Port Aransas was named one of just 10 winners of the 2010 Governor’s Community Achievement Award, a program created in partnership with Keep Texas Beautiful and the Texas Department of Transportation.
The GCAA recognizes Port Aransas as having the best grassroots environmental program in the state in its population category (3,001 to 5,500). Winning communities will share $2 million in landscape funds from TxDOT. Port Aransas will receive $110,000 for a landscaping project along a local state highway right-of-way.
Communities submitted materials and judges chose winners based on their achievements in seven environmental and community improvement areas: Community leadership and coordination, education, public awareness, litter prevention and cleanup, illegal dumping enforcement, beautification and property improvement and solid waste management.
The GCAA program has recognized outstanding communities for 24 years, with TxDOT providing landscaping funds since 1985.
Port Aransas will receive its award during KTB’s 43rd annual conference June 21- 24, at the AT&T Executive Education and Conference Center in Austin. The winners will be recognized on the final day at a gala dinner.
KPAB co-chairs Mike and Darlene Secich, treasurer Jack Dreessen and board members Pam Greene and Suzanne McCann will represent KPAB and Port Aransas at the conference and accept the award. Greene and McCann were the principles in presenting the Port Aransas entry to KTB.
Secich said that he envisions a “committee of community representatives to discuss plans and options,” as to how to implement the landscaping project once funds are disbursed.
“The credit goes to the whole community,” he said, and he would like “to get a community consensus” on how it could best be spent.
This is not the first, nor even second time Port Aransas has won the GCAA. It was awarded first place and $20,000 in 1988 and again in 1992, winning first place and $30,000.
Funds were used both times to improve the ferry landing on the Port Aransas side, installing median planters and trees. The first project was destroyed when the landing was improved, so in 1992, they used the funds again to beautify the landing, according to Greene.
The mission of KPAB is to promote public interest to create a cleaner, more beautiful Port Aransas through volunteerism and education. It is an all-volunteer, non-profit organization focused on litter reduction, beautification and community improvement, “reduce-reuse-recycle and rebuy” and environmental education.