Keep Jefferson Parish Beautiful Brings Recycling to Bonnabel Magnet Academy High

The landscape at Bonnabel Magnet Academy High has changed as the Bruins installed over 100 recycling bins on their campus. Purchase of the bins was funded through an $8,511 Healthy Communities grant provided by Keep Louisiana Beautiful, the State’s premier anti-litter and community improvement organization. The grant proposal, written on behalf of Keep Jefferson Parish Beautiful by the Jefferson Parish Department of Environmental Affairs, was used to supply the infrastructure necessary to establish a cultural shift towards sustainable waste management within Bonnabel Academy, one of the Parish’s largest high schools.

The Parish has also partnered with the Louisiana Delta Service Corps to bring environmental programming to Bonnabel Academy through the work of a full time Service Corps Member who will engage students and Parish citizens as a coordinator for recycling outreach and education. One of the functions of the Corps Member’s position has been to establish an Environmental Leadership Council that will not only educate students at Bonnabel but will also teach them the leadership skills to bring their new knowledge to the broader community. Students from Bonnabel’s Environmental Leadership Council will be trained in community outreach and will be given opportunities to teach citizens about recycling at different public events.

“Through these strategic partnerships, Jefferson Parish seeks to leverage resources provided through the grant to make a community impact beyond the school setting. Giving the students a chance to become teachers builds communication skills, enhances confidence, and empowers the voice of the next generation for better protection of our environment,” says Sarah LaRock, the Administrative Management Specialist who works in recycling for Jefferson Parish’s Department of Environmental Affairs.

In addition to founding the Environmental Leadership Council at Bonnabel Academy, Madeline Munch, the Corps Member serving as the Recycling Program Outreach and Community Awareness Coordinator, has created an educational recycling curriculum that will be available for use by any Parish school that wishes to implement recycling efforts in their community. This curriculum, designed to complement the creation of an Environmental Leadership Council, provides information on a range of environmental issues while also providing guidance on how to structure an Environmental Leadership Council that allows for student leadership.

“Being President of Bonnabel’s Environmental Leadership Council is a great opportunity for me to develop my leadership skills and get to know more about environmental issues that I care for,” says Batwal Almayahi, a senior at Bonnabel Academy. “I’m excited to work with everyone this year and look forward to taking these experiences with me into college.”

In working as an affiliate of Keep America Beautiful, Keep Jefferson Parish Beautiful seeks to leverage grant funding from local, state, and national organizations to beautify communities, reduce waste, and end litter in Jefferson Parish. This Healthy Communities grant allows Keep Jefferson Parish Beautiful to further its goals of increasing recycling and educating the new generation of environmental leaders.