Keep Ouachita Parish Beautiful, Keep Monroe Beautiful, & Keep West Monroe Beautiful have received a $9000 grant from Keep Louisiana Beautiful to help promote several recycling events in Ouachita Parish. Local beautification groups have teamed up with the Ouachita Parish Public Library to promote a recycling magic show for local elementary aged kids at four different elementary schools. This “edu-tainment” opportunity will feature Steve Trash, a magician whose show features ecological and environmental lessons intertwined with special effects and music. An appearance in Monroe in July of 2013 sponsored by the parish library drew just over 1,000 attendees. This project is bringing Steve Trash, the “Rockin’ Eco Hero”, back to Ouachita Parish.

“The problem of illegal dumping and littering is a huge concern in Ouachita Parish,” says Robin Toms, Director of the Ouachita Parish Public Library. “While attending a parish-wide ‘trash summit’ last year, those in attendance agreed that education of our citizens, particularly children and young adults, was one of the primary ways to fight this problem. The library is a place for life-long learning. What better place for citizens of all ages to learn about how to combat the trash problem than at their library? That’s why we brought in Steve Trash and sought the cooperation of Keep Ouachita Parish Beautiful in promoting his appearances. Now, we are cooperating with agencies throughout Monroe, West Monroe and Ouachita Parish, including the city and parish school systems, to bring Steve Trash back so that even more children can hear his message.”

This will be a rewarding field trip for all involved, providing an entertaining and educational reminder of lessons learned for some and the first look at those issues for others. In addition to the show, librarians will set up special displays at each one of the ten libraries in Ouachita Parish emphasizing anti-litter books and materials aimed at addressing local recycling & litter abatement issues. The displays will feature materials promoting annual events such as the Ouachita Water Sweep, National Recycling Day, Household Hazardous Waste Day and the Great American Clean-up. The combination of increased educational materials and promotional items should help in addressing the need of increased community action in cleaning up our communities.