KCCB, Five Hills royalty team up to clean up park graffiti KCCB, Five Hills royalty team up to clean up park graffiti

By BRITTANY FHOLER
Cove Leader-Press

Titleholders with the Copperas Cove Five Hills Scholarship Pageant Program gathered early Saturday morning to beautify Rhode Park with a graffiti cleanup and track pickup, with the aid of Keep Copperas Cove Beautiful. 
Junior Mister Five Hills Nathan Garner and his fellow titleholders jumped into getting their hands dirty by picking up trash and painting over graffiti in the drainage tract near Rhode Park. 
As Junior Mister Five Hills, Garner’s platform of service is Keep Copperas Cove Beautiful. 
Garner has participated in other trash pickups hosted by KCCB as well as collected markers and broken crayons from schools to be recycled and used for the upcoming Spring Eco Fling typically held in February. 
“It’s important to me because Earth is the only planet we have, and we need to help protect it,” Garner said. 
Garner is also in Boy Scouts, which follows the protocol of “Leave No Trace”. Cleaning up the area and painting over graffiti helps bring the park back to the way it is supposed to be. 
“Leave No Trace means the only thing that people know that you were there was what would be your footprints maybe,” Garner said. 
Garner said his favorite part was painting over graffiti and also finding things that didn’t belong. Some of the items picked up included two books, a key, a toy and other trash. 
The royalty have partnered with Keep Copperas Cove Beautiful for a couple of years now, according to KCCB Executive Director Roxanne Flores-Achmad. 
“We don’t like cleaning graffiti, but we love the opportunity to partner with them,” Flores-Achmad said. “They provide the volunteers. They come out and clean up the graffiti, but what I love about the royalty is not only do they clean the graffiti, they like to clean the surrounding areas i.e., pick up the trash, and so it’s about not just removing graffiti but beautifying the section or the area that they’re in and helping to make a difference in our community.”
Flores-Achmad also praised the efforts of Garner and all royalty who choose KCCB as their platform of service while serving as a titleholder. 
“Every year when a new royalty comes on board, we’re super excited when one selects Keep Copperas Cove Beautiful for their platform because one, we love working with the royalty. We believe in what their platform is of ‘More than a beauty pageant,’ and so we’re just honored that they selected us, and anytime we can work together and enrich our partnership, it’s a win-win situation.” 
Flores-Achmad said she works with the Public Works Department to determine which park or public space to clean up. The Public Works Department keeps track of which areas have graffiti, and Flores-Achmad said she does a site survey to determine which space is safest for volunteers of all ages to participate in cleaning up. 
“We want them to be safe while they’re making a difference in their community,” Flores-Achmad added. 
If others are interested in cleaning up graffiti or trash, they are encouraged to reach out to Keep Copperas Cove Beautiful to collaborate, and KCCB will provide all the supplies for a clean-up. 
To contact KCCB, either call 254-547-4242 or email KCCB@copperascovetx.gov

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