Outspoken columnist receives Godbold Award

Outspoken columnist receives Godbold Award

Ron LIttlepage receives Godbold Award, presendted by KJB commission; coucilman Love helps to present the award

In 2012 Ron Littlepage, environmental gadfly and Op-Ed writer for the Florida Times Union, received an important letter. Chris Buckley, chair of the Keep Jacksonville Beautiful Commission, wrote, “It is my pleasure to inform you that the Keep Jacksonville Beautiful Commission has selected you as the recipient of our Annual Jake Godbold Award. This award is given to those individuals whom we deem to have a positive impact on making or keeping Jacksonville a beautiful place to live.
“Through your articles, you bring the natural beauty of Jacksonville to all your readers, encourage the community to preserve these natural habitats and urge everyone to keep litter in its rightful place.”

Littlepage received the award on February 7, 2013. The KJB commission is an affiliate of Keep America Beautiful which is the nation’s largest volunteer-based community action and education organization.

The KJB commission is comprised of representatives from the public, private and not-for-profit sectors appointed by the mayor of Jacksonville. Created in 1983 by Mayor Jake Godbold, KJB supports community beautification, enhances community pride and improves the quality of life in Jacksonville through the provision of outreach and educational activities and programming.

The Godbold Award was created by the Commission in 2009 to honor former Mayor Jake Godbold who was known for saying, “A clean city makes for a more economically-viable city.” In 2010, he was the recipient of the first Godbold Award which is designed to honor individuals who put forth the effort to make Jacksonville a cleaner, greener place.

Ron Littlepage was honored for his St. Johns River advocacy. Calling the river the city’s soul and bemoaning the fact that it had, at one point, been the city’s sewer, Littlepage has been an outspoken advocate of improved river care. His Op-Eds have investigated increased nutrient loads, algae bloom, proposed pipelines, and Water Management District practices. He has spoken in favor of St. Johns River license plates, supported the Riverkeeper and highlighted river-friendly landscaping practices.

Littlepage revels in solutions to environmental problems. He delighted in the creation of Jacksonville University’s Marine Science Research Institute. “It will provide a central location for researchers to study the river and the impacts on its health. Such research and focus are critical because the river is under assault from pollution, from plans to dredge the channel deeper to meet the port’s need and from the management district’s plans to use the river for water supplies.”

An avid outdoorsman, Littlepage has kayaked or hiked through many of the public parks in Duval County. By writing adventure articles emphasizing the wild beauty he encounters on his excursions, he has encouraged others to explore Duval County’s natural delights.

Anna Dooley, Director of Greenscape, commented on Littlepage’s award by saying, “Ron was selected because of his enduring efforts to raise awareness on the benefits of better environmental stewardship. He is a great advocate of the planet and particularly of our portion.”

By Victoria Register-Freeman
Resident Community News

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