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by Karla Camacho

March marks the celebration of Women’s History Month, reminding us of the incredible contributions that women have made to society, especially within their local communities. Keep Texas Beautiful’s foundation and development are made with the help of several intelligent and influential women. Our mission is to inspire and empower Texas communities to keep their communities clean and beautiful. This month we recognize and celebrate the work of those who inspire us at Keep Texas Beautiful such as Sadie Ray Graff. In honor of her excellent work in environmental education, our Sadie Ray Graff educator award, part of the Beautify Texas Awards, recognizes the efforts of educators who encourage youth involvement in the KTB mission through environmental education.

Sadie Ray Graff was an educator for 50 years and continued her work in education even after retiring. She took part in the Beautify San Antonio Association and visited elementary schools to immerse them in conservation and recycling projects. Her work has received several awards and recognitions. In 1967 she was named part of the “Top Ten Outstanding Women of the Year” by the San Antonio Express-News. In 1982 she received the Lady Bird Johnson Award from Keep America Beautiful and a year after she received the State Achievement Award and was named distinguished alumna by the Southwest Texas State University.

As Women’s History Month comes to an end, it is important to reflect on the incredible contributions women have made in their communities. Women have been at the forefront of the environmental movement, addressing issues of conservation and pollution, amongst others. The work of Sadie Ray Graff is still represented at Keep Texas Beautiful. As we move forward, let us honor and celebrate the contributions of women within our community and work towards a future in which all individuals have the opportunity to make a positive impact on our planet.