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Keep Irving Beautiful (KIB) reaches out to businesses to partner with them in giving back to the community, and one such new friend of KIB is the Las Colinas office of Land Design, Inc.  Land Design is a landscape architecture and urban design company whose goal is to “create places that matter.”  They have a strong commitment to service at all of their locations across the country through their “Community Matters” program, which led to the partnership with KIB. 

The original plan for this energetic group of volunteers was planting trees at the city’s tree farm, but rainy weather prior to the dates forced cancellation twice.  You can’t plant trees if you can’t get equipment in to dig the holes, so the group switched their focus to a paint project at Senter Park.  On November 20, they were joined by North Lake College Service Learning students who were finishing up their hours for the fall semester, and together they painted the metal safety fencing around the swimming pool and the railings at the entrance to the pool building.  The fencing had been started by another corporate partner, VHA, Inc., for their Community Day project, and the Land Design team was happy to come in and complete the painting, while the students tackled the front entrance.  In total, the seven volunteers gave more than 21 hours of service in helping to restore Irving’s very first public pool to a like-new appearance.  The Parks Aquatics Department also partnered in this project, providing technical guidance in addition to the painting supplies.

KIB Board member Arnold Martin had this to say about the event.   “We appreciate this group’s flexibility in changing projects and dates.  They showed a willingness to contribute however they were needed, and they did an outstanding job.  We look forward to working with them again, and encourage other companies and organizations to also join KIB in helping to make Irving a cleaner, brighter and more beautiful community.”

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, KIB 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 Julie Schmitt and Margie Stipes present trophy to YMCA's Lynn Diaz (R)

Keep Irving Beautiful (KIB) has celebrated “America Recycles Day” for the past seven years with the Irving Family YMCA, where the senior group members collect and bring in recyclable materials and challenge each other to be the top recycler.  KIB supplied the city’s blue bags and flyers about what should and should not go in them, and the seniors got to work on the collection in late October.  KIB staff weighed and recorded all the bags that were brought in, and after the final bag was weighed, the grand total was 1,404 pounds, a new record for the group.  The Solid Waste Services Department was an additional partner who helped transport the seniors’ collection to a facility be processed for recycling.

America Recycles Day is a Keep America Beautiful (KAB) program dedicated to promoting and celebrating recycling in the United States.  Thousands of events took place all across the country during November with a focus on increasing recycling in communities.  More than 65,000 people took the recycling pledge to reduce waste, recycle more, and encourage others to recycle. 

On Friday, November 20, KIB hosted a celebratory breakfast for the seniors, and had approximately 30 in attendance.  They presented a trophy which read “In special recognition of the Irving Family YMCA Seniors for collecting 1,404 pounds of recyclables.  America Recycles Day 2015.”  They also had giveaway items like flower seed packets and pens, and also had a prize drawing for a gift card and a Christmas ornament.

 “As the local affiliate of Keep America Beautiful, we enjoy bringing the national programs here to Irving,” said KIB Board Vice President Margie Stipes.  “The seniors group really enjoys participating, and this year they were very determined to break their previous record.  They went above and beyond that, and we are very happy to honor them today.”

 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, KIB 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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Councilman Gerald Farris stopped by the KIB table and talked with students.

Keep Irving Beautiful (KIB) enjoys partnering with a variety of community businesses and organizations, and one of those is Porter’s Army Navy Store.  Their “Unite for Troops” event, held Saturday, November 14, is a celebration of our veterans and active duty military personnel and honors them for their service.  The event centers around donated goods which are packaged and sent to troops overseas and to the USO at DFW International Airport.  For weeks leading up to the event, volunteers collected a variety of things for the packages (such as travel-sized toiletries, lip balm, candy and other snacks), as well as monetary donations to help with shipping costs.  On the day of the event, volunteers boxed the items and prepared them for shipping to grateful troops around the world. 

KIB helped to make this a “Green Event” by providing the recycling stations, and was assisted by nine North Lake College Service Learning student volunteers who gave 45 hours of time.  At the KIB table, attendees took turns spinning the game wheel and answering questions about the environment.  Prizes were recycled books donated by the Friends of the Irving Public Library.  In addition to working at the table, students helped out wherever they were needed, by filling shipping boxes, setting up and assisting at the bounce houses, monitoring the recycling, and picking up any litter they saw around the grounds.  One student also dressed as Buddy the Blue Recycling Bag, posed for pictures and encouraged everyone to recycle.

A variety of fun and educational activities were offered for children and adults, as well as several musical groups to provide entertainment. KIB Board member Dr. Yolanda Romero was at the event with North Lake’s Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society members, who had a table where children could conduct science experiments. She commented on the event by saying, “At KIB, we like to support our community’s activities, and this one has a special significance to many people in Irving.   It really brings people together in a common cause, to say thank you to those who have served or are still serving our country.  We are honored 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, KIB 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 (KIB) partnered with the Irving Independent School District and the City of Irving Parks Department for the seventh year in an Arbor Day celebration to honor a school for their outstanding paper recycling efforts during the 2014-5 school year.   This year’s winner was Sally B. Elliott Elementary, which collected 35,551 pounds of paper in their campus recycling bins, for an average of 50.5 pounds per student.  On Friday, November 13, students and teachers gathered for an assembly outside the school, near the two new red oak trees that had been planted earlier in the week by the Parks Department.  Numerous dignitaries were present, including members of the Irving City Council and the Tree Board, to recognize the school for its accomplishment.  Councilman Allan Meagher read the mayoral proclamation which had been presented at the previous night’s council meeting, and KIB Board President Jim Scrivner presented a glass trophy to the school’s principal, Sheila Peragine.  At the close of the event, students enjoyed meeting KIB mascot Kirby and Smokey the Bear.

Scott Wilson, the city’s Tree Board President, was one of the speakers at the event, and had this to say about the occasion. “The school Arbor Day celebration began in 2009 as part of Irving becoming a Tree City USA, and has been something we all look forward to each year.  Sally B. Elliott was the very first school to win the honor of hosting the Arbor Day event, and now they are the first repeat winner.  Making the connection between recycling paper and saving trees really makes an impact on the students, and they are justifiably proud of their accomplishments.”

 

 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 (KIB) staff attended the ribbon cutting ceremony for the La Buena Vida House on Tuesday, November 10.  They joined numerous elected officials, community leaders and City of Irving staff in welcoming the facility, which will serve as the first housing of its kind for homeless male students enrolled in Irving ISD high schools.  The facility can house up to sixteen of these students, who will range in age from 17 to 21.  Speakers talked about the importance of giving the next generation of leaders a chance to succeed, and how the community came together to partner in making the La Buena Vida House a reality.

The La Buena Vida Foundation, which began in 2010, has the mission “to improve the lives of North Texas students in need through programs that provide leadership development and higher education opportunities.”  They focus primarily, but not exclusively, on youth in the Greater Irving area.  Joy Goodrum has been Executive Director since January 2015, and hosted the ribbon cutting event.

“This is a great example of how the collaboration and partnership among many different groups can lead to a successful outcome,” said KIB Board President Jim Scrivner.  “Everyone wants to see our young people do well and become productive, vital members of society.  Many of them need positive role models and an environment like this that is safe and conducive to learning life skills in order to achieve that goal of “the Good Life,” which is what La Buena Vida means.”

 

 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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     North Lake College Service Learning students who had volunteered to help Keep Irving Beautiful (KIB) with a tree planting project on Wednesday, October 28, switched gears and went into painting mode instead.  Heavy rains caused the planting site at the city‘s tree farm to be too wet to get equipment in, so the students and KIB staff moved indoors to paint the meeting room at the KIB office.  Five students gave 16 hours of time in brightening the room where KIB holds its monthly board meetings with a fresh coat of white paint.   

 

    “We really appreciate the students being so flexible when we had to change plans,” said KIB Board member Karen Harmon.  “Of course we are grateful for the rain, and with so many of our activities taking place outdoors, it’s nice to have a “Plan B” when the weather doesn’t cooperate.  The Service Learning students have been such a great group to partner with, and just do whatever is needed or asked of them.  We look forward to working with them again when we do get the chance to plant those trees, and we can help Keep Irving Beautiful both indoors and outdoors.”

 

     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 the KIB website: www.keepirvingbeautiful.org, or call the KIB office at 972-721-2175.

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Keep Irving Beautiful (KIB) partnered with the Irving Family YMCA to help make their annual Fall Festival a “Green Event” on Friday, October 23.  The heavy rains forced the event to move indoors, but that did not dampen the spirit of the attendees or the five North Lake College Service Learning students who were there to volunteer.  KIB provided recycling stations throughout the building, and students helped monitor the recycling and also kept the areas litter-free.   KIB had an information table with a spinning wheel where attendees of all ages answered questions about recycling and the environment and won prizes of recycled books, donated by one of KIB’s partners, the Friends of the Irving Public Library.  Students also dressed as recycling mascot “Buddy the Blue Bag” and joined fellow mascot Chuck E. Cheese in line dancing and Zumba.  The theme for this year’s festival was “DC and Marvel Comics,” so there were many superheroes like Batman, Spiderman and Captain America roaming the grounds, and even villains like Poison Ivy made an appearance.

 

   “Keep Irving Beautiful was excited to be invited to participate by such a worthy organization and great partner like the Irving Family YMCA,” said KIB staff member Julie Schmitt.  “We have been coming to the Fall Festival event for several years, and it’s a fun experience for everyone who attends.  Our student volunteers enjoy seeing the children and adults in all their costumes, and appreciate the different types of opportunities they have to help out.” 

 

     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 (KIB) board and staff members Margie Stipes, Scott Wilson, Julie Schmitt and Rick Hose conducted the annual city-wide Litter Index survey on Friday, October 16.  As one of the requirements for KIB maintaining the highest President’s Circle level in the Keep America Beautiful program, this survey is performed at approximately the same time each year.  It involves driving specific routes which consist of nine areas across the city, each divided into four sections.  Participants score each site from one to four based on the amount of litter seen, with 1 being the least littered and 4 being extremely littered.  This same route has been covered since the original survey in 2001, and each year the results are calculated and compared to the baseline data and to the prior year.  This year’s overall average of a 1.22 score represents a decrease in litter of 36% from the first score fourteen years ago, and even surpassed last year’s excellent score by an additional 8%.

 

    “I enjoy taking part in this each year,” said KIB Vice President Margie Stipes, “because it really gives us a good perspective on how different areas, and the whole city, are doing as far as litter is concerned.  Each time we do the Litter Index, I notice something different, and what I especially like is seeing how well-kept many of our neighborhoods are.  I think people are more conscious of littering as being unacceptable behavior, and I’d like to think that KIB has had a lot to do with that by raising awareness about how important it is to pick up litter and set an example for others.  In addition, the city’s litter team does a great job in keeping our corridors clean.  I always come away from this day feeling very good about the city we live in, knowing that Irving is continually heading in the right direction in the fight against litter.”

 

     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 (KIB) has partnered with the Irving-based VHA family of companies for their “Community Day” since 2009, and the event itself marked its 13th year on October 13, 2015.  At all the offices across the country, employees volunteer with local non-profits in community service projects, and this year marked the first to include the UHC company which recently merged with VHA.  Gregory Schretter, in his third year as a team leader, and co-leader Zachary Weaver coordinated with KIB on the project, which involved painting the metal safety fencing that surrounds the Senter Park swimming pool.  A total of 20 employee volunteers spent the day applying a fresh coat of white paint to the pool fence.  They were joined by Service Learning students from North Lake College who are working with KIB during the fall semester.  The City of Irving Parks Aquatics Department provided supplies and technical guidance, and the volunteers gave 96 hours of service in making the pool area brighter and more inviting for the many people who will visit the facility.

 

   “This is an event that we look forward to each year,” said KIB Board member Kelly Horn.  “We know that there are many worthy organizations in the area, so we are grateful that the VHA family of companies chooses KIB as one of their community partners.  This is their third project with KIB here at Senter, and they have also completed beautification projects at Fritz, Running Bear and Northwest Parks. They have made a positive and lasting impact over the years, and serve as an outstanding example of corporate citizenship, and of giving back to and becoming a vital part of the community where they work.”

 

     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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Alpha Zeta Eta officers and KIB staff at North Lake

Keep Irving Beautiful (KIB) staff paid a visit to North Lake College on Monday, October 12, to say thank you to the Alpha Zeta Eta chapter of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society during their general meeting.  KIB has partnered with this group for many years on a variety of projects, often working closely with the officer team to plan and carry out events. Most recently, they were instrumental in the success of the 24th Annual Trash Bash, the organization’s signature cleanup, where members were involved in every aspect of the event, including directing traffic, greeting volunteers, handing out supplies, assisting in food and beverage service, setting up and breaking down.  They also conducted a can food drive at the college to add to the cans being collected at the event, and recruited students to participate in the cleanup, resulting in more than 150 North Lake students attending the Trash Bash.

 

   “Keep Irving Beautiful truly values its relationship with Alpha Zeta Eta.” said KIB Board Member Dr. Yolanda Romero, who also serves as faculty advisor for the chapter at North Lake, “In turn, the students appreciate that KIB provides them with opportunities to not only volunteer and give back to the community, but also to improve their leadership, communication and organizational skills that will help them succeed in college and life.  This is a great partnership in so many ways for everyone involved.”

 

     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.