Affiliate of the Month: Keep Lewisville Beautiful
Keep Lewisville Beautiful has been serving our community as a Keep Texas Beautiful and Keep America Beautiful affiliate for more than 33 years. Although we are a small 501(c)(3) non-profit affiliate with two staff members (one part-time Administrative Assistant, and one full-time Executive Director), here at KLB we like to do BIG things and create a lasting impact on our local environment. Our Executive Director, Amy Wells, just celebrated 15 years of service to KLB. She started as a college intern back in 2004 and became KLB's ED in 2011.
Keep Lewisville Beautiful currently has a nine-member volunteer board of directors. Our mission is to engage the citizens of Lewisville through service and education to enhance their community environment. We do this by not only engaging volunteers to get involved with community projects and education initiatives, but community leaders, the City, local waste haulers, businesses, the school district, youth and civic organizations, and more. Partnerships are key to our non-profit's success!
Litter Prevention and Abatement
KLB hosts two signature community-wide cleanups throughout the year: the GAC Spring Cleanup and Trinity Trash Bash Waterway Cleanup that hosts upwards of 700 volunteers at each event. In addition to these events, KLB also provides volunteer opportunities with several smaller monthly activities through programs like Adopt-A-Spot, Clean Stream Team, community cleanup days, corporate cleanups, Cigarette Litter Prevention Program, and more. On average, KLB volunteers remove 30 TONS of trash from local parks, streets, and waterways, generating more than 10,000 hours towards cleanup and beautification projects. We just finished rebranding our Adopt-A-Spot signs throughout the city, and with this refresh, we saw a 24% increase in participation across our community.
Beautification and Community Improvement
My favorite KLB programs have to do with our wildflower and native planting initiatives that we are working on with the City of Lewisville. This year, we were able to partner with KAB and Lowes for a $10,000 beautification grant that helped us to seed more than 5 acres of pollinator spaces. We also partnered with the City to install two brand new pollinator gardens: our first Butterfly Waystation that is showcased in a median on a popular walking trail, and another youth pollinator garden at our local library that is being used for youth classes throughout the year. Helping to create and showcase these spaces and educate the community about the importance of planting natives has been exciting and fun for everyone involved. Volunteers love the hands-on learning, our class participants learn valuable information through our Garden Secrets series (that highlights natives, best plants for North Texas, attracting pollinators/wildlife, and water conservation techniques), and here at KLB, we love that we get to practice what we preach. For future beautification installations and sustainability purposes, we have moved to only planting natives and adaptive plants and trees at sponsored plantings.
Education and Public Awareness
Education is key, and something that KLB places heavy emphasis on. Throughout the year we host classes on a monthly basis for gardening in our area, water conservation, and sustainable gardening practices. Our classes are free and open to surrounding communities. In addition to these classes, KLB also hosts several community booths and gives presentations throughout the year to groups about our organization, volunteering, and environmental initiatives. We also host educational expos at our signature events and invite educators to host booths as well. New this year, we co-hosted a Mariposa Butterfly Festival with the City, in conjunction with our Spring Cleanup (GAC) event.
Recycling and Waste Reduction
Recycling is also important! KLB works with the City to spread the word on recycling in our community and acts as a resource for the City, schools, scouts, businesses, and groups who want to learn more. KLB promotes the City's second Saturday Household Hazardous Waste programs, and helps with recycling programs like E-waste collections, Cease the Grease programs, Medication Take Back events, Christmas Tree Recycling, and more.
New this year, KLB has partnered with the Lewisville Lion's club for a special "Bags to Benches" program with TREX which recycles bags into park benches. We rallied the community together to recycle over 500 pounds of plastic bags from schools, scouts, event collections, and more, in just 6 months. Upon meeting our goal of 500 bags and sending them to TREX, we are getting a free community bench that we are donating to the Parks Department to place along a popular greenbelt. We are only a month into the next collection period, and already have more than 150 pounds collected for the next cycle.
To follow our story and events throughout the year, be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter for all the highlights and upcoming opportunities, or check us out online at www.keeplewisvillebeautiful.org.
Blog Post Written By Amy Wells, Executive Director of Keep Lewisville Beautiful.