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Keep Irving Beautiful’s signature cleanup event, the 23rd Annual Trash Bash, was held at T.W. Richardson Grove Park on September 27, a beautiful Saturday morning to be outdoors enjoying the city’s Campion Trails and helping the environment.  A record 619 volunteers participated, giving over 1,800 hours of volunteer service in collecting 2,240 pounds of trash and 860 pounds of recyclables.  Following the event, a hot dog lunch was served, with chips donated by Frito-Lay.  Irving resident and naturalist Jon Halsey has become a much-anticipated feature at KIB cleanups, with his collection and displays of fossils and artifacts collected from the area over many years.  Another familiar face, Barry Allen, also entertained and educated the volunteers with his assortment of snakes. For the third year, the Trash Bash was held on National Public Lands Day, with an estimated 175,000 volunteers engaged in similar projects across the country. 

 

Events like this could not be possible without partnerships, such as those with numerous City of Irving Departments.  The Parks Department reserved the location and provided logistic support, Solid Waste Services provided a roll-off dumpster and weighed the bags collected, and Corporate Communications sent an ICTN crew to video the action and interview the participants.  Employee volunteers from the Code Enforcement, Health and Human Services and Human Resources Departments teamed up to prepare and serve the lunch.  The Mayor’s office also provided an official proclamation declaring September 27 as “Trash Bash Day in Irving.” Sponsors who contributed to the success of the event included VHA, Inc., PlayTri, Oncor, Frito-Lay, AcuGraphics, Fast Signs Las Colinas, and the Rambler and Burb Newspapers.  Items for the prize drawing were generously donated by the Irving Family YMCA, Twin Wells Golf, Glory House, Arnold Brothers Forest Products, Magician Maxwell Blade, and the Trinity River Kayak Company.     

 

Members of North Lake College’s Alpha Zeta Eta chapter of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society were very active in recruiting volunteers from North Lake as well as from chapters at other campuses.   They helped with every part of the event, from set up to tear down, by directing traffic, signing in volunteers, passing out supplies and T-shirts, and working in litter crews.  They also came up with the idea of having a canned food drive in conjunction with the cleanup, so volunteers were asked to bring a canned item to the event.  KIB partnered with the Bear Creek Community Church Food Pantry and Sister Sonja Washington to collect 298 non-perishable food items to help feed those in need.

 

KIB Board Member Dr. Yolanda Romero, who also sponsors the North Lake Phi Theta Kappa chapter, volunteered at the event and had this to say.  “We had a great turnout in 2013, but this year is even better.  It’s inspiring to see such diversity among the volunteers, in terms of ages, faiths and backgrounds.  They all joined together in the common cause of keeping our community a clean safe place to live, work and play. The addition of the canned food drive brought another positive element to the event which shows that we care about our people as much as we do about our environment.”

 

Keep Irving Beautiful is a non-profit, grassroots, leadership organization dedicated to educating our community about litter abatement, recycling, and beautification in order to help preserve the health and promote the social and economic prosperity of our city. As an award winning affiliate of Keep America Beautiful and Keep Texas Beautiful, Keep Irving Beautiful reaches out to and partners with all sectors of our city including government, business, church, cultural, educational, neighborhood and civic organizations.  If you are interested in volunteering with KIB, or making your activity a “green event,” please go to www.keepirvingbeautiful.org, or call the KIB office at 972-721-2175.

 

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