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Communities win environment award

By Jason Smith
The Facts

Published May 28, 2007

For being pioneers in promoting and maintaining an environmentally friendly community, two area cities were awarded the prestigious Governor's Community Achievement Award.

The awards, sponsored by Keep Texas Beautiful, were given out to Lake Jackson and Pearland for their excellence in community leadership coordination, education, public awareness, litter prevention and cleanup, illegal dumping enforcement, beautification and property improvement, and solid waste management.

"This is a huge achievement," said Josh Spradling, Keep Texas Beautiful's communications manager. "They put a lot of time and effort in improving their community."

More than 75 cities applied for the prestigious award, and only nine were handed out in different population categories across Texas.

At the annual Keep Texas Beautiful conference in San Antonio in July, plaques will be handed out to representatives from the two communities along with grants to be used for landscaping along state rights of way, Spradling said.

Pearland will receive $130,000 for winning the 50,000 to 100,000 population category, and Lake Jackson will receive $95,000 for winning the 25,000 to 50,000 population category, Spradling said.

"It is a huge honor because only nine cities in the state get these awards," said David Howarth, chairman of Keep Lake Jackson Beautiful.

Among Lake Jackson's efforts that earned it the award were programs in litter and graffiti abatement, citywide cleanups and the event Envirofest, Spradling said. The city also taped two public service announcements airing today to discourage littering and cigarette litter, he said.

Pearland was chosen for programs, including a day devoted to shredding files, citywide cleanups and Cigarette Litter Awareness Day, Spradling said. The city also tightened its junk vehicle ordinance, passed an anti-graffiti ordinance and trained more than 33 teachers in a waste prevention program.

It is Pearland's fifth time the win the award, said Linda Cowles, Keep Pearland Beautiful's executive director.

"We are very excited and proud of our volunteers," Cowles said.

Howarth said no decision has been made on where to use the landscaping grant, but he thinks the areas leading into downtown are high on the list.

"We have no time limit to use the money," Howarth said. "These things take a while."

Pearland will form a landscaping committee to look at possible projects, Cowles said.

"We are looking at putting a monument entry sign on one of our road projects," Cowles said.

Both cities will have to meet with the Texas Department of Transportation to discuss how they will spend the money, Spradling said.

While not winning in their categories, other Brazoria County cities also received high marks in the competition. Angleton finished second and Alvin was third among cities with populations of 17,501 to 25,000, a category won by Dickinson, and Richwood did not place but was among the entrants whose efforts scored a 90 or better.

The Governor's Community Achievement Award has been given out to communities since 1969 in an effort to educate and engage communities to improve the environment, Spradling said.

Jason Smith is a reporter for The Facts. Contact him at (979) 237-0150.

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Keep Texas Beautiful honors area groups

Three Brazoria County organizations were recognized last week for their environmental efforts in awards announced by Keep Texas Beautiful.

Among the Ruthe Jackson Youth Leadership Awards winners were the Lake Jackson Youth Advisory Commission, which received first place in the Off-Campus Youth Groups category, and the Jamison Middle School KIPPERS of Pearland, which led the middle school category.

The Ruthe Jackson awards recognize the efforts of youth to bring about cleaner, more beautiful campuses, parks and communities.

The Exchange Club of Angleton received an honorable mention in the beautification category for its entry in the Civic Organization Leadership Awards.

From staff reports

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Comment balloon 0 commentsDanny Frank • May 28 2007 07:59AM

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