Keep Texas Beautiful Individuals & Organization Winners
KTB Leadership Award: Jamie Wolman, Katy
Jamie Wolman has committed her career to making a difference in the community. She started as a school teacher, then a counselor, until she retired and began work for the City of Katy's Parks and Recreation Department. She has been heavily involved with Keep Katy Beautiful and Keep Texas Beautiful and has served as a member of many local Katy organizations. Jamie's commitment to service has been vital in the implementation of landscaping, tree preservation, dumpster screening and bandit signage. Jamie's leadership has led to numerous other contributions, which makes her the perfect recipient for this award.
O.P. Schnabel Senior Citizen Award: Becky Bertoni, Flower Mound
Becky Bertoni committed herself to beautifying the Green Acres Memorial Park of Flower Mound, Texas, a 13-acre blank slate of property she fell in love with after touring it with her Greater Lewisville Newcomers club. With help from this club, Becky led the initiative to start a Monarch Station at the park. After becoming a Master Naturalist, she proposed and now leads the Elm Form Chapter Naturalist project for the park. Her example has provided an educational experience for Flower Mound residents, as she has demonstrated what it takes to preserve and maintain a natural habitat, which includes prairie restoration, bluebird monitoring, native planting and more.
Volunteer of the Year Award: Carol Fairbanks, Weston Lakes
Carol Fairbanks is the co-founder and executive director of Keep Weston Lakes Beautiful. Since moving from California to Texas in 2015, she has involved herself in volunteer work and has made a difference in the Weston Lakes community. She has worked on projects such as the restoration of the Randon Bottom Cemetery, community recycling and educational events, the awarding of a $1,000 H.E.B. Green Bag Grant and numerous community cleanups. She has also educated and engaged the community to get involved and support KWLB. She is a true example of what difference one person can make.
Ed Davis Litter Law Enforcement Award: Lancine Bentley, Denton
Lancine Bentley embodies the mission of Keep Texas Beautiful in her tireless efforts, both as the Community Improvement Services Manager and as a long-standing KDB advocate and volunteer. She helped facilitate relationships with city partners to implement comprehensive maintenance plans for the city of Denton. She values education, enabling others to learn about the community improvement her staff is doing and engaging the community to get involved. She also serves on the Board of Keep Denton Beautiful. Throughout enforcement efforts and volunteer work, she has inspired other to effect change in their communities as well.
Civic Organization Awards
Project: Alpine Railroad Park Gardens, Alpine
Historic Murphy Street (HMS), a community improvement organization, wanted to rejuvenate Railroad Park, situated across the now Union Pacific Railroad tracks. Through Keep Alpine Beautiful's Adopt-a-Spot program, HMS vowed to beautify the small lot on the Southeast corner of 5th Street and Holland Avenue combing the efforts of several local garden and naturalists clubs. The Alpine Railroad Park Gardens add to the charm of the historic city and has engaged residents to also get involved in community improvement efforts.
Program: Denton County Master Gardeners Association, Denton
The Denton County Master Gardeners Association (DCMGA) mission is to "educate and engage county residents in the implementation of research-based horticultural and environmental practices that create sustainable gardens, landscapes, and communities." It began in 1989 and has grown to have 221 members and 48 interns. DCMGA offers 40 unique community projects reaching across Denton County. There are small projects with fewer than 10 master gardener volunteers to all-hands projects like the Fall Garden Festival and Spring Garden Tour. DCMGA has also worked with countless organizations in the Denton area to help put on successful community improvement projects. Their hard work has contributed to many advancements in horticulture and environmental practices in the Denton County.
Ebby Halliday and Maurice Acers Business/Industry Awards
Locally Owned: Texas Disposal Systems, Creedmoor
Texas Disposal System (TDS) processes on average between 3,000 and 4,000 tons of solid waste per day, diverting more than 200,000 tons of waste per year from landfill disposal. It is one of the largest independently-owned solid waste collection, processing and disposal companies in the nation and Texas' first totally integrated facility of its kind. TDS facilities incorporate solid waste disposal, materials processing, compost production and recycling operations.They do so much more than waste collection, though, having reached more than 340 Texas schools with their educational curriculum. TDS has partnered with Keep Austin Beautiful (KAB) and Austin Independent School District (AISD) to provide comprehensive education in local schools, focusing on the environmental benefits of recycling and composting. Through their educational resources and commitment to the community, TDS is making an impact in the community.
State/National: Aramark Dining Service at Stephen F. Austin State University, Nacogdoches
Aramark has operated food service at Stephen F. Austin State University for over 30 years, serving over 5,000 meal plan holders on campus. Aramark operates 2 all-you-care-to-eat dining halls, 11 different retail restaurants, concessions at athletic sports events and catering. Above and beyond providing food for students, Aramark does its part to promote and maintain sustainability efforts on campus. They employ a sustainability intern and actively play a leading role in sustainability on SFA campus through student engagement programs and investment in recycling infrastructure, following their motto of "BLEED PURPLE, THINK GREEN." They maintain 100% transition to reusable to-go containers at on campus dining facilities, launched a campus-wide recycling program in 2017, engage student organizations to throw plastic recycling collection at sporting events and more. Through their sustainability programming, Aramark staff goes beyond normal job duties to instill a passion for recycling and decreasing waste to the SFA student body as well as the faculty and staff.
Electronic: Fort Hood PAO & DPW Environmental, Fort Hood
The Fort Hood Public Affairs Office (PAO) and the Fort Hood Directorate of Public Works (DPW) Environmental Division partnered to maximize Fort Hood's outreach to soldiers, civilians and families that live on and off the installation. The military community supports an on-post population of 27,953 individuals, made up soldiers and family members. On any given day, over 6,000 Fort Hood soldiers are deployed, being placed across five continents. Their digital presence extends to military and civilian personnel stationed in Iraq, Afghanistan and other overseas assignments, helping the community to stay connected to the installation's environmental efforts. PAO and DPW's media efforts promote how Fort Hood fosters sustainability as a way of life throughout the installation, creating a positive impact environmentally, economically and socially for leaders, soldiers, civilians and their families.
Print: Fort Hood Sentinel & DPW Environmental, Fort Hood
The partnership between the Fort Hood Directorate of Public Works (DPW) Environmental Division and the Fort Hood Public Affairs Office (PAO) has grown and evolved to communicate Fort Hood's efforts to balance mission readiness and environmental stewardship, while promoting sustainability, recycling, community improvement, beautification and education. These efforts are communicated in the Fort Hood Sentinel, the installation's weekly newspaper, which is published in print, and online at www.forthoodsentinel.com. The Fort Hood Sentinel has a circulation of 25,000, with 375 locations of newspaper stands in 7 Central Texas communities. The newspaper is free to the public and printed on recycled content. After a new weekly edition of the newspaper is distributed, previous editions are collected and recycled to support the installation's and Army's largest recycling program.
City-Under 30,000 Population: City of San Saba
The City of San Saba is known as the "Pecan Capital of the World." In 2007, city leadership began the development of a "shared vision" for the future of San Saba. They also incorporated Keep America Beautiful and Keep Texas Beautiful into the city's new agenda. Leadership has since developed and 49 extraordinary City employees set the example for citizens and business owners who now take pride in the city and take part in the revitalization of historic buildings. Utilizing partnerships with civic groups and volunteers, the City has created and actively maintains enchanting, public areas that are frequented by residents and enjoyed by visitors who attend wine tastings, art and quilt shows, street dances and festivals.Through the efforts of the city departments, San Saba has put environmental awareness and community greening in the forefront of their agenda. The City of San Saba is now committed to enhancing their environment and engages and educates residents to also get involved.
City-30,000 to 50,000 Population: City of Wylie
"Honoring our past; embracing our present; planning our future." The City of Wylie's mission reflects their commitment to the community. Focused on making a better future for the city, city staff have focused on educating residents on proper waste techniques, implementing recycling programs in parks and increasing environmental education in schools. It became a priority for the city to increase environmental awareness - the city has made all community-held events eco-friendly, commissioned a TV commercial to educate residents on their green initiatives and partnered with Wylie ISD to implement a school recycling program. Another great example of the city's commitment to the environment is their partnership with CWD. The City of Wylie got hit by a heavy hail storm in the spring and worked with CWD to ensure all proper materials were diverted from a landfill. Over 35,000 cubic yards of brush was diverted from the landfill, and could be turned into mulch or compost and used at City Parks.
City-50,000 to 150,000 Population: City of Denton - Denia Recreation Center
In 2006, the City of Denton Parks Department added environmental education programming by hiring an Outdoor Recreation Coordinator who was a Denton County Master Gardener and a Keep Denton Beautiful (KDB) volunteer. Since then, Denia Recreation Center has developed environmental education programs for youth. Preschool Master Naturalist and Gardener programs are offered monthly to children ages 3-5 years. Each month children are invited to participate in programming offered by Texas Agri Life Elm Fork Master Naturalists (EFMN) and Denton County Master Gardeners (DCMG). Denia offers Teen Outdoor Recreation programs that promote awareness about watershed pollution during kayaking experiences. Day in and day out, Denia Recreation Center is educating and engaging Denton residents to take responsibility for improving their community environment.
City-Population 150,000+: City of Irving - Water Utilities Department
The City of Irving Water Utilities Department serves a population of more than 235,000 residents and 8,000 businesses throughout its 67.9 square miles. It consists of nine divisions, which work together to earn and maintain the highest rating given by the state, that of "Superior Public Water System." Department employees work daily to fulfill the departmental mission "to deliver exceptional services in the distribution of high quality drinking water and the safe disposal of sewage while protecting the health and environment of our residents, businesses, and visitors." What makes the department stand out, though, is its community involvement and outreach. Helping those who live, work and visit in Irving understand the value of water, its protection and its conservation is critical to the future of the community and its water sources.
County: Midland County
Midland County strives to be the most trusted and innovative county government in Texas. The mission of Midland County is "to provide citizens excellent and innovative services with integrity, respect, compassion, diligence, accountability and trust." Through partnership with Keep Midland Beautiful for over 35 years, Midland County has delivered on these goals and has helped inspire Midlanders to create a cleaner, more beautiful Midland. Through ongoing financial support of annual cleanups and recognition in the community, Midland County has added legitimacy to Keep Midland Beautiful' s projects and programs. In 2017, Midland County supported Keep Midland Beautiful by implementing two new projects. First, the Commissioners' Court initiated a new program to encourage local nonprofits to engage in litter cleanup for the chance to win one of three cash prizes, "The Midland County Trash Challenge." The next project was partnering with Keep Midland Beautiful to bring a 2,500 square-foot, world-class children's exhibit to the Midland County Centennial Library.
All winners will be recognized at the 51st Annual Conference in Georgetown June 11-13, 2018. The awards luncheon will be held on Tuesday, June 13 from 12:30-1:00 p.m. Register to attend the luncheon HERE.
Read more about contest details HERE.