KRB, Partners Get Accolades at Keep Mississippi Beautiful Meeting

Keep the Rez Beautiful and its partners secured a few accolades at the 2012 Keep Mississippi Beautiful Annual Meeting on April 12. St. Mark’s United Methodist Church won first place in the civic organization category; USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service won first place in the federal government category; and the Pearl River Valley Water Supply District won honorable mention in the local government category. These awards honor the hard work of Keep Mississippi Beautiful affiliates and their many partners. Additionally, Keep the Rez Beautiful won the Circle of Excellence Award.

Above: KRBers include Dr. Cathy Schropshire, John Sigman, Brenda Miller, Dave Thompson, Harriet Lowe, Jeannine May, Deb Veeder and Justin Fritscher.

Here are a few excerpts from the nomination forms:

St. Mark’s: Volunteers from St. Mark’s United Methodist Church have been consistent and loyal partners to Keep the Rez Beautiful and have been instrumental in KRB’s efforts. St. Mark’s holds a volunteer service day once a month, and the church has used that day of service to help KRB with three cleanups. Additionally, two church members, Deb Veeder and Dave Thompson, are among KRB leadership and help extensively with the organization’s programming. KRB was certified in May 2011, and volunteers with St. Mark’s have been key to this young organization’s success.

Becky Morgan, president of the Keep Mississippi Beautiful board, presents a first place award to St. Mark’s United Methodist Church congregation members Deb Veeder and Dave Thompson.

Natural Resources Conservation Service: USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service of Mississippi has helped Keep the Rez Beautiful with promoting the stewardship of natural resources. NRCS is a sub-agency of USDA, and it works with landowners to make their land more environmentally friendly. NRCS also has a volunteer arm – called Earth Team. All KRB volunteers are also signed up as Earth Team members. NRCS has a history of working to improve the water quality of the Ross Barnett Reservoir, and that’s why it’s a natural partnership between the two groups. NRCS has worked with farmers for years to install best management practices to lower their environmental impact, and now volunteers affiliated with NRCS are working with urban landowners to promote BMPs, too.

Pearl River Valley Water Supply District: The Pearl River Valley Water Supply District staff and board of directors has incubated Keep the Rez Beautiful and played a vital role in helping this young organization prosper. KRB was certified in May 2011, and PRVWSD has helped the organization accomplish many goals in its inaugural year. PRVWSD provides administrative infrastructure, volunteers, funds and other services. PRVWSD is a big reason why KRB exists. The district’s general manager, John Sigman, encouraged Reservoir residents to form the organization. John involves KRB in many community events, and even more importantly, calls on KRB to help improve the community. PRVWSD and KRB have had an excellent working relationship, and together they have engaged a large stakeholder group that is interested in improving the Reservoir and its shoreline communities.

Becky Morgan, president of the Keep Mississippi Beautiful board, presents an honorable mention award to John Sigman, general manager of the Pearl River Valley Water Supply District.

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