Efforts to reduce Bakersfield's litter are being recognized and awarded by the national Keep America Beautiful organization.

The Bakersfield Californian has won first place in the business/professional organization category in Keep America Beautiful's National Awards for its participation in the "Litter: It's Beneath Us" campaign to clean up the city, the organization announced Thursday.

"I am so honored The Californian has received this award," Californian publisher and chairman of the board Ginger Moorhouse said in an email. "I hope we can live up to it and inspire our community to be free from litter."

In 2010, Keep Bakersfield Beautiful, a group that aims to beautify the city and alleviate litter, put on a contest to create a slogan for an anti-litter campaign. Californian Editorial Page Editor Robert Price came up with "Litter: It's Beneath Us," staffer Glenn Hammett designed a logo in English and Spanish and staff artist Dave Vanderpool designed advertising. The Californian has promoted the campaign with full-page ads in the newspaper.

The Californian was nominated for the award by a Keep Bakersfield Beautiful board member, said Larry Kaufman, a spokesman for Keep America Beautiful. Awards are given to businesses, nonprofits, youth groups and government agencies to recognize their achievements in beautification, litter prevention and recycling.

The Californian beat out other nominees because the program had the best benefits to the community, Kaufman said.

"I'm told by the awards administrator that it was felt that this program had more impact than other applications," he said in an email.

The award will officially be bestowed at a ceremony Jan. 29 at Keep America Beautiful's national conference in Washington, D.C.

Keep Bakersfield Beautiful's national award will be one of the topics today on "Californian Radio." Host Robert Price, subbing for Richard Beene, welcomes KBB's Ray Scott at 9 a.m. on KERN-AM 1180.