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|Keep Ouachita Beautiful garners national recognition|
Keep Ouachita Beautiful recently was honored with an award in Washington, D.C. for its efforts to improve Ouachita Parish's image.
Diane Cook with Keep Ouachita Parish Beautiful said the award was given for the group's Water Sweep project where volunteers picked up about six tons of trash in one day.
The award was given to the local organization during the annual Keep America Beautiful national conference.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Keep Ouachita Parish Beautiful, Keep West Monroe Beautiful and Keep Monroe Beautiful partnered with local volunteers and businesses last year to collect trash along parish waterways during the one-day event.
Public works crews for the parish and cities of Monroe and West Monroe also assisted with litter pickup.
Cook said the group was given the award because of the amount of trash picked up during the event. The award also recognized the group's efforts to secure grants for the project and the community spirit the event fostered.
"We had a great time at the conference, and I came back with a lot of information, which I'll take back to share with our group," Cook said.
The organization also won a Distinguished Service Citation for the same Water Sweep project, Cook said.
Leigh Harris, executive director of Keep Louisiana Beautiful, said, "We want to extend our congratulations to Keep Ouachita Parish Beautiful for this award. Too often in Louisiana when we get national recognition, it's not the kind we would like to see. But in this case, it was great for others around the country to see that an organization here in Louisiana got this award. We are extremely proud of them."
Harris also thanked the Ouachita Parish Police Jury for its support of Keep Ouachita Parish Beautiful.
Keep Ouachita Parish Beautiful is an organization commissioned by the police jury. It sponsors several litter removal activities throughout the year, and partners with local civic organizations, businesses and people for these projects.