By Anthony Scott
Killeen Daily Herald

As the Killeen Youth Advisory Commission turns 18 this month, it is also being honored with an award.

On Friday, the group of youth volunteers was named the winner of the 2011 Ruthe Jackson Youth Leadership Award, which is one of 12 the Keep Texas Beautiful Youth and Educator Awards.

Award winners will be recognized during a June 22 ceremony at Keep Texas Beautiful’s 44th annual conference in Austin.

“The award they’re receiving is based on their environmental efforts,” said Sheri Watson, youth programs specialist.

In addition to being recognized for graffiti abatement, the YAC marked storm water inlets for the drainage department with warning signs and participated in Keep Killeen Beautiful’s adopt-a-road program, said Wilfred Brewster, director of volunteer services.

The group of youth, about 33 strong, ranges from ages 13 to 18. To earn its award, the group adopted a site along Lake Road, which it cleans on a quarterly basis,

removed graffiti all across town and glued plaques to the street near drains to warn people not to contaminate the water supply, Brewster said.

“It does teach them to be more environmentally aware of the things in their community that affect their environment,” Watson said.

Brewster said the next project for the YAC will be working with Keep Killeen Beautiful tonight at Rodeo Killeen to collect recyclable materials. There will be recycling containers at the rodeo and members also will separate recyclable items from the trash at the end of the night for delivery to the Killeen Recycling Center.