Water-Related News

Keep Lake Beautiful volunteer earns Outstanding Youth Champion Award

Mount Dora High School graduate Rachel Clark has done more for the environment during her school-age years than some can accomplish during an entire lifetime.

This year, Clark, 18, coordinated a lake cleanup for her classmates in conjunction with Keep Lake Beautiful and the county’s Adopt-a-Lake Program. For her work, Clark has been given the Outstanding Youth Champion Award by Keep Florida Beautiful, of which Keep Lake Beautiful (KLB) is an affiliate. The award honors an engaged young person who demonstrates leadership in promoting behavior change on litter prevention, recycling, and beautification.

“Volunteering is so rewarding and fun,” said Clark. “I think everybody has what it takes to make a big difference in the world. Little things like saving electricity, turning off the water when you brush your teeth and recycling are really easy to do.”

Clark has been volunteering since she was in elementary school, having worked on various lakeshore restorations, storm water drainage marking projects, performing a recycling-themed puppet show at summer camp, as well guest-hosting a radio show about litter prevention. In 2007 and 2008 she received the President’s Volunteer Service Award for her efforts with the Lake County recycling program. She recently planted 50 cypress trees on the Lake-Sumter State College campus, where she plans to attend college in the fall on a volleyball scholarship.

“For many years, Rachel has used her leadership skills to help improve Lake County’s environment,” said Will Dawson, KLB coordinator. “We are lucky to have such a dedicated teen volunteer engaging her peers about the importance of protecting our natural resources, and we are thrilled that she is being honored for her great work.”

Since its launch, KLB has hosted or partnered on more than 20 projects including community and waterway cleanups, roadside litter pickups, neighborhood and school beautification events, tree plantings and household hazardous waste collection events. The mission of KLB is to beautify Lake County by engaging the community. To register as a volunteer or to become a sponsor of future events in Lake County, visit www.lakecountyfl.gov/KLB or call 352-253-1660. For information about the Adopt-a-Lake Program, contact Cathie Catasus, 352-253-1659 ccatasus@lakecountyfl.gov