Each year, the Governor's Community Achievement Awards (GCAA) celebrate ten Texas communities for their achievements in litter prevention, beautification, public awareness, and other focus areas. Categorized by population, these ten cities share a prize of $2 million in landscaping projects.
The key to litter prevention in Flower Mound has been a vibrant partnership between the city and local schools. City officials know that a clean future depends on engaging younger generations in community improvement efforts. All schools in Flower Mound have started recycling programs and several have active environmental clubs. These student organizations provide an opportunity for community leaders to both recruit new volunteers and educate future leaders on important environmental issues.
In 2016, the city's Environmental Services Department and volunteers from Keep Flower Mound Beautiful (KFMB) facilitated 24 environmental education classes in local schools. These classes included SEED, a program for second graders that explores watersheds, recycling, composting, insects and forestry, and new classes were added for third and seventh graders. These student programs have resulted in increased awareness and attendance at community events. More than a thousand volunteers participated in cleanups and similar events in 2016.
Volunteers in Flower Mound collected trash and recyclables during several major cleanup events, including the Don't mess with Texas Trash-Off and the Fall Trash Bash. Throughout the year, these volunteers collected more than 10,000 pounds of trash and 4,600 pounds of recyclables. Community leaders also partnered with local businesses and schools to increase recycling rates. The city's curbside recycling program diverted 6,800 tons of recyclables and local schools recycled 213 tons of paper. The city also held regular environmental fairs that collected 15,200 pounds of electronic waste and 21,000 pounds of paper, and a growing holiday tree recycling program processed roughly 500 trees.
Because of long-standing partnerships between city departments, Keep Flower Mound Beautiful, local businesses and schools, Flower Mound is a cleaner, greener place for its residents. Fostering strong partnerships across the region has helped KFMB and city leaders protect the region's green spaces and waterways. Flower Mound is full of beautiful scenery, from the shores of Grapevine Lake to the wild bluestem and Indian grasses that grow along its roadways. Winning this year's Governor's Community Achievement Award for the first time will continue to support the litter prevention efforts of volunteers and community groups are vital to preserving these treasures for future generations to enjoy.