T.W. Richardson Grove Park, part of Irving’s Campion Trail, was the site of the Keep Irving Beautiful (KIB) 28th Annual Trash Bash, the organization’s signature cleanup event. A total of 490 volunteers gathered at the park Sept. 28, with a focus of stopping litter from reaching the nearby Elm Fork of the Trinity River. The volunteers gave 1,470 hours of service in collecting 580 pounds of trash and 540 pounds of recyclables. Following the event, volunteers from Calvary Church’s “Loving Our City” group prepared and served a hot dog lunch, with chips donated by Frito-Lay. For the eighth straight year, the Trash Bash was part of the National Public Lands Day, with thousands of volunteers engaged in similar projects across the country.
KIB cleanups are much more than picking up litter, and this event was a great example of that. KIB has partnered with Crisis Ministries of Irving for the past few years to add a canned food drive to the Trash Bash. When all the boxes and bags of cans were collected and counted, there were 864 containers of food, which will benefit those served by the food pantry in Irving.
Volunteers had the opportunity to visit a variety of tables, displays and activities during the event. Naturalist Jon Halsey returned with his impressive collection of fossils and artifacts, and the City of Irving Water Utilities team had had a booth where visitors could test their water IQ by answering questions and win prizes. New to the Trash Bash this year were Randy Mecca of DiscGames, whose focus was the therapeutic and recreational value of disc golf for wounded warriors and others with physical challenges; Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas, with a table about STEM programs; Heartland Church and the Irving Fire Fighters Association. City Arborist and Parks and Recreation staff was in charge of the tree-climbing activity.
Mayor Rick Stopfer, who had officially proclaimed Sept. 28 as Trash Bash Day in Irving, stopped by the event, along with his wife Melanie, to pose for pictures and wish the volunteers a successful day. Several city departments helped make Trash Bash a success, including Parks and Recreation, Solid Waste Services, Water Utilities, and Communications. Community partners included Vizient, Inc.; Verizon Green Team; AcuGraphics; FASTSIGNS Irving-Las Colinas; Pernod-Ricard USA, BAPS Charities, Best Buy, the Rambler and Burb Newspapers; and Magician Maxwell Blade. Prizes were generously donated by the Irving Family YMCA, City of Irving Parks and Recreation and Glory House. This was the third year for the Singley Academy Police Explorers to participate, adding another layer of safety by directing traffic and keeping the parking procedure safe and efficient. The North Lake College Student Government Association distributed supplies at the registration tables.
KIB Board President Scott Wilson was at the event to go over safety instructions.
“For 28 years, the Trash Bash has been an Irving tradition where the organization does much more than just pick up litter,” said Wilson. “There are so many opportunities to make the community cleaner and greener, but also to meet people who share a common goal, have some fun and learn about a variety of topics. It’s a great way to spend a Saturday morning, and KIB is grateful for the nearly 500 people who volunteered.”
Keep Irving Beautiful is a nonprofit organization dedicated to educating the community about litter abatement, recycling, and beautification to help preserve the health and promote the social and economic prosperity of the city. As an award-winning affiliate of Keep America Beautiful and Keep Texas Beautiful, Keep Irving Beautiful reaches out to all sectors of the community, including government, businesses, churches, as well as cultural, educational, neighborhood and civic organizations. For more information on volunteering with KIB or making an activity a “green event,” visit CityofIrving.org/284/Keep-Irving-Beautiful or call (972) 721-2175.