LAKE CHARLES, La. – Feb. 27, 2017 – In January, representatives from the CITGO Earth Keepers recycling program planted trees at participating local schools to recognize students and teachers for recycling. 
CITGO Earth Keepers, a community and school recycling program, was implemented in November of 2013 and has since been building momentum as the program progressively expands throughout Calcasieu Parish. Currently, there are 24 schools participating in Sulphur and Lake Charles. As part of the program, schools also receive recycling bins and a tree to beautify their campuses. Program partners include CITGO Lake Charles, Stine in Sulphur and Lake Charles, the cities of Lake Charles and Sulphur, CSE Federal Credit Union in Moss Bluff, McNeese State University and United Way of SWLA in Lake Charles. 
CITGO Lake Charles Vice President and General Manager Tomeu Vadell said CITGO Earth Keepers teaches students the value of recycling and provides the means to support recycling programs. “It is exciting to see students inspired to learn about how they can take care of their environment and then reap the rewards of their hard work.”
Each new school to the program received a seven-year-old live oak that Stine provided from Wilkinson Tree Farm. Students were able to watch and then participate in planting the tree on their school grounds and learned how to nurture and water the tree to make it grow. 
Schools added to the CITGO Earth Keepers program this year, and that received trees for planting from Stine, include Barbe High School, F. K. White Middle, J.J. Johnson Elementary, Kaufman Elementary, Nelson Elementary, Oak Park Elementary, Prien Lake Elementary, S.J. Welsh Middle and St. John Elementary.
Previously participating schools received trees and recycling bins when they initially joined the program. They include: Cypress Cove Elementary, Drost School for Exceptional Children, E. K. Key Elementary, Frasch Elementary, LeBlanc Middle, Maplewood Elementary, Maplewood Middle, Our Lady School, R.W. Vincent Elementary, St. Louis Catholic High School, Sulphur High School, Sulphur High School 9th Grade, Vincent Settlement Elementary, W.W. Lewis Middle and W.T. Henning Elementary.
Calcasieu Parish School Board Superintendent Karl Bruchhaus said the school board is grateful for the (CITGO) Earth Keepers program and what it teaches students about the environment. “We truly value our community partners and the learning opportunities they provide for our schools. We look forward to seeing this program impact lives for generations to come,” Bruchhaus said.
Lake Charles Mayor Randy Roach said (CITGO) Earth Keepers is a great way for students to learn environmental responsibility. “Trees are a sign of growth and symbolize the roots that our children are putting down in Southwest Louisiana. It’s exciting to see the light bulb go off when you tell them that future students will be able to play under the shade these trees will offer. CITGO has a history of giving back to our community, and we’re glad to work with them on this program and other environmental initiatives,” Roach said.
Stine VP of Marketing David Stine said Stine considers it an honor to partner with CITGO and local schools in the Earth Keepers program. “We hope that the students’ participation in these tree plantings will go a long way in inspiring young people to be good stewards of our environment. It is very important to us, as a family-owned company, to give back to our communities. We hope that years from now these students will be able to bring their own children back to the same tree, and talk about the day that they helped to plant it,” Stine said.
“Keep Greater Lake Charles Beautiful – Team Green is happy to be a part of the Earth Keepers program,” said Esther Vincent, liaison for Keep Greater Lake Charles Beautiful – Team Green. “For years to come, today’s young people will be able to share this experience with their children and grandchildren. Hopefully, one day in the near future this program will be able to expand into other area schools.”

CITGO, based in Houston, is a refiner, transporter and marketer of transportation fuels, lubricants, petrochemicals and other industrial products. The company is owned by CITGO Holding, Inc., an indirect wholly owned subsidiary of Petróleos de Venezuela, S.A., the national oil company of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. For more information, visit