Keep Texas Beautiful (KTB), a statewide grassroots environmental and community improvement non-profit organization, recently named Keep Laredo Beautiful a Gold Star Affiliate, a designation granted to 70 affiliates of KTB’s nearly 300 affiliates. Gold Star recognition is the membership recognition highest status any community affiliate can achieve.
In 2004, the organization introduced the concept of Gold Star recognition to reward those communities who sought to go above and beyond the established requirements. To remain in good standing with KTB, community affiliates must submit a report, pay dues, attend training and participate in a KTB-endorsed activity annually.
To achieve Gold Star status, affiliates must share information on their mission and goals, answer questions about their economic development and diversity and inclusion practices, or participate in the Beautify Texas Awards or Governor’s Community Achievement Awards programs, and provide a letter of support from their community. KTB will formally recognize Gold Star communities during its 54th Annual Conference being hosted virtually this week from June 29-July 1, 2021.
“Our affiliates are the backbone of our organization. We are proud to honor those going above and beyond to keep their communities clean and beautiful,” says Suzanne Kho, Executive Director of Keep Texas Beautiful. “Our Gold Star Affiliates are educating and engaging community members, actively recruiting and managing volunteers, hosting cleanup and beautification events throughout their community and so much more.”
In 2020 alone, KTB affiliates engaged 20,917 volunteers who contributed 37,857 hours to collect 1 million pounds of waste and recyclables from Texas roadways, trails, and waterways. Laredo successfully implemented programs to clean up litter, reduce waste, educate local citizens, and beautify and enhance the local community.
Keep Laredo Beautiful kept its lines of communication open to volunteers and maintained all important support to organizations and projects that align with the affiliate.
In 2020 beautification events include:
- Father McNaboe Park Tree Planting
- Protect Our River mural at Zacate Creek with Cultivarte
- Cielito Lindo Park beautification in partnership with the City of Laredo Parks and Recreation
- North Central Park Call for Artists/ public art installation project management
- Pollution Prevention Mural program (an all-volunteer effort)
- Augustine School raised garden beds project
- Different is Beautiful + Thumper Project mural at North Central Park
- A World of Wonder Mural at NCP north spillway with The Ghost
- Partnership with I Love Laredo
- Partnership with Laredo Sustainable
- KLB Safe and Solo Campaign
- Laredo Next Generation Rotary Veterans Yard Cleanup
- TAMIU virtual volunteer crew
- Individual in-office volunteer hours
- On-line conferences and trainings
All the efforts above resulted in the following measurable numbers for 2020:
- $43,193.00 value of volunteer time
- 1,738 volunteer hours
- 435 volunteers total
- 110 trees planted
- 59 tires collected
- >13,000 pounds of mixed waste collected
“Considering that the community was in the midst of a difficult year due to the pandemic, and we all had to re-learn how to live and operate in a COVID-conscious manner, Keep Laredo Beautiful is very proud of its accomplishments. The amount of trash that was collected is equivalent to the weight of a medium sized delivery truck! That’s a lot of litter picked up by hand,” stated Blasita J. Lopez, Keep Laredo Beautiful. “Staying connected to and having volunteers answer the call during this Pandemic year to beautify our city is truly something to be thankful for and we can’t say it enough, many thanks to you, Laredo, and all of our volunteers.”
Keep Laredo Beautiful is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit environmental organization 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. Find out more about our activities, programs and volunteer opportunities at FB/KeepLaredoBeautiful or email us at email@example.com or find us on Eventbrite: keeplaredobeautiful.eventbrite.com.
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.