Every year, the State of Texas Alliance for Recycling, or STAR, gives awards to “recognize true stewards of environmental change in Texas from individuals, communities, organizations and businesses,” according to its website www.recyclingstar.org,

This year, a woman from Nolanville, Marie Reis, was among those recognized for her efforts and presented with the organization’s 2018 Environmental Leadership Award.

Reis was nominated for the award by Nolanville city manager Kara Escajeda.

“She is one of the biggest supporters of recycling I know,” Escajeda said. “She encourages churches and other organizations to recycle. She also goes out into the community and teaches (others) how to recycle.”

“Even before Keep Nolanville Beautiful, she used to pay out of her own pocket to plant flowers around the Main Street area,” Escajeda said.

Reis said, “Recycling is very important for the environment, and for even children to learn to repurpose things instead of always buying new (things).”

Reis said some CTC students began a recycling program in Nolanville about 3½ years ago, which she and her husband, Butch, volunteered at about once a week.

“Then when the semester ended, they went their separate ways,” she said, so she and her husband carried on with the recycling program for three hours every Wednesday.

Escajeda said of Reis, “She was instrumental in transitioning the trailer that sits at City Hall. People can now recycle 24/7.”

In addition to the recycling program, Reis also volunteers at the new Clements Boys and Girls Club in Nolanville. She said she and the children there just put in a butterfly garden, where, “25 kids learned about how newspaper and cardboard can be used in gardening.”

Reis said she was shocked when she received the email about the award, but, she said, “I was very honored.”

“I like to keep what I do a secret,” she said. “I just do what I do. It keeps me active.”

What Reis does is no longer a secret. In addition to the award she received from the state, there is also a large sign now posted in her front yard that reads, “Congratulations! Marie Reis, 2018 Volunteer of the Year, State of Texas Alliance for Recycling.”

“We’re happy that she’s been able to be recognized at the state level,” Escajeda said.

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