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From the Waste In Place curriculum to the Patch Program, our youth programs are helping create environmental stewards, giving Texas a bright future!

  • Don’t mess with Texas® Art Contest

    Congratulations to the winners of the Don't mess with Texas® Art Contest! More than 4,300 students participated from 136 communities across Texas.

    2018 Winners


    Kinder Estrella image small

    Estrella Delgadillo | Rockdale Elementary, Rockdale


    1st Emma image small

    Emma Donohue | Anita Scott Elementary, Royse City


    2nd Katherine image small

    Katherine Sunwoo | Dallas Art Studio, Irving


    3rd Abhishek image small

    Abhishek Venkat Doddi | McCoy Elementary, Carrollton


    4th Karis image small

    Karis Lee, 4th grade | Cornerstone Elementary, Sugar Land


    5th June image small

    June Kim | Great Oaks Elementary, Round Rock


    6th Juan image small

    Juan Elias Cepeda | Lucio Middle School, Brownsville


    7th Stacy image small

    Stacy Chen | Beckendorff Junior High, Katy


    8th Frederick image small

    Frederick Herrin | Goldthwaite Middle School, Goldthwaite


    9th Ariana image small

    Ariana Kimball | Duncanville High School, Duncanville


    10th Caitlyn Marie image small

    Caitlyn Marie Cruz | Robert G. Cole High School, San Antonio


    11th Aishani Cover image small

    Aishani Sil | Liberty High School, Frisco (cover art)


    12th Hope image small

    Hope Cahill | Pine Tree High School, Longview

    Order the 2017 Don’t mess with Texas Calendar

    Interested in receiving a FREE copy of the 2017 calendar? Submit this form to request up to two calendars per mailing address.


    Call Keep Texas Beautiful at 1-800-CLEAN-TX or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.





  • Don’t mess with Texas® Scholarship

    Don’t mess with Texas® Scholarship

    The Don’t mess with Texas Scholarship recognizes the achievements of high school seniors who have taken leadership roles to prevent litter in their schools and/or communities and build awareness of the Don’t mess with Texas initiative.

    The deadline for the 2017 scholarship contest has passed. Winners will be announced in June. For more information, please visit

  • Litter Force

    Litter Force

    The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) is now targeting even younger Texans with its litter-prevention campaign. The Litter Force Team teaches elementary-age children about the perils of littering and how they can help ‘blast the trash’ and protect Texas roadways from litter.
  • Patch Program

    The Keep Texas Beautiful Patch Program is designed to give recognition to the outstanding efforts of Scouts in their communities. Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Camp Fire youth or other youth group members may earn patches by participating in various events.


    Keep Texas Beautiful’s Youth Patch Program was launched and supported by the Honorable Ruthe Jackson, a founding member of KTB and councilwoman in Grand Prairie. For years Ms. Jackson fulfilled patch orders out of her home. Eventually, the state office took over the ordering and inventory duties, but through the years the program fell by the wayside.

    At Ms. Jackson’s urging, the Youth Committee revived the program. The committee redesigned and reordered patches, and Ms. Jackson paid for the initial inventory. She requested that KTB charge a fee for the patches in the future, so that KTB could maintain an inventory for years to come.

    We continue to improve our patch program in Ms. Jackson’s memory. Today we have five different patches, and more in the works. We now offer toolkits that include ideas for earning patches and flyers to promote them. We believe that recognizing youth for their environmental efforts is key to creating a sustainable future.


    • To provide the opportunity to honor Scouts for their significant contributions toward keeping Texas beautiful.
    • To educate Scouts about the Keep Texas Beautiful mission and to involve them in community activities relating to our focus areas of litter prevention, beautification and waste reduction.


    KTB Logo Patch

    Keep Texas Beautiful
    Earn the Keep Texas Beautiful patch by participating in a cleanup event, improvement project, or environmental activity that is sponsored by a KTB affiliate.

    DMWTTO Patch

    Don’t mess with Texas Trash-Off
    Don’t mess with Texas Trash-Off patches are earned by participation in a cleanup event or improvement project that is done during the designated Trash-Off days.

    IKTB Patch

    I keep Texas BEAUTIFUL
    Earn the I Keep Texas Beautiful patch by participating or hosting any activity relating to litter prevention, beautification, waste reduction, or environmental education.

    I Can Dig It Patch

    I Can Dig It
    The I Can Dig It patch can be earned by doing a project that involves digging in the dirt and beautifying your community.

    KTWC Patch

    Keep Texas Waterways Clean
    The KTWC patch can be earned by participating or hosting a Keep Texas Waterways Clean event.

    Order Now!

    You can also download an Order Form, flyers to promote the program, and our Patch Program Toolkit, full of innovative ideas and incentive programs for scouts and other groups.

    For more information, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 1-800-CLEAN-TX.

    A big thank you to the Youth Task Force who assisted in revamping the KTB Youth Patch Program!

  • Waste In Place

    The Waste In Place curriculum addresses the problem of waste and its disposal alternatives, and emphasizes responsible solid waste handling practices through hands-on activities for pre-K to 6th grade students. This unique curriculum aims to encourage informed decisions by our future community leaders.

    Curriculum Goals

    • Increase awareness and knowledge of solid waste problems
    • Use hands-on activities to teach students how to properly dispose of and handle solid waste
    • Promote social responsibility
    • Use a behaviorally-based, systematic approach to changing attitudes and practices related to proper waste handling


    Waste In Place uses an approach developed through three years of research and is consistent with recommendations from the National Board of Education, the National Science Teachers Association, the National Science Foundation, Science for All Americans, and Project 2061. Some of these recommendations include utility, social responsibility, intrinsic value of knowledge, philosophical value, and childhood enrichment.

    In the Classroom

    Lessons are correlated, and can be easily integrated into existing subjects, and may use a thematic approach to allow students the opportunity to practice essential process skills and develop the thinking required to make wise decisions about pollution prevention. KTB’s curricula, in conjunction with all participating agencies, promotes pollution prevention education, which may include protecting natural resources, through conservation or increased efficiency in the use of raw materials, energy, water, or other resources.


    Educators attend a six-hour workshop that provides information sharing and hands-on activities that demonstrate the usefulness as well as offer an understanding of solid waste concepts through the Waste In Place curriculum. Participants receive six hours of Texas Environmental Education Advisory Credit (TEEAC) toward an environmental education certificate, and six hours of State Board of Education continuing education hours, if needed.

    Eligibility Requirements

    The Waste In Place Training workshop is meant for affiliate directors, formal and non-formal educators who are looking for an opportunity to learn new hands on material to take back and train other educators in their community.

    For more information on Waste In Place, or to become a WIP trainer, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

    Waste In Place training is made available with funding from Waste Connections, Inc.

  • Youth Resource Library

    The H-E-B/Central Market Youth Resource Library is an online listing of ready-made youth programs, lesson plans and templates available to replicate and implement in your community.

    Educational Resources
    For educators looking to enhance their classroom offerings.

    Environmental Books
    This compilation of youth books addressing environmental topics.

    Green Games and Activities
    An assortment of interactive and educational games available to engage students of all ages.

    School Gardens
    Information on school gardens, including grant opportunities.

    Youth and Education Grants
    Resources for financial assistance for youth programs.


    Through funding from H-E-B and Central Market, the Youth Resource Library grant program provides $15,000 in funding to implement new youth-based education programming for grades K-12. All Keep Texas Beautiful affiliates in Good Standing are eligible to apply for this grant program, regardless of location.

    Grant Benefits

    • The minimum grant award is $250, and the maximum award is $1,000.
    • Additional support: press release, webinar training, templates to assist with seeking additional funding, general administrative assistance.


    • Eligible applicants for stipends will be KTB affiliates in Good Standing affiliate status.
    • Identified educational setting where program will be implemented prior to receiving grant.
    • While not a requirement, affiliates are strongly encouraged to partner with local school, youth groups, H-E-B stores, recreational venues, government agencies and/or community organizations. Multiple projects in a community may be funded, but a separate application must be received for each distinct project.


    • Programs must be selected from the Youth Resource Library.
    • Programs must be implemented and/or completed (if applicable) by end of October 2015.
    • If total program costs exceed grant amount, the program can be completed using other sources of funding. Please note, however, the program must be implemented
    • Engage local schools and other youth groups in project.
    • Create sustainability plan to continue program without KTB funding.
    • Participate in an informational webinar about programs.
    • Track the educational meeting and events that take place regarding program.
    • Share project implementation, results and best practices at a session during the KTB annual conference in 2016 (not required).
    • Provide Progress Report, Final Report and Share-A-Project.

    Evaluation Process

    Winners will be selected by a panel of judges. All decisions made by the judges are final. Grant allocations will be determined by scope of service.

    apply now!


    Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


    These successful programs were shared by KTB affiliates. Lesson plans have been created for each program, along with TEKS correlation. The programs are available to utilize in both formal and information educational settings.

    Beautification/Community Greening


    Submitted by Keep North Richland Hills Beautiful
    Grade Level: 3-5

    • To build a Junior Master Naturalist Program
    • To promote a love of gardening and develop and appreciation for the environment
    • To educate youth on the benefits of gardening, plants and healthy nutrition

    This program was designed to engage Junior Master Gardener (JMG) students in horticultural and environmental concepts by exposing students to community gardeners, scientists, and college/high school students who offer expertise. The program focuses on sustainability, beautification, litter prevention, water conservation, and waste reduction.

    The Germinators Activity Guide

    Submitted by Keep Rowlett Beautiful
    Grade Level: any, 6-12

    • To design and build a demonstration garden
    • To strengthen community partnerships
    • To sustain a community garden

    This program was designed to create a demonstration garden that exemplifies native, adaptive, and drought tolerant plants of Texas. Beautification, conservation, and strengthened community partnerships are achieved through the planning, implementation and long-term stewardship of a demonstration garden.

    Demonstration Garden Activity Guide

    Litter Prevention/Recycling


    Submitted by Angelina Beautiful/Clean
    Grade Level: 3-5
    Students will define decomposition and biodegradation, identify products that are biodegradable, put products in order of their decomposition rate, and recognize trash items that can be recycled or reused in order to reduce our landfill usage.

    This activity was designed to educate students about trash, littering, and making positive choices about waste disposal. The lesson includes an introduction discussion and a hands-on activity, followed by a closing discussion on waste reduction and responsible habits.

    Trash Timeline Activity Guide

    Recycling/Waste Reduction


    Submitted by Keep Mesquite Beautiful
    Grade Level: K-12
    To challenge the way people think about trash and to engage the public in creative uses of waste.

    This program was designed to challenge the public to think about trash in different ways. It is open to participants age kindergarten through college and beyond. The show brings costumes made from trash and recyclable material to a runway show held at a town center, preferably a mall. The 2014 theme, “The Great Big Spooky-Wooky Recycled Costume Contest,” challenged people to pre-plan for their Halloween costumes while preserving the environment. Contestants make a costume from mostly recycled or recyclable materials, and model it in a runway style fashion show. Winners in each age category received a $50 prize; a Best of Show prize for $100 is given to the highest overall score. This year, for the first time ever, groups are invited to participate in the show. A business or civic group may enter a costume that advertises the business’s recycling or environmental efforts.



    Submitted by Keep Sugar Land Beautiful
    Grade Level: 6-12

    • To develop high school student environmental leaders
    • To strengthen school environmental programs
    • To engage more high school students in KTB affiliate programs and events

    This program was designed to create youth environmental leaders through advisory board service. A prospective student completes an application and personal interview before being chosen as a member of the Youth Advisory Board (YAB). Students meet monthly with the member affiliate’s Executive Director. These meetings function as opportunities to learn about program development, governmental regulations, and partnership opportunities. As board members, students brainstorm, share ideas, and problem solve, while being mentored for leadership responsibilities. Each year, current members develop or select a project to complete as a board. Additionally, students work with the ED to prepare and lead presentations for scouts, elementary, and middle school students. They may also volunteer at exhibits and outreach events or work behind the scenes with event preparation. Field trips may also be arranged to teach advisory members about water surface treatment plants, recycling, litter prevention, clean water, sustainability, reforestation, and other “green” programs. Overall, this program promotes youth leadership development and builds confident, knowledgeable stewards of sustainability.


    Water Conservation

    Submitted by Angelina Beautiful/Clean
    Grade Level: 6-12
    Students will make connections between water saving techniques and the estimated amount of water saved through these specific conservation techniques. Students will match the correct water saving technique with the amount of water saved.

    This is an activity designed to introduce vocabulary and methods for water conservation.

    Water Wisdom Activity Guide

    The Youth Resource Library is sponsored by:


Keep Texas Beautiful
8850 Business Park Drive
Suite 200
Austin, TX 78759
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