On September 18, NRPA attended the 68th Emmy® Awards to promote recycling and conservation thanks to our collaboration with Disney|ABC Television Group. At the awards show, Disney|ABC had recycling bins set up throughout the red carpet and media center. In the media center, NRPA staffed an educational booth during the event to showcase the importance of recycling and parks and recreation’s role in creating a greener planet and fostering environmental stewardship.
Attending the 68th Emmy Awards differed quite a bit from NRPA’s normal business trips. Not only were branded polos replaced by formal gowns, but our normal audience was also replaced with Emmy Award-winning actors! NRPA’s booth in the media center was located just outside the area where stars take photos with their awards. As award winners completed their interview and photography circuit, they would end up next to NRPA’s booth that promoted the benefits of recycling and parks and recreation.
As part of this initiative, NRPA and Disney|ABC hosted a challenge called Imagine Green where students who participate in out-of-school programming at local Los Angeles area park and recreation centers were encouraged to get creative by producing designs to reuse excess water bottles. One design was chosen as the winner and highlighted at our booth during the awards show.
The winning design was submitted by 12-year-old Malik Mbugua — a student at View Park Preparatory Accelerated Charter Middle School and an afterschool participant at the city of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks’ EXPO Center. His idea for reusing plastic water bottles was a tabletop community garden.
“My project is going to teach others how they can help our community in easy but long lasting ways,” Malik said. “My mini garden will create a greener future by showing the community how we can reuse plastic bottles to make a big difference worldwide.”
Malik has a passion for science, reading and travel. He loves that parks provide a sense of community and are a place where he can feel safe and accepted. Malik hopes to pursue a degree in computer science or forensics at USC or Harvard.