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Northwestern State administrator organizes statewide litter prevention conference

Northwestern State University

More than 120 people dedicated to litter prevention and waste reduction in Louisiana will gather today in Baton Rouge for the 10th annual conference of Keep Louisiana Beautiful. The two-day conference was organized by Steven Gruesbeck, director of service learning at Northwestern State University.

Gruesbeck is a board member of Keep Louisiana Beautiful and has a track record of getting college students involved in beautification programs at NSU and the surrounding Natchitoches community. He said volunteerism within Keep Louisiana Beautiful is strong, despite difficult financial times.

“Even though with the economy as it is and everyone working harder and longer hours, we still have lots and lots of folks who are volunteering and who are carving out time to volunteer and improve the community," Gruesbeck said.

The organization has worked tirelessly over the past decade to promote sustainability and beautification projects, according to Gruesbeck, and during this conference attendees will look ahead. Despite Louisiana’s uphill battle with litter, Gruesbeck finds progress.

“Sometimes I’m sure it feels like we are going three steps forward and two steps back, but we have progressed. We’ve made it one step. Given that this is a challenge we’ve faced for a long time, I don’t think that there will be an immediate solution," Gruesbeck said.

Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne will be the keynote speaker during the conference awards luncheon today at the Old Governor’s Mansion.