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Marble Falls, Keep Kingsland Beautiful, William Fowler honored as River Heroes

River Heroes of the Highland Lakes

Highland Haven Mayor Olan Kelley, Colorado River Alliance Executive Director Adrienne Longenecker, River Heroes award recipient William Fowler of Highland Haven, and Vice President and Banking Center Manager of Prosperity Bank Melody Yanniell of Kingsland. Staff photo by Nathan Bush.

The Colorado River Alliance honored three River Heroes on June 7 at Lakeside Pavilion in Marble Falls. The city of Marble Falls, Keep Kingsland Beautiful, and resident William Fowler were recognized for the efforts to preserve one of Texas’ largest natural resources.

“Clean drinking water is a human right,” said CRA Executive Director Adrienne Longenecker in her remarks at the awards ceremony. “The spectacle of these events are designed simply to draw more attention to the river.”

The city of Marble Falls was the first group to receive an award at the event. It was honored for its dedication to innovation and engineering to protect water resources. City Engineer Kacey Paul accepted the award on the city’s behalf.

“I strongly believe our relationship with water will change substantially in the coming years,” Paul said. “We are actively working on projects to help protect and ensure the longevity of the river.”

The alliance also honored the group Keep Kingsland Beautiful, which started a movement to use recyclable yellow bags to help encourage river cleanup. Board of Directors Chair Mina Martin, accompanied by Darlene Zubkus and Melissa Eddy, all of Kingsland, accepted the award together.

“Our hope is the whole community will start using our little yellow bags to help keep our community clean,” Martin said.

The final honoree of the night was Highland Haven resident William Fowler, who has pulled hundreds of pounds of debris out of Lake LBJ since the 2018 flood. He also operates a Facebook group called Trash Environmental Fishing, which posts photos of the trash members find in the lake. Highland Haven Mayor Olan Kelley spoke on Fowler’s behalf.

“William’s love for his community is shown by his commitment to cleaning it,” Kelley said. “Highland Haven is proud of Mr. Fowler and regard him as a local hero and an inspiration.”

The event also included a silent auction, a raffle, and a 42-foot interactive exhibit called the Mobile River Trailer. More than 2,000 students have visited the trailer in the past year, which will be going to the Boys & Girls Club units in Burnet and Marble Falls later this summer.