Local Eco-Focused Nonprofit Recognized by Keep America Beautiful® Through its National Awards Program.
Gwinnett Clean & Beautiful (GC&B) announced today that it has been honored with a 2021 Innovation Award from the nation’s leading community improvement nonprofit organization, Keep America Beautiful®. Designed to salute the creation of innovative partnerships and programs that the mission of Keep America Beautiful, this particular Innovation Award was bestowed upon the Lawrenceville, Ga.-based nonprofit in part for its facilitation of the first-of-its-kind “Connecting People and Places: A Community Conversation About Litter” event – conceptualized in partnership with Keep America Beautiful in 2021 and realized in March 2022. The event engaged more than 1000 people throughout the U.S. and Canada via livestream.
“This is such an incredible recognition of our tireless work throughout Gwinnett County, and we are truly honored,” said Schelly Marlatt, Executive Director of Gwinnett Clean & Beautiful. “Thank you, Keep America Beautiful, for what my team and I feel is truly a testament to what it means to put community first. So much more than just another trophy to add to our case, we hope it serves as a reflection of our ongoing commitment to ensuring that our neighbors live in a clean, green, healthy and beautiful Gwinnett for generations to come.”
Marlatt insisted that the initial honor came when Gwinnett Clean & Beautiful was selected by Keep America Beautiful from 700 national affiliates to get a meaningful, community-based conversation started about litter. She said that while the U.S. has witnessed a 54% decrease in litter along its roadways over the last decade, 90% of Americans believe litter is still a problem in their community. Keep America Beautiful relayed that it hopes to use this first forum as an example for other affiliates to follow in the future.
In addition to the event that featured a facilitated forum of subject matter experts and local citizens discussing concerns and potential solutions to litter in Gwinnett County, Gwinnett Clean & Beautiful also hosted a number of community-centric, eco-focused events in 2021, including Bring One for the Chipper, two Household Hazardous Waste Collection Days, America Recycles Day, Great Days of Service, Earth Day Recycling, Great Gwinnett Wetlands and more. Its ongoing programs include Adopt-A-Road, Adopt-A-Stream, Green Youth Advisory Council, Green & Healthy Schools, Vibrant Communities and Stormwater Protectors – just to name a few. It often partners with Gwinnett County Public Schools and various departments of Gwinnett County Government, including the Department of Water Resources, Department of Transportation and Solid Waste Management.
In the national award program press release, Keep America Beautiful President and CEO, Jennifer Lawson stated, “Recognizing and honoring our affiliates, state agencies, and individuals each year is so important, as they are the backbone of our daily work to clean, green, and beautify communities across America.”