Keep Whitehouse Beautiful talks the talk and walks the walk

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Keep Whitehouse Beautiful (KWB) is a non-profit group affiliated with Keep Texas Beautiful and Keep America Beautiful. They have provided the funding for sidewalks to be put in along State Highway 110 which will extend from the front of Cain Elementary, just south of Stacy Drive, northward to Hagen Road. The money comes from a Governor’s Community Achievement Award (GCAA) which is provided through Keep Texas Beautiful. The award was granted to KWB in 2015, the sixth of such awards KWB has earned.

“It’s always in coordination with the city,” stated Dorothy LaFlure of KWB when asked how it was decided the funds would be spent on the sidewalk project. “They give their input on what is needed.”

The city and KWB concluded that sidewalks in the chosen location would benefit residents at the RV park and the nursing home as well as students who attend Cain Elementary.

The GCAA program rewards local affiliates based on achievements in seven areas including community leadership and coordination, public awareness, education, beautification and community improvement, litter prevention and cleanup, solid waste management and litter law and illegal dumping enforcement. Communities that receive the highest score in each category are named the winners.

The financial award associated with the GCAA is based on community population categories and KWB received $130,000 for the current sidewalk project. The funds from the GCAA must be spent on projects that are located on Texas Department of Transportation right-of-ways, according to LaFlure.

While KWB turns in an application for a rating each year, no affiliation can win the GCAA if they have already received it within the last three years. KWB has, however, earned a rating above 90 for the past three years which gives them a Sustained Excellence status.

KWB is also the sponsor for the annual Don’t Mess with Texas Trash-Off event which is slated for Saturday, April 14. Those interested in participating in the cleanup of Whitehouse roadways will meet at Whitehouse City Park beginning at 8 a.m. Individuals and groups will be provided trash bags and assigned to specific roadways. Participants are encouraged to bring their own gloves.

Breakfast for the event will be provided by KWB and lunch will be provided by Republic Services following the 11:30 a.m. finish time for the event. Both meals will be in the Whitehouse City Park. For those planning to assist with the Don’t Mess with Texas event, it is requested that participants register at register@keepwhitehousebeautiful.com by sending in the individual or group name, group leader, a contact email and contact phone number.

“We will be giving out T-shirts to the first 300 people,” LaFlure added.

Make certain to register and participate in the event to receive your shirt.

Other projects KWB has already participated in just this year include the cleanup of Gardenview Park and the proposed area for the city’s hike and bike trails, according to LaFlure. They continue to encourage community involvement in city beautification through their Business Hot Spot and Yard of the Month recognitions.

KWB holds regular meetings at 11:30 a.m. the second Monday of each month at the courthouse and the organization is always looking for new volunteers. For information about meetings or KWB events, visit keepwhitehousebeautiful.com, the facebook page Keep Whitehouse Beautiful or send an email to info@keepwhitehousebeautiful.com.

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