By Dawn Krebs
MARTIN COUNTY -- Retirees, students and business leaders came together on Feb. 6 to be recognized for their common passion -- keeping Martin County beautiful.
The nonprofit organization Keeping Martin Beautiful held its ninth annual Environmental Stewardship Awards at Piper's Landing Yacht and Country Club in Palm City.
Guests were able to enjoy dinner, a silent auction and to watch the presentation of the many awards handing out to businesses, government agencies and individuals for their efforts in improving the environment in Martin County.
The 10 awardees were chosen from 60 nominees and were recognized in front of more than 200 residents.
"The room was packed," said Jessica Layne, outreach coordinator for Keep Martin Beautiful. "We wanted to recognize them for their efforts."
The Martin County Fair received the business award for launched the first fair-wide recycling program.
The Environmental Studies Center, part of the Martin County School Board, received the government agency award.
The civic group award went to the Hobe Sound Women's Club, and the school award was presented to the Bessey Creek Elementary Team Green.
The individual award for unsung hero went to David Peters, who help start and run many programs in Stuart.
The sustainability award was presented to the Martin County Sheriff's Office for building its gun range using recycling materials.
The innovation award went to H20cean and the President's Award was given to the Pine School for its organic garden.
The two final awards went to individuals. The Community Champion Award went to Doug Hencken who worked to clean up the county's schools, and the 2013 Raleigh "Riley" Jackson Award went to Lloyd Jones for his participation in a makeover event in Indiantown.
"Events such as litter removal, recycling, neighborhood projects and more were represented at the awards ceremony," said Ms. Layne. "Since we're a volunteer organization, the actual 'doing' of keeping Martin beautiful is done by the people that live and work here, and they are so appreciated."
For more information about Keep Martin Beautiful, visit www.keepmartinbeautiful.org.