GUN BARREL CITY–Keep Texas Beautiful (KTB), a statewide grassroots environmental and community improvement non-profit organization, recently named Gun Barrel City Beautification Committee a Gold Star Affiliate, a designation granted to 86 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 55th annual conference in June.
“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 Executive Director of Keep Texas Beautiful Suzanne Kho. “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 2021 alone, KTB affiliates engaged 41,550 volunteers who contributed 190,094 hours to collect 3.25 million pounds of waste and recyclables from Texas roadways, trails, and waterways. Gun Barrel City Beautification Committee successfully implemented programs to clean up litter, reduce and recycle waste, educate local citizens and beautify and enhance the local community.
In 2021 the Gun Barrel City Beautification Committee performed 249 hours of community service doing trash pickups, planting and maintaining a butterfly garden at the city’s municipal park, raising money at local festivals and decorating the city hall Christmas tree. Additionally, the committee donated a large tree for the city’s park and a lovely park bench and concrete slab were added. A dedication ceremony was coordinated and presented at the city park by the committee to honor those lost to COVID and to give praise to the first responders during that difficult time.
To obtain the gold star award the beautification committee also completed attendance of five webinars, did a windshield analysis of the community’s litter and solid waste and provided an evaluation of the condition of Gun Barrel City and last, to obtain the gold star was the committee’s involvement in providing an educational and program innovation through youth education. The boy scouts were an integral part of the educational services as they were taught the importance of a butterfly garden to aid in pollination of our plants that are needed to feed our world.
Gun Barrel City Council Member Rita Evans wrote in a letter to KTB, “As an elected officer of the City of Gun Barrel City, I proudly write this letter to praise our local beautification committee and your Keep Texas Beautiful affiliate, for its faithful and diligent work to help keep our community aware of protecting the environment while beautifying our streets, parks and neighborhoods.”