Keep Texas Beautiful (KTB) has recognized Keep Laredo Beautiful, a 2020 Silver Star affiliate, as a recipient of a 2020 Green Bag Grant. Through funding from H-E-B and Central Market, Keep Texas Beautiful will provide 10 affiliate communities with a share of $25,000 to support educational and programmatic opportunities relating to sustainability, recycling, litter prevention, beautification and water conservation.
To assist with the implementation of their project, Keep Laredo Beautiful has received $3,000.00 to begin and support their proposed butterfly garden and citizen scientist learning space. KTB will also provide additional social media and marketing support. Keep Laredo Beautiful, together with their partners the Laredo Public Library McKendrick Ochoa Salinas branch and Parks and Recreation will complete their project by November 2021.
“The McKendrick Ochoa Salinas Branch Library has partnered with Keep Laredo Beautiful and the Parks and Recreation Department to transform an outdoor plot into a Butterfly Garden. Our aim is to provide a lush space for the community to learn about the butterfly life cycle, pollination, and the beauty of nature,” states Analiza Perez-Gomez, Librarian IV. “The project also has the potential to spur citizen science activities including tracking the migration of the Monarch butterflies, which is most exciting.”
The exact project area is a small space where a concrete trail ends abruptly outside the Freddy Benavides Sports Complex, about 100 feet from the Library’s front door. The grant funding will be spent on supplies for the project that aims to create a learning garden explaining the life cycle of a butterfly, with special emphasis on the Monarch. There will be an educational component with focus on the types of plants used in attracting all types of pollinators, such as moths, bees and butterflies to the gardens. Visitors to the garden will hopefully learn about the Monarch and the plants as they walk along a progressive learning path, and that leads them to eventually utilize the Library and all its resources to study more about the subject and related environmental topics, including Keep Laredo Beautiful. Space will include 3 raised gardens, two to three benches, and an extension of the trail to connect with the Library’s expansive patio, and several other small trees and native plants to add to the area between the parking lot, sports complex, and front esplanade of the Library.
Goals of the project
- Establish an outdoor educational space that complements the resources and tools available within the Library’s network and inventory
- Establish a connector and complete the space between the park complex and the end of the trail to the Library’s front door
- Establish a butterfly garden, specifically a Monarch butterfly way station complementing the efforts of a partner environmental organization, the Rio Grande International Study Center that has other Monarch way stations established in the community
- Green the space in between the Library’s main entrance and the end of the trail at the Freddy Benavides Sports Complex and make it an enjoyable outdoor space
- Further promote HEB as a community partner in greening and education in environmental stewardship, specifically in South Laredo
While the Library has been closed due to COVID 19 and there are health-conscious operating parameters in place, there is still ample opportunity for outdoor learning spaces. This proposed project area provides the brilliant potential for a great confluence of recreational and educational space because it is just west of Laredo ISD Cigarroa High School, the Freddy Benavides Sports Complex and naturally leads to the Laredo Public Library’s southern-most full time operating branch front door in an area easily accessible to pedestrians, cyclists, skaters and even those willing to drive over and park next to it.
The project will be executed in coordination with a number of partners, including the City of Laredo Public Library, the Parks and Recreation Department, and Environmental Services Department. Keep Laredo Beautiful is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and an affiliate of Keep Texas Beautiful aimed to empower the citizens of Laredo through education to take responsibility for enhancing their community and its environment through litter prevention, beautification, community improvement, and minimization of the impact of solid waste.
In addition to Laredo, the affiliate communities of Alpine, Angelina County, Grapevine, Mansfield, Odessa, Orange County, Pharr, Richwood, and San Angelo also received a Green Bag Grant.
“We are thankful for sponsors like H-E-B who support our efforts to clean and beautify communities around Texas,” says Suzanne Kho, Executive Director of KTB. “We cannot wait to see the projects our affiliates are able to complete with help from our Green Bag Grants.”
To learn more about KTB resources and opportunities or to get involved with your local affiliate, visit www.ktb.org.
About Keep Texas Beautiful
Keep Texas Beautiful (KTB) is a non-profit organization dedicated to making Texas the best place to live, work, and play by deploying resources for community improvement projects, clean-ups, and youth engagement efforts across the state. Through our Keep Texas Recycling program, we provide assistance and education to support recycling in rural and underserved communities.
Everything we do is focused on mobilizing volunteers to take action by providing them with tools, resources, and training. Our fieldwork includes research on best practices for litter reduction along with the development of community programs to prevent the flow of litter to the Gulf.
Founded in 1967, Keep Texas Beautiful’s work is driven by its network of nearly 300 affiliate member communities, volunteers, and supporters that reach 17 million Texans annually. For more information and to find your closest affiliate, visit www.ktb.org. Follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram.
H-E-B, with sales of $28 billion, operates more than 400 stores in Texas and Mexico. Known for its innovation and community service, H-E-B celebrates its 115th anniversary this year. Recognized for its fresh food, quality products, convenient services, and a commitment to environmental responsibility and sustainability, H-E-B strives to provide the best customer experience and lowest prices. Based in San Antonio, H-E-B employs over 120,000 Partners in Texas and Mexico and serves millions of customers in more than 300 communities. For more information, visit heb.com and heb.com/newsroom.
Laredo wins a competitive grant for $3,000 from Keep Texas Beautiful and HEB. A grant award presentation was recently made to Keep Laredo Beautiful from Keep Texas Beautiful Board Member, Tony Arce, Jr. In the photo, from left to right, are the proposed project partners for a garden area in front of the McKendrick Ochoa Salinas Laredo Public library branch, 1920 Palo Blanco, including Analiza Perez-Gomez, Librarian IV; Anita Stanley, Parks, and Recreation Assistant Director; Blasita J. Lopez, Environmental Services/Keep Laredo Beautiful; and Tony Arce, Jr., Keep Texas Beautiful Board Member.
This aerial shot indicates the area that will be improved just outside the Laredo Public Library’s MOS branch with money awarded by Keep Texas Beautiful and HEB Green Bag Grant, to Keep Laredo Beautiful.