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MEDIA ADVISORY: AISD Sustainability Projects Keep Austin Beautiful

2015 finalists for Keep Austin Beautiful Awards include two AISD students and Lamar Middle School

Two Austin ISD students and Lamar Middle School will be recognized as 2015 finalists at the Keep Austin Beautiful Annual Awards brunch tomorrow.

Martin Middle School seventh grader Carlos Venegas and Eastside Memorial High School senior Lorenzo Sanchez have been named Youth Achievement Finalists. They are chosen for implementing or maintaining outstanding youth projects or activities to clean, beautify or restore an area or promote environmental stewardship.

Both students are part of the Keep Austin Beautiful Green Teens program.

Sanchez has participated in numerous service projects and field trips throughout the year to plant trees, clean up grounds and participate in educational events. Sanchez co-led a beautification project at Eastside Memorial to install two new gardens and plant six fruit trees.

Venegas participated in a project at Lady Bird Lake. He pulled an eight-foot log out of the water and, for about an hour, investigated the organisms living inside. He used a Dell tablet and digital microscope for the project.

Lamar Middle School is a finalist for the Education Award. The award is given to schools that raise awareness about environmental stewardship through educational activities.

The school has implemented several sustainability projects on campus, including 14 raised beds of edible gardens, a native species garden, a chicken coop and a three-tier compost system. In 2014, four community workdays were held, involving about 60 volunteers. In November, more than 80 pounds of produce was harvested. The chickens lay an average of 18 eggs per week. The eggs from the Lamar chicken coop are used in culinary arts classes and cooking demos for the Green Teens club. This spring, the school hopes to include the eggs in part of the Lamar Mini Farmers' Market Project. The project is made possible by a Bright Green Future grant from the City of Austin.

The awards brunch takes place Wednesday, Feb. 4 from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Center,
600 River St.

For more information, please visit



About Keep Austin Beautiful

Keep Austin Beautiful’s mission is to provide resources and education to engage citizens in building more beautiful communities. The nonprofit service organization’s programs clean, beautify and protect the Austin environment through physical improvements to the local environment, community resources and hands-on education. More than 20,000 people volunteer their time each year, committing 60,000 hours to cleaning and beautifying Austin, and environmental education is provided to 11,000 youth annually through Keep Austin Beautiful programs and events. For more information on Keep Austin Beautiful, visit