There were more than enough smiles to go around the afternoon of Nov. 14 as the winners of the Red Stick Bicentennial Art Contest sponsored by CATS and the Red Stick Project were fêted at a Bicentennial Birthday Cake Reception at the Arts Council of Greater Baton Rouge. On hand were the students, who ranged from second grade to 12th grade, their siblings, parents, grandparents and even a few teachers.

Red Stick Project

The students were challenged to imagine Baton Rouge's transportation of the past 200 years and its future public transportation. Arts Council of Greater Baton Rouge CEO Renée Chatelain and Red Stick Project chairwoman Evelyn Ware introduced the winners, whose works will be on buses, bus shelters and inside the CATS buildings through the holiday season in celebration of the Capital City's Bicentennial.

Participating schools included Baton Rouge Foreign Language Academic Immersion Magnet (FLAIM), Buchanan, Dufrocq, Glen Oaks Park and Magnolia Woods elementary schools; Glasgow, McKinley, Sherwood and Westdale middle schools; and Baton Rouge Magnet, McKinley and Woodlawn high schools.

Cox Conserves

John Walther was recognized as Louisiana's 2017 Cox Conserves Hero at a Nov. 8 reception hosted by Cox Communications and the Trust for Public Land at the Old Governor's Mansion. The celebration kicked off the Center for Planning Excellence's Louisiana Smart Grown Summit.

The Coastal Conservation Association of Louisiana, for which Walther volunteers in particular as a guiding force behind 20 unique artificial reef deployments across the state's coast as well as its Derelict Crab Trap Removal Program, will receive $10,000 in Walther's name.

The two runners-up for the award included Kristy Hancock, Urban Conservancy, and Scott Howard, NOLA Parks for All. Their two nonprofits will each receive $5,000. Since the Cox Conserves Heroes program was created, nearly $800,000 has been donated to environmental nonprofits and some 200 volunteers honored.

Follow Pam Bordelon on Twitter, @pamspartyline.