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Greater Irving Las Colinas Chamber Chairman Michael McCall (L) and Irving Mayor Beth Van Duyne (R) presented awards to KIB's Julie Schmitt and Rick Hose

Keep Irving Beautiful (KIB) was recently honored at the quarterly “Newsmaker Reception” held at the Four Seasons on April 6.  This event, jointly hosted by the Irving Economic Development Partnership (which includes the Greater Irving Las Colinas Chamber of Commerce, the City of Irving, the Irving Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Las Colinas Association) and the Four Seasons Resort and Club, recognized businesses and organizations that made significant and newsworthy accomplishments in the first quarter of the year.  KIB was cited for having won honors at the 2016 Keep America Beautiful National Conference, including the President’s Circle Award and the Award of Sustained Excellence, one of only six affiliates in the nation to do so.  KIB was honored for distinguishing itself as an exemplary affiliate through its outstanding community improvement programs in the areas of litter prevention, beautification, recycling and community greening. 

 

“Being recognized on a national or statewide basis is always an honor,” said KIB Board President Jim Scrivner, “but we are equally appreciative of the recognition we receive locally from the chamber and the city at events like this.  Everyone invited to this reception has done something positive to make Irving proud, and we are grateful to be included in such worthy company.”

 

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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Employee volunteers from the Verizon Hidden Ridge campus in Irving partnered with Keep Irving Beautiful (KIB) and the Irving Parks and Recreation Department for a day of community service at the Lively Pointe Youth Center on Saturday, March 19.  These “Verizon Green Team” members were also joined by North Lake College Service Learning students in giving a fresh coat of paint to the activity room and other areas of the center.  In total, there were eight volunteers who gave 32 hours of service in making this very popular destination brighter and more inviting.  As part of their shared goal to decrease the amount of disposable plastic bottles in the environment, each volunteer was given a reusable drinking pouch as a thank you gift.

Keep Irving Beautiful has partnered with Verizon since 2009, and employee volunteers have worked on a variety of projects, including beautification activities at Northwest Park and the Fritz Park Petting Farm, and the Don’t Mess with Texas Trash-Off in the spring and the annual Trash Bash in the fall.  The Irving team’s efforts are part of Verizon’s goal to encourage volunteerism world-wide.  There are currently more than 20,000 Green Team members in 25 different countries, who live the company’s mission of “We believe that sharing our success with the community makes the world in which we live and work better than it was yesterday.”

“Verizon, with its Green Team and numerous environmental initiatives, is a great example of the kind of company we like to partner with,” said KIB Board member Julie Schmitt.  “They are always looking for ways to improve the community where they work and where many of them live, and KIB is a natural fit.  We have found their employees to be great volunteers who are very passionate about their commitment, and just a lot of fun to be around.” 

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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KIB's Margie Stipes (L) and Julie Schmitt (R), with mascot Kirby at Brown Elementary

 

Irving, Texas, March 7, 2016:  Keep Irving Beautiful (KIB) places a high priority on reaching out to the young people of our community, and there is no better way to do that than by participating in the many career days that Irving ISD offers.  Most elementary schools hold these in the spring semester, and KIB staff member Julie Schmitt along with Board Vice President Margie Stipes kicked off “Career Day Season” by attending their first at Otis Brown Elementary on Friday, March 4.  They spoke to three groups of 3rd and 4th graders, approximately 100 students and 6 teachers, about what KIB does and how they can get involved in volunteering even at their young ages.  They also brought toucan mascot “Kirby” with them, a perennial favorite of all Irving school children, who reminds them to “Keep Irving Recycling and Beautiful Year-Round.”

“We always enjoy presenting at Career Days,” said Mrs. Stipes.  “The children at Otis Brown were very attentive and interested in the various KIB activities and programs.  They asked insightful questions, and were especially curious about the many items that can be made from recycled materials.”

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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Keep Irving Beautiful is continuing its partnership with the Gerald Taylor Memorial Community Garden that started with the groundbreaking in December of 2012.  KIB has maintained one of the raised beds at the garden, which is located behind Bear Creek Community Church, since the first plantings in the spring of 2013.  This past week, KIB staff members, aided by a North Lake College Service Learning student, had a work day at the garden.  They weeded their plot, as well as some others, and prepared the soil for the upcoming spring planting season.

“This started as a vision of the late Gerald Taylor several years ago, and now the garden that bears his name provides so many opportunities,” said KIB Board member Rachel Moon.  “The church donated this land to the garden and made it available to anyone who wanted to have a plot, not just church members.  Families can grow their own food as well as donate produce to those in need.  It’s a great way to meet people and share gardening tips and just enjoy the outdoors, and KIB is proud to be a part of it.”

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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City of Irving employee volunteers at last year's Trash-Off

Keep Irving Beautiful is sponsoring the “Don’t Mess with Texas Trash-Off,” part of the state’s signature event for the nationwide “Great American Cleanup” program, and a partnership with Keep Texas Beautiful and the Texas Department of Transportation.  Like many Texas communities across the state, Irving will have a cleanup on the official Trash-Off date, April 9th, at Trinity View Park from 9:00 a.m. to noon.  KIB will provide the cleanup supplies – safety vests, gloves, litter pickers and trash/recycle bags - and even serve lunch afterwards. Volunteers of all ages are welcome, and are asked to sign up online at the KIB website, www.keepirvingbeautiful.org

 

Last year’s event, also held at Trinity View Park, drew 261 volunteers who collected and stopped 3,220 pounds of trash and recyclables from reaching the nearby Elm Fork of the Trinity River.  The event typically attracts people not just from Irving, but also from the surrounding area.  KIB board President Jim Scrivner stated, “This is an event which brings the community together.  We pick up litter, but also meet others who care about the 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,” please go to www.keepirvingbeautiful.org, or call the KIB office at 972-721-2175.

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The North Lake College South Campus staff and campus police partnered with Keep Irving Beautiful, the City of Irving Solid Waste Services Department, and North Lake Service Learning students for a day of community service on Friday, February 26.  The project they chose was a cleanup of their campus grounds, concentrating their efforts along the West Irving Creek which runs through the campus, where litter had been washed in by earlier rains.  KIB provided the supplies – safety vests, litter pickers, gloves, trash and recycle bags – while the volunteers provided the manpower.  The combined efforts of the total group of thirteen resulted in 38 hours of service, while collecting 129 pounds of trash and 92.5 pounds of recyclables which were diverted from the landfill.  They also pulled several tires from the creek area, which Solid Waste Services picked up along with the bags the group had collected.

“North Lake has been a great community partner for many years,” said KIB Board member Scott Wilson. “We have worked with the Central Campus staff previously for their service projects, and it’s a pleasure to now partner with the South Campus staff in this cleanup. It was clear that they take a lot of pride in their campus, and worked hard to make it look its best.  And it’s always inspiring to see staff and students working side by side in a common goal.”

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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The Nimitz High School Future Farmers of America organization kicked off “National FFA Week” with a service project on Saturday, February 20.  They partnered with Keep Irving Beautiful for a beautification project at the Senter Park Pool.  Along with their faculty advisors and student council members, who they invited to join them, they gave a fresh coat of paint to the picnic shelters, safety handrails, and interior walls, and touched up the fence surrounding the pool.  In total, 37 students and faculty, along with a North Lake student and a community volunteer, combined their efforts for over 155 hours of service.  KIB partnered with the City of Irving Parks Aquatics Department, who provided the materials and technical guidance, and Irving Community Television Network (ICTN), who interviewed volunteers for a feature story, to make this a successful project.

“This is the third time we have partnered with the FFA group from Nimitz,” said KIB Board member Chuck Kirk, who was at the project and gave an interview for ICTN. “The fact that this group of students and their teachers chose to spend a beautiful Saturday doing something beneficial for the community says a lot about them.  This project was a continuation of one originally started by our long-time corporate partner, VHA (now Vizient) for their Community Day back in October, and they were followed by a new business partner, LandDesign, Inc. who painted in November.  Now we have a group of young people coming in to complete the project.  It shows how different aspects of one community – employees of large and small companies, schools and youth groups – can come together in the common goal of improving the place where they live and work.  Volunteers gave a total of 283 hours of service in these projects, and their efforts will be greatly appreciated by the many people who use the pool facility.”

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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KIB Board Member and North Lake professor Dr. Yolanda Romero speaks with a prospective Service Learning student about KIB programs.

Keep Irving Beautiful (KIB) board members Scott Wilson and Dr. Yolanda Romero attended the North Lake College Service Learning Fair on Wednesday, February 3, to speak with students about the variety of activities that KIB offers.   They joined representatives from many other non-profit agencies at the event, which was held at the central campus from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.  After students visit the different tables and find out more about each agency, they choose one to enroll with for the spring semester.  Instructors who participate in the program typically require their student to complete 15 to 20 hours of service each semester, and submit a reflection paper on what they gained from their experience.   Since KIB first began their partnership with North Lake’ Service Learning Program in 2008, hundreds of students have worked with KIB while also earning credit in their classes. 

“It’s always inspiring to talk to students about our organization and how they can make a difference in the community,” said KIB Board member and North Lake history professor Dr. Yolanda Romero.  “Keep Irving Beautiful offers a variety of volunteer opportunities throughout the year that the students can participate in and feel that it is a meaningful learning experience for them. KIB always looks forward to welcoming a new Service Learning team each semester, and we already have several exciting projects planned for our Spring 2016 group.”

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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KIB staff Julie Schmitt and Rick Hose with Keep America Beautiful CEO Jennifer Jehn

Keep Irving Beautiful (KIB) received national recognition at the recent 2016 Keep America Beautiful National Conference in Orlando, Florida.  KIB was honored for distinguishing itself as an exemplary affiliate through its outstanding community improvement programs in the areas of litter prevention, beautification, recycling and community greening.  KIB was one of only six affiliates from the more than 600 across the country to receive the organization’s inaugural “Award of Sustained Excellence.”

 

“Keep America Beautiful’s National Awards Program celebrates some of our country’s most dedicated community leaders – representatives from our affiliates and partner organizations – who personify the words imagine, inspire and transform through the work they help lead every day to keep America beautiful in local communities nationwide,” said Keep America Beautiful President and CEO, Jennifer Jehn. “It’s my privilege to recognize Keep Irving Beautiful  for such valuable, mission-based work that helps their community be more socially connected, environmentally healthy and economically sound.”

 

About Keep America Beautiful:  A leading national nonprofit, Keep America Beautiful inspires and educates people to take action every day to improve and beautify their community environment. They envision a country where every community is a clean, green, and beautiful place to live. Established in 1953, KAB provides the expertise, programs and resources to help people end littering in America, improve recycling in America, and beautify America’s communities. The organization is driven by the work and passion of more than 600 community-based Keep America Beautiful affiliates, millions of volunteers, and the support of corporate partners, municipalities, elected officials, and individuals. 

 

About Keep Irving Beautiful:  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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One event KIB participated in during 2015 was the grand opening of the South Library. North Lake Service Learning students welcomed and entertained the crowd by dressing as characters.

Keep Irving Beautiful (KIB) celebrated another successful year in 2015 educating and engaging the community in its three main focus areas – litter abatement, beautification and recycling.  KIB hosted its two major cleanups, the “Don’t Mess with Texas Trash-Off” in April and the 24th annual Trash Bash in September, both at Trinity View Park, in addition to smaller scale cleanups with corporate, school, neighborhood associations and faith group partners, which totaled 3,650 hours of service.  Our volunteers removed over 14,400 pounds of litter, keeping it from reaching waterways, as well as diverting over 3,360 pounds of this to a recycling center rather than the landfill.  Adopt-a-spot volunteers helped keep our neighborhoods clean year-round, collecting more than 2,200 bags of trash and recyclables while contributing approximately 4,000 hours in this effort.

 

In the area of beautification, KIB volunteers helped give a fresh look to Irving park facilities, like the Senter Park pool, where VHA and LandDesign, Inc. each had a community service day to paint the fencing and handrails, and Running Bear Park, where SouthGate Constructors’ summer interns painted fences near the playground.  KIB received a $5,000 grant from the UPS Foundation through Keep America Beautiful, which was used to purchase native trees which will be planted at the city’s tree farm.  Irving was also chosen by the Texas A&M Forest Service for the “100 Trees for 100 Cities” program in celebration of their 100th anniversary.

 

KIB promoted recycling through its “green events” program, where recycling stations were provided and attendees were encouraged to keep grounds litter-free. At community events like the YMCA Fall Festival, KIB also had a table with a spinning wheel with questions about recycling and the environment, and gave away recycled books (donated by the Friends of the Irving Library) as prizes.  We also celebrated America Recycles Day with the YMCA seniors group, who collected 1,440 pounds of recyclable material.

 

KIB was recognized both by its state and national affiliates in their awards programs, receiving Gold Star and Sustained Excellence from Keep Texas Beautiful and the President’s Circle Award from Keep America Beautiful. KIB also won 2nd place in the nation for largest population category in the Affiliate Awards. 

 

“None of this could have been possible without the dedication of our volunteers and sponsors,” said KIB Board Treasurer Chuck Kirk.  “On behalf of the entire board, I would like to thank everyone who was a part of our success in 2015.”

 

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.