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Keep Irving Beautiful (KIB) kept its longstanding partnership with the Irving Lake Association (ILA) going strong by participating in the semi-annual cleanup of Lake Vilbig in South Irving on Saturday, September 19.  KIB supplied the litter pickers, safety vests, gloves, trash and recycle bags, and also brought students who are participating in the Service Learning Program at North Lake College for the fall semester.  These students gave 20 hours of service as they joined lake residents in their boats and pulled litter and debris from the lake, which totaled 2,340 pounds of trash and 40 pounds of recyclables.  After the cleanup, the ILA treated all volunteers to a fish fry for lunch.

 

“Our partnership with the Irving Lake Association goes back to when KIB was first founded,” said KIB Board member Karen Harmon.  “Lake Vilbig is an important area and the people who live on the lake do a great job taking care of it. We are happy to help them with their twice-yearly cleanups.  Today we also had Service Learning students present who got their first chance to earn hours with us, so we appreciate the ILA for giving them that opportunity.”

 

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.  To find out how you can volunteer, go to www.keepirvingbeautiful.org or call the KIB office at 972-721-2175.

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Keep Irving Beautiful (KIB) hosted its 24th Annual Trash Bash, the organization’s signature cleanup event, at Trinity View Park on September 26.  The weather was sunny and warm, and 583 volunteers of all ages (291 adults and 292 youth) came out to help pick up litter and keep it out of the nearby Elm Fork of the Trinity River.  The group gave 1,749 hours of service in collecting 3,440 pounds of trash and 1,140 pounds of recyclables.  Following the event, a lunch was served, with hot dogs and buns donated by Kroger, and chips donated by Frito-Lay.  For the fourth year, the Trash Bash was held on National Public Lands Day, with an estimated 175,000 volunteers engaged in similar projects across the country. 

     KIB tries to bring an educational component to all its activities, and the Trash Bash certainly demonstrates that.  Two very popular friends of KIB, naturalist Jon Halsey and reptile expert Barry Allen, returned with their displays of artifacts and snakes, respectively, and Brookhaven EMT Students provided blood pressure screenings as an additional service to the volunteers.  The Phi Theta Kappa chapter from North Lake College also had a table with information about scholarship and other educational opportunities.

     KIB’s partnerships with City of Irving Departments played a big role in the success of the Trash Bash.  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.  Code Offficers, along with their family members, prepared and served the lunch, and another drove a truck to collect the bags from volunteers.  The Mayor’s office also provided an official proclamation declaring September 26 as “Trash Bash Day in Irving.” Sponsors who contributed to the success of the event included VHA, Inc., PlayTri, Frito-Lay, Kroger, AcuGraphics, Fast Signs Las Colinas, Dr. Elba Garcia, and the Rambler and Burb Newspapers.  Items for the prize drawing were generously donated by the Irving Family YMCA, Twin Wells Golf, City of Irving Parks and Recreation, Glory House, Arnold Brothers Forest Products, Magician Maxwell Blade, and the Trinity River Kayak Company.  North Lake College’s Alpha Zeta Eta chapter of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society was 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, and by greeting volunteers, passing out supplies and T-shirts, working in litter crews, and helping with food service.   They also collected canned food items on campus, which were combined with those collected from volunteers at the event and donated to the Baptist Benevolent Ministries of Irving Food Pantry.

     “The Trash Bash is a fun event that anyone can participate in,” said KIB Board President, Scott Wilson. “We had a great turnout on a beautiful day, and while this is a cleanup, we try to make it more than just picking up trash.  Our volunteers, especially the youth, enjoy learning about snakes and fossils, and providing a service like blood pressure screening just adds another element to the event.  This is the second year we have done the canned food drive, and we definitely surpassed last year’s collection.  I think these things show that not only do we care about our environment, but we also care about our people.”

 

     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 students stopped by to learn more about KIB activities.

Keep Irving Beautiful (KIB) staff members attended the North Lake College Service Learning Fair on Thursday, September 10, at the college’s central campus.  They were among the many non-profit agencies who sent representatives to the event to talk to students about opportunities for completing service hours.  KIB has participated in the program since the fall semester of 2008, and hundreds of students have given their time in activities like cleanups and beautification projects while also earning credit in their classes.  Typically an instructor will require 15 to 20 hours of service each semester, and students complete a reflection paper on what they gained from their experience. 

 

“Keep Irving Beautiful offers meaningful volunteer opportunities in a variety of events,” said KIB Board member and North Lake history professor Dr. Yolanda Romero.  “It’s always exciting to talk to students about our organization and how they can make a difference in the community. We look forward to welcoming a new Service Learning group this semester, as well as our returning students.  We also have met students who volunteered with us while in high school, and are continuing that in college.”

 

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.  To find out how you can volunteer, go to www.keepirvingbeautiful.org or call the KIB office at 972-721-2175.

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The First Baptist Church of Irving was the site of Keep Irving Beautiful’s annual “Mayor and KIB Proud Partner Awards” ceremony on Monday, August 10.   After being greeted and signed in by volunteers Elouise McMillian, Sandy Franco, Vicki Haynes and Chuck Kirk, the 143 guests enjoyed a delicious appetizer buffet artfully prepared by Kristine Sanborn and her staff.  Harpist Becky Scherschell provided music while T.J. Friedel served as photographer and Geoff Sirkel provided technical support.

KIB’s Volunteer Recognition Committee chair and hostess for the evening Margie Stipes started the ceremony by inviting members of Girl Scout Troop 2871 to present the colors and lead the pledge of allegiance.  After Anthony Ball of First Baptist delivered the invocation and KIB Coordinator Rick Hose welcomed the guests, Mistress of Ceremonies Cathy Whiteman, along with Honorary Chair Mayor Beth Van Duyne, came on stage to present the awards to the following honorees:

  • Youth Leadership Award (individual):  Girl Scout Troop 2871
  • Educator Award:  Thomas W. Keefe, University of Dallas
  • Faith Group Award:  Calvary Church
  • Business and Industry Award:  Irving Convention and Visitors Bureau
  • Business and Industry Award:  Don Herring Mitsubishi
  • Media Award:  Natural Awakenings Magazine, Bernice Butler – Editor
  • Civic Organization Award:  Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD)
  • Lifetime Achievement Award:  Dorothy Henry
  • Civil Servant Award:  Sergeant Joseph Palomar, Irving Police Department
  • Green Government Award:  City of Irving Capital Improvement Program
  • KIB Hometown Award:  Nancy Medina
  • KIB Hometown Award:  Dennis Webb 

 

In addition to the Proud Partner winners, recipients of the 2015 Keep Texas Beautiful and Keep America Beautiful Awards were also recognized.  In the KAB National Awards, Lady Bird Johnson Middle School was honored with a First Place Award in the School Program Category.   Keep Texas Beautiful Awards winners included Irving Community Television Network, which received Third Place in the Media Category, Arnold Martin, who won Second Place in the O.P. Schnabel Senior Citizen Category, and Margie Stipes, who placed second in the KIB Leadership Award Category.

Mrs. Stipes summed up the evening by saying, “This is an event that I look forward to every year, as does the entire KIB Board of Directors.  It is a way to acknowledge and just say thank you to volunteers, partners and sponsors who are so important in making our organization successful.   The people here tonight all care about Irving and making it a better place to live, work and play, and we are very honored to have them here as our guests for a very special evening.”

Keep Irving Beautiful is an award-winning, grassroots, non-profit leadership organization dedicated to educating community members about litter abatement, recycling, and beautification in order to help preserve the health and prosperity of our city. As an affiliate of Keep America Beautiful and Keep Texas Beautiful, the goals of Keep Irving Beautiful reach out to all aspects of Irving – government, business, civic and church organizations, schools, neighborhoods. All residents of Irving are a vital part of the program’s success.

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Keep Irving Beautiful (KIB) has enjoyed a long partnership with North Lake College’s Alpha Zeta Eta chapter of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, collaborating on a variety of projects over the years

The most recent activity was a paint project with the new officer team at the Georgia Farrow Recreation Center on August 5.  Eight chapter officers gave 32 hours of service time in painting the back hallways, transforming the walls from a faded blue to a fresher “rodeo tan” color.  Irving Community Television Network (ICTN) was there to capture the volunteers in action and also interview them about their experience and what giving back to the community means to them.  The Parks and Recreation Department staff provided the supplies and logistic support for the project.

 

“The Alpha Zeta Eta chapter puts a strong emphasis on service,” said faculty advisor Dr. Yolanda Romero, who also serve on the Keep Irving Beautiful Board of Directors.  “We feel that it is very important to give of our time and instill that spirit of volunteerism in all of our members.  This officer team serves as a great example for them to follow, and I know they are looking forward to a productive and rewarding year working with KIB.” 

 

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.  To find out how you can volunteer, go to www.keepirvingbeautiful.org or call the KIB office at 972-721-2175.  

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On Monday, July 27, 34 of Senter Park Recreation Center’s summer campers and 5 of their counselors were paid a visit by Keep Irving Beautiful (KIB) staff for a fun and educational program about the different ways the organization helps to make our city a better place to live, work and play.  Campers first viewed the “Wartville Wizard,” a video about a man who has a unique way of dealing with his town fill of litterers.  They learned about KIB’s focus areas of litter abatement, beautification and recycling, answered questions from the KIB prize wheel and played a matching game with recycled items and the different new products made from them.   The highlight of the day was the appearance of KIB’s toucan mascot “Kirby” who greeted the children and posed for pictures.

 

“We think it is important to continue to carry KIB’s message to our youth, even when school is not in session,” said KIB Board member Karen Harmon, “so it is great to be invited to come to a summer program like they have here at Senter Park.  KIB has been here several times for volunteer service projects with corporate and faith groups which involved painting inside and out, including the room we were in today. It was special to see the result of those efforts and show the children an example of what we do in the community in addition to talking about our programs.” 

 

     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.  To find out how you can volunteer, go to www.keepirvingbeautiful.org or call the KIB office at 972-721-2175.

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Keep Irving Beautiful (KIB) and volunteers from the Latter-Day Saints (LDS) were at it again Saturday July 25, 2015. The group of 32 adults and 25 youth joined together for a cleanup project at Trinity View Park. Eager volunteers met at the pavilion to receive cleanup supplies and safety equipment before heading out to canvas the park. In total 57 volunteers completed 171 hours of service, collecting 820 pounds of litter and 660 pounds of recyclables. The recyclables will be diverted away from the sanitary landfill and sent to a processing center. Trinity View was one of the parks along the Campion trails that was hit hard by recent flooding. The floods brought a lot of trash and other debris into the park and KIB volunteers were anxious to help to remove it.

  Keep Irving Beautiful Board member Charles Kirk, who also serves on the City of Irving’s Tree Board, commented on the benefits of these types of partnerships. “We appreciate the efforts of the LDS volunteers to help make our parks more clean and beautiful for not only the residents and visitors but also the vibrant wildlife. Today we stopped 1,480 pounds of litter and recyclables from reaching the nearby Elm Fork of the Trinity River.”

  Keep Irving Beautiful is an award-winning, grassroots, non-profit leadership organization dedicated to educating community members about litter abatement, recycling and beautification in order to help preserve the health and promote the social and economic prosperity of our city.  For information on how you can become involved in volunteering with KIB, please go to www.keepirvingbeautiful.org, or call the KIB office at 972-721-2175.

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SouthGate Constructors Interns at Running Bear Park

Keep Irving Beautiful teamed up with volunteers from SouthGate Constructors for a park beautification project. Park supervisor Garry Munson and his staff provided logistic and planning support. The high energy group was made up of interns from all across our country. States like South Dakota, Ohio, Colorado and even Texas helped complete the group’s makeup. Once the group had signed in and completed the safety meeting they begin to paint the black metal fencing that surrounds the large pavilion by the children’s playground. In addition to the fence, the group of seven led by Alex Olson also finished painting the metal support beam at the pavilion that had been started by VHA, Inc. in a previous project. At the end of the day the group completed 28 hours of service helping to make Running Bear Park a little more inviting for those who visit.   

  Keep Irving Beautiful Board member Kelly Horn commented on the impact of this group’s efforts by saying “We appreciate that SouthGate chose KIB and the city of Irving as their community partners for 2015. It was fantastic to see the volunteers going out into the community where they are spending their summer and helping to make it more beautiful for everyone to enjoy”!

  Keep Irving Beautiful is an award-winning, grassroots, non-profit leadership organization dedicated to educating community members about litter abatement, recycling and beautification in order to help preserve the health and promote the social and economic prosperity of our city.  For information on how you can become involved in volunteering with KIB, please go to www.keepirvingbeautiful.org, or call the KIB office at 972-721-2175.

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Kirby and his Emma's House friends

On Wednesday, June 24, Keep Irving Beautiful (KIB) paid a visit to “Emma’s House,” a non-profit care center for teens and young adults with special needs.  As their motto says, it is indeed a “special place for special people.”  The center provides a variety of activities, and director Debbie Elizondo encourages community organizations and businesses to participate as volunteers or sponsors.  On this visit, KIB staff conducted a craft activity from Keep America Beautiful’s educational curriculum called “Garbage Pizza.” It teaches about the different types of items that are often thrown away but that could instead be recycled, reused, donated or composted.  Each member of the group made their own “pizza” by gluing items made of materials like paper, metal or plastic to the different sections of a circle, and then talked about better choices for disposing of items than just throwing them in the trash.  To help reduce the impact of disposable bottles and to help beautify our surroundings, KIB brought reusable drinking pouches and flower seed packets, but the highlight of the day was the appearance of mascot Kirby the Toucan, who danced and posed for many pictures with the Emma’s House members, staff and volunteers.

 

“KIB has partnered with Emma’s House for several years, and we always enjoy visiting,” said KIB board member Karen Harmon.  “They do such a great job in providing a safe, fun and educational place for these young people to go, where they also learn skills for independence and self-sufficiency.  They also incorporate lessons about taking care of the environment into the activities, such as promoting recycling and participating in our Adopt-a-Spot program, which we feel is very important.”

 

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.  To find out how you can volunteer, go to www.keepirvingbeautiful.org or call the KIB office at 972-721-2175.

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KIB's Julie Schmitt (L) and Rick Hose (R) accept the Gold Star Award from Keep Texas Beautiful Executive Director Cathie Gail.

Keep Irving Beautiful (KIB) was honored at the 48th Annual Keep Texas Beautiful State Conference, “Blazing Trails to a Beautiful Texas,” held June 15 – 17 in Fort Worth.  At the Governor’s Community Achievement Awards Banquet on Tuesday evening, KIB was recognized with the award of Sustained Excellence for the eighth year in a row.  This award is given to affiliates that score a 90 or higher on their GCAA applications for three consecutive years.  As the 2014 winner, Irving was not eligible to win in 2015, but still presented a detailed executive summary and portfolio highlighting the many great things that occurred in the city during the previous year in litter prevention, beautification, waste reduction, and several other categories.  At the Affiliate Recognition Breakfast on Wednesday, KIB received the Gold Star Award, the highest level an affiliate can achieve.

 

KIB also submitted applications for several partners, who were honored at a luncheon on Wednesday.  Irving Community Television Network received 3rd Place in the Electronic Media Category, while KIB Board Secretary Margie Stipes received 2nd Place in the KTB Leadership Award and Board member Arnold Martin placed 2nd in the O.P. Schnabel Senior Citizen Award. 

 

KIB Coordinator Rick Hose and staff member Julie Schmitt attended the educational sessions during the conference, which included a wide variety of topics such as youth engagement, waterway cleanups, and demonstration gardens.  Mrs. Stipes, who attended the awards luncheon along with Board President Scott Wilson, commented on the conference by saying, “It’s very inspiring to come to a Keep Texas Beautiful conference, which is a gathering of hundreds of people who share a love of our state and want to keep it beautiful for years to come.  I have been involved with KTB for many years, and it is always nice to see so many familiar faces among the attendees and to see that they still have that same passion for what they do in their communities.” 

 

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.  To find out how you can volunteer, go to www.keepirvingbeautiful.org or call the KIB office at 972-721-2175.