Keep Copperas Cove Beautiful concludes spring cleanup season
Fri, 2016-06-17 05:00 News Staff
By LYNETTE SOWELL
The 2016 Great American Cleanup is now history and Silvia Rhoads, Executive Director of Keep Copperas Cove Beautiful, shared the statistics for KCCB’s participation in the event during last Monday night’s monthly meeting of the KCCB board.
Rhoads told the board that this report for the city’s Great American Cleanup participation will help KCCB retain its Gold Star status as an affiliate of Keep Texas Beautiful.
Just during the three-month period of the cleanup, Rhoads said KCCB held or participated in 16 events that included 223 volunteers spending 515 hours.
“We collected 1,480 pounds of litter from two miles of roadway. We cleaned two miles of roadway, three community recreation areas were cleaned or restored and one mile of waterway was cleaned,” Rhoads said.
The events included the Don’t Mess With Texas Trash-Off, the annual Waterway Cleanup, during which the group cleaned the creek crossing under F.M. 116 South. The Trash-Off included cleaning up the side of Business 190 across from Wal-Mart as well as the property across Constitution Drive.
In all, the events resulted in 100 pounds of recyclables as well.
“Now that may not sound like a lot, but that’s plastic bottles and aluminum cans,” Rhoads said.
During the City Wide Cleanup, the group received 23 tires and 460 pounds of electronics were turned in to be recycled.
During the spring cleanup season, KCCB also participated with Hills of Cove Golf Course volunteers and JROTC students to plant two trees, two shrubs and 25 plants as part of a golf course beautification project at the golf course welcome sign.
“We also held nine education and outreach events, with 213 adults in attendance and 1,620 children educated,” Rhoads said, with KCCB’s participation in Earth Day activities on Fort Hood as well as in the city of Gatesville.
In what she called “three general awareness events,” KCCB reached out to as many as 20,193 people with its Rabbit Fest booth, during Meet the City, as well as hosted the April mixer for the Copperas Cove Chamber of Commerce.
“We included Rabbit Fest, with a low estimate of that event of around 20,000, with the others coming from the Meet the City event and the chamber mixer.”
Along with its Great American Cleanup report, Rhoads said the group submitted a picture of the most unusual item picked up during the spring.
“Our most unusual item was a broken Lego with a snail on it,” Rhoads said. “If it is chosen, the person gets recognition from Keep Texas Beautiful.”
With the Trash-Off statistics in the report, those numbers included 59 volunteers for two miles of roadway, collecting 520 pounds of trash and included five pictures from that event.
Rhoads admits this season has been a bit busier for the group.
“Our average is usually between 11 and 13 things. This was a lot and it was a very busy spring season for us,” she said. “So this will keep us in good standing like we want to be, and those numbers are what Keep America Beautiful and Keep Texas Beautiful and uses for the information sheet they put out to the public.”
In 2015, the Great American Cleanup had 20,000 cities participate nationwide, with 1,500 Texas cities participating.
The reason Rhoads keeps such careful numbers is to also compile for KCCB’s portfolio for its application for the Governor’s Community Achievement Award.
In 2013, the group won a share of $2 million in landscape funding from the Texas Department of Transportation in the form of a $210,000 grant which will be used for roadway beatification on a TxDOT roadway in Copperas Cove. The 2013 funding is going to construct part of the first phase of the Business 190 median project, which will feature colored pavers along with drought resistant flowering plants. The final plan for this first section hasn’t been adopted by the city council as of yet.
GCAA winners must “sit out” of the competition for the following two years after a win, so 2016 is the first year for which KCCB is eligible to win the GCAA again. That’s what the group is striving for this year, and although it wasn’t eligible for the award in 2015, it did receive feedback and scoring for its 2015 GCAA portfolio.
For 2015, the group improved its score to a 96.51, up from 2014’s score of 95. Areas that were suggested to work on for this year included showing evidence of community pride and positive economic development, along with showing any partnerships KCCB has with local businesses.
During last week’s meeting, the group brainstormed ways to reach out to local businesses for event support. Recently it has also discussed ways to assist the Copperas Cove Economic Development Corporation for a cleanup in The Narrows, such as in advance of when a prospective company visits the site. KCCB is also focusing on supporting the city’s Code Compliance department to help reduce nuisances as well as illegal dumping in the city.