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As part of its ongoing Schools and Youth Outreach programming, Keep Irving Beautiful (KIB) attended Career Day at Thomas Haley Elementary School on Friday, May 8.  Board member Margie Stipes and KIB staff member Julie Schmitt spoke to three classes of first and second graders about what it’s like to work or volunteer for KIB.  Approximately 60 children learned about KIB’s activities in the three focus areas of litter prevention, beautification and recycling, and were shown several items made from recycled materials.  Students also got the chance to spin the KIB prize wheel and answer questions about recycling and the environment.  They also learned about the KIB mascot Kirby, whose name stands for “Keep Irving recycling and Beautiful Year-Round.”

 

“I always look forward to the chance to represent Keep Irving Beautiful, and I especially enjoy going to the schools,” said Mrs. Stipes.  “The children here at Thomas Haley were very interested in learning about our organization, asked a lot of good questions, and of course they enjoyed seeing our mascot Kirby.  Wherever we go, he seems to be the star of the show.”

 

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) continued its Faith Groups Outreach program by partnering with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for a volunteer community service project at Running Bear Park on Saturday, May 2.  The project involved both a cleanup of the park and painting of several metal safety railings and the main entry gate.  A total of 88 volunteers participated, including 51 adults and 37 children, who gave 352 hours of service by collecting litter that had washed in from recent rains or by giving a fresh coat of paint to the fencing.  The group collected 360 pounds of trash, as well as 180 pounds of recyclables which were diverted from the landfill.

 

“We are enjoying our partnerships with more and more faith groups of all denominations,” said KIB Board member and Faith Groups Co-Chair Rachel Moon.  “We had a big turnout today with the LDS members, and it was great to see so many families spending their Saturday morning by giving back to the community.  Getting children involved in volunteering at an early age is so important, and it really becomes part of their way of life as they grow up.”

 

The City of Irving was also an important partner in this project.  The Parks Department provided materials and logistic support for the project, while Solid Waste Services provided a roll-off container for the volunteers to place their bags of trash and recyclables in, then weighed the materials after the cleanup was over.  Irving Community Television Network (ICTN), part of the city’s Communications Department, had a cameraman out to capture the volunteers in action. Code Enforcement Manager Darrell Hammond commented on this by saying, “This is a perfect example of city staff working together toward a common goal.  We had internal partnerships among the different city departments, which combined with KIB’s outreach to the faith community, led to a wonderful project like this.”

 

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) continued an Earth Month tradition by partnering with Contech Engineered Solutions for a two-day service project.  This year’s project was a cleanup of Trinity View Park, and took place on April 27 and 28.  A total of 18 Contech employee volunteers gave 72 hours of service and collected 660 pounds of litter and 220 pounds of recyclables from various areas of the park.  Solid Waste Services provided a roll-off container for the bags, and then weighed the materials.  The Parks Department provided logistic support for the project.

 

Each year, in honor of April being Earth Month, Contech offices across the country give their employees a day off to give back to the communities where they work.  The Irving office does this over two days, with half the staff working one day, and the other half the next.  Their first collaboration with KIB was a paint project at the historic Jackie Townsell Bear Creek Center in 2011, and subsequent years saw this enthusiastic group painting at Lively Pointe Youth Center, cleaning at River Hills Park and planting trees at the city’s Tree Farm at Mountain Creek Preserve.

 

“Contech is a great example of the kind of company we like to see here in Irving,” said KIB Board Member Rachel Moon.  “They put an emphasis on building community relations and caring about the environment.  We are always pleased when they come back year after year to partner with KIB, and the community really reaps the benefits of their volunteerism.”

 

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 Saturday, April 18, the Irving Lake Association held its annual spring cleanup of Lake Vilbig, an event, along with the fall cleanup, that has taken place for over 20 years.  Another long standing tradition is the partnership with Keep Irving Beautiful (KIB), which provides supplies – litter pickers, trash and recycle bags, gloves and safety vests – for the volunteers who take boats, canoes and kayaks out on the lake to collect litter.  KIB also coordinates with the Hunter Ferrell Landfill to allow access and provide weights of materials collected.  The volunteers were joined by members of KIB’s North Lake College Service Learning team who helped to make the south Irving lake cleaner and more beautiful for not just the people who live on Lake Vilbig, but also for the fish and other wildlife who call it home.  The group collected over 1,000 pounds of trash and recyclable material from the lake and shoreline, as well as two small boats and 200 pounds of wood. 

 

“Our relationship with the Irving Lake Association has been an enjoyable and mutually beneficial partnership over the years,” said KIB Board Member Arnold Martin. “They really care about Lake Vilbig and work hard to keep it clean and environmentally healthy.  It’s a pleasure to support their efforts, and it’s also nice to be able to offer our student volunteers an opportunity to assist in the cleanups.”

 

 

     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 is asking for nominations to be submitted for the 2015 “Mayor and KIB Proud Partners Awards.”  These awards honor local individuals, organizations and businesses that have gone above and beyond in making significant contributions towards making Irving a better place to live, work, play or visit.  KIB calls them their “environmental stars” and will recognize the winners at a reception on Monday, August 10.  Categories include:

  • Youth Leadership
  • Educator
  • Faith Group
  • Civic Organization
  • Business and Industry
  • Media
  • Lifetime Achievement
  • Civil Servant
  • Green Government
  • KIB Hometown

 

Detailed descriptions of each award, a list of previous year’s winners, and the current nomination form can be found by going to www.keepirvingbeautiful.org. Nominations can be submitted online, or can be downloaded, printed and mailed to the KIB office at: 

Keep Irving Beautiful
3000 Rock Island Road
Irving, TX 75060

For more information, please contact the KIB at 972-721-2175, or email info@rockthegreen.org.

 

Nominations must be received by Wednesday, June 17, 2015.

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On Saturday, April 11, Keep Irving Beautiful held the “Don’t Mess with Texas Trash-Off” at Trinity View Park, their contribution to the state’s signature event for the “Great American Cleanup.”  A total of 261 volunteers – 160 adults and 101 youth – gave a combined 783 hours of service as they removed litter from creek beds, tree lines and wooded areas of the park, performing the very important task of keeping trash out of the nearby Elm Fork of the Trinity River.  When the cleaning was done, the group had collected over 2220 pounds of litter and 1020 pounds of recyclables. Several City of Irving departments were instrumental in the success of this event, including Parks for ground support and logistic guidance, Solid Waste Services for providing the roll-off container and weighing the materials, and Code Enforcement for providing the equipment to transport all the materials collected to a central location at the park.  A team of volunteers from Code Enforcement and Housing and Human Services prepared and served a hot dog lunch, which featured chips donated by Frito-Lay’s Irving facility, a long-time sponsor of KIB activities.  Other sponsors of the event included VHA, Inc., PlayTri, Kroger, Rambler Newspapers, Irving Family YMCA, North Lake College, Arnold Brothers Wood Products, Dr. Elba Garcia, Texas Trees Foundation and Fast Signs Las Colinas. 

     “This may look like just a day in the park here in Irving, but it is part of a much bigger picture,” said KIB Board President Scott Wilson. “Affiliates all over Texas are conducting their own Trash-Offs today, and throughout the spring, communities across the United States will be holding a variety of Great American Cleanup events.  Our partnerships with Keep Texas Beautiful and the Texas Department of Transportation as well as nationally with Keep America Beautiful really connect our volunteers with others who have the same passion for improving their environment.”

      Keep America Beautiful’s “Great American Cleanup,” the nation’s largest annual community improvement program, runs from March 1 through May 31 and harnesses the power of volunteers to build vibrant communities.  In 2014, more than 4 million volunteers in over 20,000 communities gave 7.9 million hours of service in Great American Cleanup activities like cleanups, tree plantings and other beautification initiatives, with an estimated $179 million in measurable benefits to the communities 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.  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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A fun day at the new South Irving Library Grand Opening

Keep Irving Beautiful and North Lake College students from the Service Learning Program were in attendance at the Grand Opening of the new South Irving Library on Saturday, March 21.  Students dressed as KIB’s toucan mascot Kirby (Keep Irving Recycling and Beautiful Year-Round) and Buddy the Blue Recycling Bag as well as characters from children’s books like Curious George and Waldo entertained the children and adults in attendance and posed for many photos during the day.  Students also served as greeters and passed out programs to attendees who were interested in seeing the many amenities the new library has to offer.  In total, the six student volunteers gave 22 hours of time at this event.

 

“We love to help out at city events whenever we can, and what a wonderful event this library opening was,” said KIB Board member Rachel Moon.  “We are fortunate to have a group of North Lake students each spring and fall semester who enjoy giving back to the community in a variety of activities that we offer them. These students did a great job today, and the children just loved seeing the mascots and characters.” 

 

Keep Irving Beautiful (KIB) 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.  If you or your organization would like to participate in a community service project with Keep Irving Beautiful, please visit www.keepirvingbeautiful.org to view a calendar of upcoming events, or just call the office at 972-721-2175. We want your KIB volunteer experience to be the best possible, and we look forward to working alongside anyone who has the desire to help make our community a better, cleaner and greener place to live, work and play.

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Nimitz FFA students and Faculty advisor at Trinity View Park

Since 1948, Future Farmers of America chapters at schools across the country have celebrated “National FFA Week” during the week of Washington’s Birthday, in recognition of our first president’s legacy as an agriculturist and farmer. The Nimitz High School FFA chapter chose to kick off the week by partnering with Keep Irving Beautiful (KIB) and the Parks Department for a service project at Trinity View Park.  Also participating in the event were North Lake College students from both the Service Learning Program and the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society.  In total, 37 adult and teen volunteers gave 148 hours of service on Saturday, February 21, in a project which involved both painting and collecting litter.  Volunteers who were on the cleanup teams collected over 234 pounds of trash and recyclables from different areas of the park.  The paint crews gave a fresh coat of yellow paint to the handrails and boundary markers at the football fields, and brightened up the nearby pavilion with green paint. 

 

“As a former member of FFA myself, I am proud that the Nimitz group decided to work with us again this year,” said KIB Board Member Arnold Martin.  “FFA Week involves a number of activities that promote the organization while emphasizing education and giving back to the community through service projects.  Inviting the North Lake students to join in was a great idea, and it was nice to see everyone working together to make the park a nicer place for the many people who visit.”

 

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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Volunteers of all ages can help at KIB cleanups

The Great American Cleanup (GAC), sponsored by Keep America Beautiful, is the nation’s largest community improvement program.  From March 1 through May 31, millions of volunteers are engaged in service activities which create a positive impact and lasting change in their local communities.  Keep Irving Beautiful (KIB) is one of many organizations who participate each year by hosting a spring cleanup known as the “Don’t Mess with Texas Trash-Off.”  As the name would suggest, this is supported by the Texas Department of Transportation and Keep Texas Beautiful, and is known as the state’s signature event of the GAC.  While volunteers are acting locally, they are part of a much bigger picture state and nation-wide, and the results have been impressive.

 

In 2014, KIB’s Trash-Off was held at Trinity View Park on April 5, where 240 volunteers gave 720 hours of service and collected 4,500 pounds of trash and 370 pounds of recyclables.  Statewide, 2,735 Trash-Off events were held on or near that same date, with over 100,000 volunteers cleaning 8,839 miles of road while collecting over 6.7 million pounds of trash.  On a national level during the three-month GAC reporting period, 2 million volunteers gave 7.9 million hours of time in collecting 37 million pounds of trash.  They also planted 41,000 trees, cleaned 108,000 parks and public lands and recycled 71 million plastic bottles.

 

This year, KIB will once again be hosting the Trash-Off at Trinity View Park on April 11, from 9:00 a.m. to noon, and invites the community to participate.  “We encourage volunteers of all ages to join us for the Trash-Off,” said KIB Board Member Rachel Moon.  “It is so rewarding to help make your own community cleaner and more beautiful, and it is also nice to know that you are joining with millions of others across Texas and the United States in the common goal of taking care of our environment.”

 

 

Please visit www.keepirvingbeautiful.org to view a calendar of upcoming events, and to register for the Don’t Mess with Texas Trash-Off.  For additional information, please call the KIB office at 972-721-2175.

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KIB's Rick Hose and Julie Schmitt accepted the Affiliate Award

Keep Irving Beautiful (KIB), along with its community partner Lady Bird Johnson Middle School, were recently honored at the 2015 Keep America Beautiful (KAB) National Conference held in Washington, D.C. from January 26 to 29. KIB received a Second Place National Affiliate Award in the largest population category of 200,001 and above. This award recognizes KIB’s commitment to “delivering a cleaner, greener and more vibrant community.” KIB also received the “President’s Circle” designation, which is the highest level an affiliate can achieve.  It represents the dedication of KIB board, volunteers and staff in fulfilling numerous requirements.

 

Irving ISD’s Lady Bird Johnson Middle School received a First Place Youth Service Award in the School Program category. KIB nominated the “net-zero” school for the many innovative ways they have integrated the energy saving (and producing) building’s features into the curriculum.  Students at Johnson Middle School and from other schools throughout the district use the building as a hands-on, living laboratory where they learn about water, solar, wind and geothermal energy.  The school, which serves as a prototype for other net-zero schools across the world, was appropriately named to honor the First Lady who brought beautification and environmental awareness to the nation’s consciousness.

 

“Speaking on behalf of everyone associated with Keep Irving Beautiful, these are great honors for our affiliate and our community,” said KIB Board Vice President Jim Scrivner. “Here in Irving we know what great things are happening with our local affiliate and partners, but it is also nice to see those good deeds and accomplishments recognized on a national stage.  We’re very proud of KIB and of Lady Bird Johnson Middle School, and feel they are quite deserving of these accolades.”

 

Please visit www.keepirvingbeautiful.org to find out more about KIB or to view a calendar of upcoming events.  If you or your organization would like to participate in a community service project with Keep Irving Beautiful, just call the office at 972-721-2175. We want your KIB volunteer experience to be the best possible, and we look forward to working alongside anyone who has the desire to help make our community a better, cleaner and greener place to live, work and play.