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Picturing a cleaner world
Group honors those who aid environment
Forsyth Beautiful 6 es
Carolina Sartain and her husband, Chris Sartain, attend the Keep Forsyth County Beautiful awards ceremony. Liberty Middle teacher Chris Sartain was honored for his efforts in the classroom. - photo by Emily Saunders
Keep Forsyth County Beautiful honored local businesses, residents, schools and organizations for their work toward keeping the county cleaner and greener.

Awards presented during the banquet Tuesday ranged from business and youth volunteers of the year to the adopt-a-road family and educator of the year.

The event was held at Midway Elementary School, which received the Junior Leadership Award.

Chris Sartain, who teaches at Liberty Middle School, was this year’s T.E.A.M. Teacher of the Year award recipient. T.E.A.M. stands for Teach, Encourage and Model recycling.

“We started a recycling program at my school this year and we didn’t have one before,” he said. “Every room in the school recycles now.”

Sartain said over the year, students recycled about 100 trash bags of paper, 50 bags of aluminum and plastic and a large amount of cardboard.

He said his students also have started an organic garden and donated all of the produce to Hands on Forsyth. The food was then taken to a local food bank.

“So we’re essentially growing food on our school grounds that is then donated to families through Hands on Forsyth,” he said. “It’s a pretty neat program and we’re hoping to double it next year.”

The government department of the year award went to Forsyth County Communications for its efforts to keep the public informed about Keep Forsyth County Beautiful’s programs.

Jodi Gardner, director of communications, said the award was an honor.

“The programs and the opportunities that they offer have such a positive impact on the community and the environment, so we are always excited to get to work with them and help get the word out about their events and programs,” Gardner said.

The department generated awareness of the local programs by working with the media, distributing press releases and including information in its monthly newsletter and programming on the county’s television station, TV Forsyth.