LEXINGTON — Keep Lexington Beautiful has a new coordinator. Elvie Montes recently took the helm of the Keep America Beautiful affiliate.
A California native, Montes was six years old when she moved to Lexington and attended Lexington High School before moving to Lincoln and graduating from Lincoln East High School.
After high school she traveled to several states and Mexico, she also lived in Kansas City for a time. This year, she moved back to Lexington in order to be closer to family she still had here.
Montes has a past history of working with community organizations including Project Hunger and Project Connect, she also has been in organizations dedicated to helping homeless children and getting them resources. “It’s something I have always enjoyed,” she said.
After she moved back to Lexington, she met with Lexington Public School’s after school program director Patricia Sanchez-Stewart looking to work in the afterschool program.
Sanchez-Stewart is on the Keep Lexington Beautiful board of directors and put Montes in contact with Thane Moore, the board president. From here she was offered the position as coordinator.
Moore said they are realizing the board, Lexington graduate Haley Rogers is a new member, and they plan to add one more member. They are excited for the new members, Moore said.
Mons just became coordinator in late August and is still getting her feet under her, she plans on attending several trainings to get better acclimated. Moore said she will also help finish the Keep America Beautiful project which has been ongoing. The project involves area youth groups cleaning up roadway ditches and parks.
A big part of Keep Lexington Beautiful mission is to educate people on how to recycle more and prevent littering. Montes plans to encourage this by having more community events, especially those which focus on children.
Montes said she also wants to focus attention on minority groups, whose culture may have not placed a heavy emphasis on not littering or recycling. Educating children will help the parents, Montes said, as the children come home and know how to implement recycling, not littering, etc.
To this end, Montes wants to plan more projects and events with the Lexington schools.
“Every little bit counts,” Montes said about recycling, she also said reducing plastic waste, using reusable bags, etc. are things people can incorporate into their lives.
Moore said upwards of 50 percent of the items which end up in the landfill are in fact, recyclable.
Keep Lexington Beautiful will be a part of Lexington Community Foundation’s Give Big Lexington event again this year, and this year their participation may be quite timely.
The Nebraska State Legislature has made cuts in the amount of money available for grants which would go to organizations like Keep Lexington Beautiful and grants are a big part of how they operate, Moore said.
Keep Lexington Beautiful asks community members to consider donating to them this year so they can continue in their mission.
Montes said they operate five different recycle trailers for the community to use, they are located at Lexington High School, Lexington Middle School, Morton Elementary, Sandoz Elementary and Pershing Elementary.
More information can be found at their Facebook page Klb Nebraska, recycling information and tips can be found at the Keep America Beautiful website, https://www.kab.org.