Here at KTB, we're pleased to announce the winners of the 2019 Keep Texas Beautiful Awards for Individuals and Organizations. The award program identifies individuals, businesses, media outlets and government agencies who have made an impact in their community and helped further our vision to make Texas the cleanest, most beautiful state in the nation. Application nominations come from across the state. Each is judged on history, leadership, impact, innovation and support of the Keep Texas Beautiful mission.
Learn more about the categories and award winners below:
KTB Leadership Award: Nancy Chancellor Case, Weston Lakes
Nancy Chancellor Case has been leading by example for over 5 decades and in multiple Texas communities. For the past 54 years, Nancy has dedicated herself to positively impacting every community she has lived in. She has helped impact her community by implementing a new recycling program, starting a new Tree Tribute program, and volunteering more than 1,000 hours last year. In the community of Weston Lakes, Nancy has raised tens of thousands of dollars, helped Weston Lakes become a Tree City USA, and helped form a tree committee. Throughout the past five decades, Nancy has served in leadership positions by serving on the board of numerous organizations, including KTB. She is an active example of exemplary leadership and a fierce dedication to the improvement of her community. Nancy Chancellor Chase has set the Gold Standard for us all!
O.P. Schnabel Senior Citizen Award: Chuck Kirk, Irving
Chuck Kirk's history of service in the non-profit industry extends back decades. From working for United way to serving on the board of Keep Irving Beautiful, Chuck has dedicated most of his life to serving his community and those in need. Most people that know him will tell you about his relentless leadership, contagious spirit, and passion for trees. Some of his involvements include helping Irving become certified as a Tree City USA, planning Arbor Day events, helping to create the City of Irving Tree Farm, and being a part of the NFL project Super Grow XLV. Although having received accolades from his local community, KTB, and Keep America Beautiful, those closest to him say that Chuck doesn't do any of his work for recognition. He dedicates his time to the community of Irving because he takes pride in his community and loves to ignite others' spirit of volunteerism.
Volunteer of the Year Award: Marvin Hamilton, Plano
Since his first litter pick-up walk along Chisholm Trail in the summer of 2017, Marvin Hamilton has committed his time and energy to keeping the community of Plano clean and vibrant. Marvin has been a member of the Live Green in Plano Volunteer Program since 2017 and has helped further litter prevention efforts in neighborhood streets, business parking lots, the Chisholm Trail and various additional waterways in Plano. In 2018 alone, Marvin volunteered 407 hours and collected 312 bags of litter that weighed approximately 6,240 pound in total. Marvin couldn't sit back and watch the community he loves be stained by litter, so he turned his leisurely strolls into a mission to keep Plano beautiful and litter free!
Civic Organization Awards
Project: Sights and Sounds of Christmas, San Marcos
For the past 32 years, Sights and Sounds of Christmas has been a staple holiday event in San Marcos. Every year, the residents of San Marcos come out to celebrate the holiday season, but leave hundreds of pounds of trash to be dumped in landfills. In 2013, the board of Sights and Sounds decided it was time to make a change and implemented a foam ban. In 2017, they set a goal for the multi-day event to become zero-waste. With the help of Texas State University's Human Environment Animal Team (H.E.A.T.), Sights and Sounds was able to dramatically change the amount of waste they were producing. By demanding vendors to solely provide compostable eating materials, limiting their use of single-use plastic, and encouraging visitors to recycle and compost their materials, Sights and Sounds was able to increase their diversion rate by 9%! The Sights & Sounds board has shown their dedication to the San Marcos community and environment through their commitment to waste reduction and litter prevention.
Program: Rowdy Bees, Denton
Rowdy Bees is a creative community service group that enhances the Denton community through environmental advocacy, social gathering, and education. Founded in June of 2017, Rowdy Bees has greatly impacted their community by participating in litter pick up, creating the first public garden at a local business, hosting exciting and engaging events, fundraising, and creating flourishing environments for both humans and wildlife. Rowdy Bees is comprised of a unique pocket of the community that includes motorcyclists, skateboarders, and artists. They show us that regardless of looks and hobbies, anyone can dedicate themselves to the betterment of their community!
Ebby Halliday and Maurice Acers Business/Industry Award: Frito-Lay Irving, Irving
Frito Lay Irving fully embodies its parent company's "Performance with Purpose" philosophy, which focuses on "Products, Planet, and People". Of the almost 36 million pounds of waste produced at their facility, over 95% was recycled in 2018! They are committed to limiting their waste as much as possible and hope to reach their goal of having a zero waste facility. Frito Lay Irving's contributions to the environment go way past factory waste reduction. Company employees give back to the local community by mentoring children, participating in days of service, and collecting trash from local parks. Frito Lay Irving has also been a long time partner of Keep Irving Beautiful. They sponsor numerous KIB events annually like the Don't Mess With Texas Trash-Off, Trash Bash, and National Public Lands Day. They also participate in Adopt-a-Spot, conducting multiple cleanups at the Trinity View Park. Whether in their facility or the community, Frito Lay Irving has shown an immense dedication to the betterment of not only the Irving community, but the planet as well.
Media Award: City of Mansfield, Mansfield
Less than a year ago, The City of Mansfield created the Can I Recycle it tool that aims to educate local residents about recycling guidelines and keep them informed on upcoming environmental events. The tool now has over 1,000 users, increased event participation by over 62%, and spurred almost 180,000 pounds of hazardous waste collection and 97% diversion rate. The increased participation rates and waste collection are credited to the awareness created by Can I Recycle It. The City of Mansfield has utilized the Can I Recycle It tool in many unique ways at local events like Boo Bash and Turkey Palooza, and these efforts enhanced the awareness of the tool and the recycling knowledge it aims to spread. The Can I recycle tool has been creatively used by The City of Mansfield to further their mission of increasing recycling through community involvement and education.
City-Under 30,000 Population: City of Santa Fe
After tragedies struck the town of Santa Fe in 2017 and 2018, The City of Santa Fe jumped into action to help heal their community. They have overseen and help fund various initiatives aimed at uplifting the environment and the people of Santa Fe. In partnership with Keep Santa Fe Beautiful, the City of Santa Fe is helping create a therapeutic garden that will feature sensually calming plants, walking trails, picnic tables, and much more. They have also worked with KSFB on events such as the Memorial Bench Project, Tire Recycling Event, Community Cleanup, and Fall Sweep. Because of these initiatives, the environment in Santa Fe has seen dramatic improvements. The City of Santa has committed itself to renewing the landscape of the town and helping revitalize its people.
City-30,000 to 50,000 Population: City of Weslaco - Weslaco High School
Three years ago, students at Weslaco High School had a desire to increase access to physical activity in their town of Weslaco. They utilized the Adopt-a-Park program, and decided to use local Gibson Park as the center for their plans. In association with the Working on Wellness Weslaco coalition, Weslaco High School students designed a plan to identify, create, and implement community driven strategies that would help increase the public's access to physical activity. The plan included tactics like increasing recreational amenities, increasing community engagement, and enhancing public safety. Because of the efforts of the Weslaco High School students over the past three years, Gibson Park has a new walking track, revamped signs for the Valley Nature Center, and a revitalized basketball court. In addition, the students have helped their community by helping raise thousands of dollars for the City of Weslaco and contributing artwork for a community mural. The students at Weslaco High School show us that regardless of your age or experience, anyone can take initiative and positively impact their community!
City-50,000 to 150,000 Population: City of Denton – Clear Creek Natural Heritage Center
The City of Denton's Clear Creek Natural Heritage Center (CCNHC) is a staple in the community that help bring environmental education and experiences to people of all ages. Since its establishment in 1999, the CCNHC has worked with a number of organizations to help create a number of additions to the facility like adding over 7 miles of trails, numerous garden beds, and an education facility that help educate more than 4,500 school visitors each year. Last year alone, 38 volunteers put in approximately 2,000 hours of work and helped maintain over 100 miles of trail, remove 250 lbs of trash from the trail, build 30 benches, plant 100 plants, spread 5 lbs of seeds, and maintain 3 garden beds. The dedication of these volunteers shows how important the CCNHC is to the community of Denton. By providing nature experiences, education and research programs, and conservation and restoration projects, CCNHC has inspired environmental citizenship through fostering an understanding of the natural heritage of North Central Texas.
City-Population 150,000+: City of Irving – Parks and Recreation Department
The Parks and Recreation Department of Irving has proven its devotion to the people of Irving through the constant beautification and maintenance of their parks and development of programs for local citizens. With more than 80 parks and over 2,000 acres of park space, the Parks and Recreation Department has dedicated itself to utilizing every piece of land they can to provide wonderful amenities for the community. For many years, Parks and Recreation Department has worked with local KTB affiliate Keep Irving Beautiful to provide a number of programs and services. Their partnership has fostered a long list of projects like the Don't Mess With Texas Trash Off, Trash Bash, tree plantings, and paint projects. The Parks and Recreation Department is also responsible for the city's Litter Control Management Program. The Parks and Recreation Department have proven their commitment to the people of Irving through their relentless devotion to the betterment of their beloved community. They are constantly striving to create new and innovative programs that will ensure the City of Irving is always fun, vibrant, and beautiful.
Interested in nominating an individual or organization next year? Learn more about all of our Keep Texas Beautiful Awards: https://ktb.org/ktbawards
Blog Post Written By Rebekah Grmela, Communications Director.