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JOHN F. AHRNS AWARD FOR ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION

Keep Austin Beautiful

Keep Austin Beautiful has been conducting youth education programs since 2006 and they have built the essential infrastructure, partnerships, and experience to be environmental education leaders in the Austin community. Keep Austin Beautiful engages over 100 schools (K – 12) in the Austin area with programming that allows students to explore nature and problem solve through shared experiences. Curriculum topics are not taught in isolation, but are paired with outdoor service projects to reinforce and act on each lesson. Projects include creek restoration projects, cleanups, invasive species removal, tree plantings, and zero-waste campaigns. Terrific environmental education!

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ABOUT JOHN AHRNS

John Ahrns is among a rarefied group of first-rate naturalists and served as the Preserve manager and lead educator from Westcave’s beginnings in 1976 until his retirement in 2010. John Ahrns began his work at the Preserve by hauling more than 100 full-size garbage bags of trash out of the Westcave canyon. Years later, when he had accomplished an astonishing restoration of our cave and grotto, John set out to build an environmental education program that now attracts more than 6,000 children each year. Previous winners include: City of Austin – Earth Camp, Danna Keyburn of Redeemer Lutheran School, David Matthews of Small Middle School, Johnny Wilson of St Stephen’s Episcopal School, William Earley of Laurel Mountain Elementary, and LCPL Nicholas S. Perez Elementary School.