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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.

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Phi Theta Kappa officers Diana Moreno and Jenny Maique volunteered by painting handrails at the Trinity View Park football fields.

Keep Irving Beautiful (KIB), the award-winning local affiliate of both Keep America and Keep Texas Beautiful, invites you to participate with the board, staff and fellow volunteers in helping to give back to the community through a variety of activities.  Examples of previous KIB projects include:

 

  • Park Cleanups – KIB hosts two major cleanups each year, the Don’t Mess with Texas Trash-Off in the spring and the Trash Bash in the fall.  In addition, smaller scale events with your group (corporate, faith-based, scouts or other youth, neighborhood associations) can be organized
  • Paint Projects -  Last year, KIB volunteers helped at 11 projects at Irving’s parks and recreation centers, and there is always more painting to be done
  • Community Gardening – KIB maintains a raised bed at the Gerald Taylor Memorial Garden at Bear Creek Church
  • Tree Planting – Projects at the city’s Mountain Creek Preserve Tree Farm will ensure that our parks will have native trees for the future 
  • Community Events – KIB supports city-sponsored events and makes them “green” by providing recycling stations.  Opportunities are also available to educate attendees at the KIB table with the prize wheel
  • River Cleanups – Explore the flora and fauna of the Elm Fork of the Trinity River as you collect litter along the way
  • Irving ISD School Events – Festivals, Career Days, Health Fairs and Environmental Skit performances are some of the ways KIB helps at Irving schools
  • Adopt-a-Spot Program – Individuals, families or organizations “adopt” a location and agree to take care of their spot by picking up litter weekly or at least once a month.  You can set your own schedule as you do your part to keep your neighborhood clean.

 

 

“What’s great about KIB is that anyone can find a volunteer opportunity that fits their interest or best uses their skills,” said KIB Board member Kelly Horn.  “We offer a variety of programs throughout the year that volunteers can choose from, which might be indoors or outdoors, interacting with the public or working behind the scenes, or involving physical activity of varying degrees.  Everyone is able to find some way to give back to their community, and that’s what we’re all about at KIB. We hope you’ll come join us in 2015.”

 

Please visit www.keepirvingbeautiful.org 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.

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You can contribute to KIB in many ways. This group of volunteers cooked and served hot dog lunches to the cleanup teams at the Trash Bash.

Keep Irving Beautiful (KIB) celebrated another successful year in 2014 educating the community in its three main focus areas – litter abatement, beautification and recycling.  KIB hosted two major cleanups, the “Don’t Mess with Texas Trash-Off” in April at Trinity View Park and the 23rd annual Trash Bash in September at T.W. Richardson Grove, which together drew over 850 volunteers.  Combined with results from smaller scale cleanups with corporate, school, neighborhood associations and faith group partners, KIB volunteers removed over 13,500 pounds of litter. 

 

In the area of beautification, KIB volunteers were very active in giving Irving parks and recreation centers a fresh look in eleven different paint projects.  The popular Fritz Park Petting Farm was “adopted” by KIB, and in projects with North Lake Phi Theta Kappa, Canon, Verizon and the Irving Bible Church, the park fences and buildings were completed.  KIB took a similar approach at Senter Park, the city’s original recreation center, which was painted in five projects by AmeriCorps, Allstate, Microsoft and VHA volunteers.  KIB volunteers also participated in two planting projects at the Mountain Creek Preserve Tree Farm, resulting in 231 native trees which will one day be used to replenish the tree population as needed in parks.  Planting was also the theme at the Gerald Taylor Memorial Community Garden at Bear Creek Church, with KIB and dozens of other groups or individuals maintaining raised beds and helping to provide fresh produce to the church’s food pantry. 

 

KIB promoted recycling at 18 “green events,” where recycling stations were provided and attendees were encouraged to keep grounds litter-free. At events like Community Fest and 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.  At the PlayTri Festival Triathlon, KIB’s volunteers not only collected recyclables at the finish line area, but went a step further in diverting waste from the landfill by adding the collection of organic materials, such as banana peels and apple cores, for composting. 

 

KIB’s year was highlighted when Irving won the prestigious Governor’s Community Achievement Award from the Texas Department of Transportation and Keep Texas Beautiful.  According to KIB Board member Arnold Martin, this speaks to the dedication of volunteers.  “When you look at what KIB has accomplished during 2014, you realize how important our volunteers are,” said Martin.  “It is so encouraging to see people of all ages and from so many different backgrounds working together toward the goal of taking care of our environment and making Irving more beautiful.  They gave over 4,200 hours of their time, and for that, we thank them very much.”

 

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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When Dr. Elba Garcia was campaigning for the office of District 4 County Commissione, she made a promise to donate a portion of her annual salary to non-profits that make a difference in the community.  Since being elected and taking office in 2011, she has kept her promise, and has donated over $64,000 to numerous organizations over the past three years.  This year, Keep Irving Beautiful (KIB) was one of twenty recipients of Dr. Garcia’s generosity. On December 10, KIB Coordinator Rick Hose and staff member Julie Schmitt attended a contribution ceremony in the Commissioners Courtroom at the Dallas County Administration Building and accepted a check from Dr. Garcia in recognition of KIB’s service to the residents of Dallas County.

 

“We are very grateful that Dr. Garcia chose Keep Irving Beautiful for this donation,” said KIB Board member Dr. Yolanda Romero. “Her dedication to and love of the community she serves are inspiring, and the act of giving back to that community serves as a wonderful example to others.  We are proud to say that Dr. Elba Garcia is a friend of 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. 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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    Keep Irving Beautiful continued its tradition of partnering with the Irving Family YMCA for “America Recycles Day,” a nationwide program sponsored by Keep America Beautiful.  KIB supplied the City of Irving blue bags along with fliers which explained what types of materials could or could not be recycled, and the seniors group supplied the energy. They began bringing in recyclable materials at the beginning of November, and KIB weighed and recorded the amounts.  When all was tallied, the seniors had recycled 613 pounds of material which was diverted from the landfill.  Across the country, thousands of volunteers were also participating and took a recycling pledge to continue recycling throughout the year.

     KIB visited the YMCA on Friday, November 21, to thank the seniors and present a copy of the official America Recycles Day Proclamation from President Obama. The proclamation calls upon all Americans to strengthen their “reduce, reuse and recycle” efforts by learning what can be recycled, reducing their personal waste and increasing their own recycling, and encouraging at least one other person to take the recycling pledge.  To date, nearly 50,000 people have taken the pledge, which is available at http://americarecyclesday.org/pledge.

     KIB Board member Rachel Torrez-Moon commented on the spirit of the event.  “While the official America Recycles Day is November 15, KIB encourages everyone to make recycling a part of everyday life,” he said.  “The seniors here at the YMCA look forward to collecting their recyclables, and we enjoy celebrating their results.  They do a great job, and deserve to be acknowledged.”

     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.  For more information or to find out how your group can participate in a volunteer 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) and the North Lake College Service Learning Program partnered with the City of Irving Parks and Recreation Department for a Veterans Day project at Senter Park.  On Tuesday, November 11, volunteers and KIB staff painted upstairs at the center, adding coats of cream, and very fittingly on this holiday, “rich navy” paint.  Senter Park, Irving’s first recreation center, has been a special focus for KIB over the past few years, and they have partnered with several different groups for projects both indoors and outdoors.

 

KIB Coordinator Rick Hose found it fitting to hold a service project on the day when we honor our veterans.  “On Veterans Day, we pay tribute those who have given great service to our country,” he said.  “We feel it is important to offer opportunities to our volunteers to give back to their communities on a local level.  That volunteer spirit is part of what makes our country so great.”

 

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 City of Irving’s Tree Farm at Mountain Creek Preserve has 41 more trees now, thanks to the generosity of United Parcel Service (UPS) and the UPS Foundation.  Earlier this year, Keep Irving Beautiful (KIB) applied for and received a $5,000 community planting grant funded by the UPS Foundation through a partnership with Keep America Beautiful.  This was used to purchase native tree varieties from the Texas Trees Foundation. On Saturday, November 8, seven volunteers, who gave twenty-two hours of service, along with Parks Department and KIB staff, planted those trees at the tree farm. They will remain at the farm for several years, and later be used to replace trees as they are needed in the city’s parks.

 

The UPS Foundation, founded in 1951, is the philanthropic arm of UPS.  Since launching their Global Forestry Initiative in 2011, they have planted more than 3 million trees across 47 countries to support environmental sustainability.  KIB’s grant was one of 30 awarded to Keep America Beautiful affiliates in 2014, with the goal of planting, protecting and preserving trees in urban and rural areas.  Irving city councilman Allan Meagher, who is a UPS employee, was the liaison between KIB and UPS for this project.

 

KIB Board member Karen Harmon, who also serves on the city’s Tree Board, remarked on the project by saying, “Since becoming a Tree City USA city, Irving has increased its emphasis on planting and preserving its native trees.  This project is a great example of that, as well as one of partnership.  Today’s event was made possible by KIB partnering with the UPS Foundation, Keep America Beautiful, the Texas Trees Foundation, the Parks Department, and North Lake College students, who all came here for the purpose of helping ensure that our tree population will be replenished in the future.”

 

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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Friday evening, October 24, the grounds of the Irving Family YMCA were transformed into the annual Fall Festival, with hundreds of attendees dressed in costumes reflecting the theme of “Disney Heroes and Villains.”  Keep Irving Beautiful was there to help make this a “Green Event” by providing recycling stations throughout the area, along with signs in English and Spanish reminding everyone to put trash and recyclables in their proper receptacles. KIB also had a table with a spinning wheel where visitors answered questions about the environment.  Prizes were recycled books, generously donated by the Friends of the Irving Public Library.   Four North Lake College Service Learning students who are working with KIB this semester gave 12.5 hours of volunteer time by running the table, monitoring the recycling and keeping the grounds litter free.

 

Board member Rachel Moon also represented KIB at the event, and had this to say about the evening.  “The YMCA is a great organization, and one of our longtime partners, that does so much good in the community.  The Fall Festival is a wonderful and safe way for families to enjoy this time of year, and we at KIB are happy that they ask us to be a part of it.  It’s not only fun, but also educational.”

 

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 next event a “green event” please go to www.keepirvingbeautiful.org, or call the KIB office at 972-721-2175.

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The bible study group from Irving Bible Church (I.B.C.) along with North Lake College service learning students partnered with the City of Irving Parks & Recreation Department and Keep Irving Beautiful (KIB) for a beautification project at Fritz Petting Farm. The volunteers brought not only their cheerful can do attitude but also some wonderful weather. The group had a perfect sunny October morning to add a fresh coat of paint to the multi-rail metal fence at the entrance to the petting farm. In addition to the entrance area they were also able to paint some internal fencing that houses the animals. The 14 adult volunteers donated 42 hours of service helping to make the petting farm a more beautiful location for visitors to enjoy.                            

 

Keep Irving Beautiful Board Member Arnold Martin, who also serves as the committee chair for the faith outreach division stated that “partnering with groups like the Irving Bible Church can and does make a difference in our community. When you add that volunteer spirit from I.B.C. with the energy from the college students good results are going to happen. We would like to thank Jan and Patrick Moody with I.B.C. for coordinating the volunteers and also the Parks Department for helping us plan this worthwhile project.”

 

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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Keep Irving Beautiful board and staff members Margie Stipes, Rachel Torrez-Moon, Julie Schmitt and Rick Hose recently completed the annual city-wide Community Appearance Index Survey.  Each October, a group of four scorers drives the exact same nine routes in the city, which have been divided into four areas.  The areas are scored on a 1 to 4 scale based on how much litter is seen, with 1 being very clean, and 4 being extremely littered. The averages are then calculated and compared to the baseline data from the initial survey in 2001. This year’s results showed that litter has decreased by 30% over the past thirteen years. 

  “The final numbers back up the initial visual impression that we had when we were doing the survey, which is that overall litter has definitely decreased,” said board member Margie Stipes.  “We’d like to think that KIB’s tradition of partnering with our residents and various City of Irving departments is paying off with a cleaner, less littered community.  The City’s Litter Team and Litter Hotline Program have greatly contributed to improving our community’s appearance.  KIB-sponsored programs that focus on litter abatement, such as our Adopt-a-Spot program,  gets families, schools, businesses, youth and faith groups involved in keeping areas clean and beautiful, and our land and waterway cleanups raise awareness of how important it is to put trash in its proper place and recycle what we can.”

  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.  For more information, please go to the KIB website, www.keepirvingbeautiful.org, or call the KIB office at 972-721-2175.