The primary purpose of the university affiliate program is to educate and engage the next generation of business owners and community leaders on environmental issues such as waste reduction, litter prevention and marine debris that have long-term effects on our state and the Gulf of Mexico.
“This program has enhanced the beautification of our already beautiful campus. NSU will continue to educate our campus community on waste reduction and sustainability. The faculty, staff, and students of NSU look forward to being a long-time participant in the Keep Louisiana Beautiful program,” said Jennifer Kelly, executive director of University Affairs.
Keep Louisiana Beautiful’s mission is to promote personal, corporate and community responsibility for a clean and beautiful Louisiana. Through programs, and statewide network of affiliates and partners, KLB provides tools and resources to prevent litter, reduce waste, increase recycling and beautify spaces. Keep Louisiana Beautiful is a non-profit organization dedicated to achieving a cleaner, greener Louisiana through litter reduction and beautification initiatives. To get involved, visit keeplouisianabeautiful.org