Florence Cline Receives Keep America Beautiful’s Mrs. Lyndon B. Johnson Award

Stamford, Conn. (Feb. 13, 2017) - Keep America Beautiful presented Gainesville, Florida, resident Florence Cline with its top volunteer honor when she was presented the 2016 Mrs. Lyndon B. Johnson Award at Keep America Beautiful’s recent National Awards Ceremony. The Mrs. Lyndon B. Johnson Award was created in honor of the former First Lady’s contribution to beautification efforts across the country.

The Mrs. Lyndon B. Johnson Award was named after the former first lady for engaging our nation in recognizing that aesthetic beauty is directly related to healthier communities, a cleaner environment, and a better quality of life.

“Florence Cline has dedicated over 25 years to addressing beautification and conservation issues in the Gainesville area with Keep Alachua County Beautiful,” said Keep America Beautiful Chief Operating Officer Becky Lyons. “Her long-standing service for the many local and statewide organizations she has touched serves as an inspiration to us all.”

Cline, who has been a member of Keep Alachua County Beautiful’s board of directors for more than two decades, is estimated to have volunteered more than 4,000 hours with the Florida affiliate. After starting as a volunteer for Keep Alachua County Beautiful (KACB) as one of the board's gardening experts, she went on to establish a landscape bank which has provided a continuous flow of materials for landscaping projects in the area since 1997.

Because of Cline’s work on this initiative, the prestigious Peter F. Drucker Award for Nonprofit Innovation – now called The Drucker Prize – was awarded to KACB in 2005. Among the many creative local initiatives she spearheaded included the “We Noticed” program that recognizes outstanding residential and commercial landscaping projects throughout Alachua County. In addition to her work with KACB, Cline has been involved with the 180-member Gainesville Garden Club, of which she was elected president in 2011; the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences' Master Gardner program; and the Kanapaha Spring Garden Festival organizing committee.

As a result of Cline's involvement, a permanent relationship was forged between KACB and the Gainesville Garden Club. While president of the Gainesville Garden Club and a KACB board member, Cline has motivated hundreds of people to become members and Master Gardeners. She also helps recruit volunteers for KACB’s Great American Cleanup.

“Lady Bird Johnson helped move forward the Highway Beautification Act as a direct result of her rides from Texas to Washington, where she recognized the need for improvement in the beautifying of our country’s roads. I have felt the need to carry on the same devotion and challenge as we continue to look around this beautiful country,” said Cline in accepting the award. “This amazing award belongs to all of us as we are daily faced with the need to keep our environment healthy.”

Cline was one of more than 80 individuals and organizations from communities across America to receive national recognition. Keep America Beautiful’s National Awards recognize the passion, dedication and impact of Keep America Beautiful’s affiliates from across the nation as well as partner organizations and individuals who share Keep America Beautiful’s vision of a country in which every community is a clean, green and beautiful place to live.

For a complete list of National Awards recipients, click here.