The Beautify Texas Awards recognize efforts made by individuals and organizations to enhance their communities and protect Texas’ environment. These awards range in honoring extraordinary volunteers, professionals, youth, educators, businesses, local/civic governments, organizations, and specific projects and programs.
The Beautify Texas Awards include many of the same categories of the former Keep Texas Beautiful Awards. They are organized into two main categories, Individual Awards and Organization Awards.
2023 Beautify Texas Award Winners
An aggressive effort to restore native grasses and wildflowers to the Meadow began in 2012 and they were nominated for the restoration work completed in 2022.
They are also wonderful partners with the City of Coppell and Keep Coppell Beautiful. in 2022, they were involved with the annual EarthFest event to celebrate Earth Day, participate in City-sponsored citizen scientist programs, and the Arbor Day celebration at Fall Frolic. Each year, the students find more and more opportunities to educate their fellow high school classmates, fellow students, and City of Coppell staff on how to be more sustainable.
The school also participates in a variety of other Fort Hood youth recycling initiatives such as saving plastic grocery bags to make beds for the homeless, to collecting pop tabs for the Ronald McDonald House. For the second consecutive year, Hettie Halstead Elementary has been named the Fort Hood Youth Environmental Ambassador of the year. Hettie Halstead Elementary may be small, but it is mighty!!
The most prestigious award Keep Texas Beautiful presents, this once-in-a-lifetime professional distinction is awarded to an individual who has provided outstanding leadership in improving and enhancing the environment of their community, the state of Texas, and beyond.
Volunteer of the Year
The OP Schnabel award recognizes an adult individual whose extraordinary volunteer effort supports the mission of KTB and contributes to the betterment of their community.
The Ruthe Jackson award recognizes the efforts and leadership of youth to beautify the community and create cleaner, greener campuses, parks, and neighborhoods. A youth individual is defined as a student (elementary through post graduate), scout, youth advisory board member. Nominees can be recognized as individuals or their collective efforts as a group or team.
Sadie Ray Graff
This award recognizes the efforts of an educator that provides instruction and/or programming to Pre-K through college students to encourage youth involvement and promotes the KTB mission through environmental education.
Ebby Halliday & Maurice Acers
The Ebby Halliday and Maurice Acers Award recognizes a business with sound environmental principles that supports the Keep Texas Beautiful mission, including locally owned, state, or national businesses.
The Outstanding Program award recognizes contributions by civic organizations and city, county, and state government departments, divisions, or agencies that support the KTB mission through a distinct and continual program.
The Outstanding Project award recognizes contributions by civic organizations and city, county, and state government departments that support the KTB mission through a specific one-time project or event from the previous year.
Public Education & Outreach
The Public Education & Outreach Award recognizes the public awareness and education efforts of civic organizations, media outlets, and city, county, and state government departments in print and/or electronic media in supporting environmental issues.
The Ruthe Jackson Youth Organization award recognizes the efforts and leadership of youth-oriented organizations to beautify the community and create cleaner and greener campuses, parks, and neighborhoods. A youth organization is defined as a scout group, student-led organization, youth advisory board, and similar.
Sadie Ray Graff
The Sadie Ray Graff award recognizes the efforts of educational institutions that provide instruction/programming to Pre-K through college students to encourage youth involvement and promote the KTB mission through environmental education.
Several of the Beautify Texas Awards are named in honor of notable people who were an important part of Keep Texas Beautiful’s founding and development over its 55+ year history. Let’s meet them:
Stan Weik, together with his wife, Joanne, devoted time, energy, and joyful spirit to elevating Keep San Saba Beautiful and Keep Texas Beautiful (KTB). He served on the KTB board for many years and served as Board President in 2012. Over the years, Stan won many awards for his service including the Iron Eyes Cody Award from Keep America Beautiful, their highest honor, and the KTB Leadership Award.
O.P. Schnabel, a San Antonio insurance salesman, was a pioneer in spreading the anti-litter message. Returning from a trip to Switzerland in 1948 where he was struck by the cleanliness of Swiss cities, Schnabel was inspired to organize the Beautify San Antonio Association. In 1967, he became the founding president of the Beautify Texas Council, later re-named Keep Texas Beautiful.
Ruthe Jackson was the first female president and a founding member of Keep Texas Beautiful. Ruthe served on the Grand Prairie City Council, serving most of her tenure as Mayor Pro Tem or Deputy Mayor Pro Tem. She won multiple awards and honors including the Mrs. Lyndon B. Johnson Environmental Award in 1977. Ruthe helped to establish the KTB Patch Program, and KTB’s Ruthe Jackson Youth Leadership Awards are named in her honor.
Sadie Ray Graff
Sadie Ray Graff was a Texas educator for more than 50 years. After retiring from education in 1971, Sadie and her husband Waldo served actively in the Beautify San Antonio Association. She visited elementary schools to involve them in recycling and conservation projects. The Sadie Ray Graff Awards are named in her honor to recognize educators who encourage or demonstrate efforts to promote the KTB mission through environmental education.
Ebby Halliday and Maurice Acers
Ebby Halliday and Maurice Acers were business owners with a passion for keeping Texas clean and beautiful. Ebby was well-known as the “First Lady of Real Estate.” Ebby Halliday Realtors is one of the largest privately owned residential real estate firms in the country.
Maurice Acers secured KTB’s partnership with the Texas Department of Transportation and named the Governor’s Community Achievement Awards.