Members of the volunteer group, Keep Friendswood Beautiful (KFB), along with members of the City of Friendswood Parks and Recreation staff were in Fort Worth Tuesday (June 16) to receive the 2015 Governor’s Community Achievement Award.
With the award recognizing outstanding community improvement came a $210,000 prize. Since learning of the award in March, members of KFB have been developing specific ideas of how to spend the landscape funding from the Texas Department of Transportation.
“For seven years, Keep Friendswood Beautiful has been an active and hard working part of our community. It is great that those efforts are visible in our city. On behalf of all KFB members, past and present, I want to thank Keep Texas Beautiful and the Texas Department of Transportation for the recognition of our efforts and look forward to doing more to ‘Keep Friendswood Beautiful’ with the funding that accompanies the award,” said Sherry Goen, Chairperson of Keep Friendswood Beautiful.
Friendswood was one of ten cities to be honored by Keep Texas Beautiful, including Dickinson and Houston.
“Although this is the first time that Keep Friendswood Beautiful has won First Place in the Governor’s Community Achievement Award, KFB has always been a winner in our community. I appreciate the way KFB members engage and utilize volunteers of all ages and skills with such a wide range of activities, and congratulate KFB for making a positive difference in our City,” said Friendswood City Manager Roger Roecker.
KFB functions under the direction of the City’s Parks and Recreation Department. Their stated mission is: “To enhance the aesthetic appearance of Friendswood and encourage residents to take an active role in maintaining that appearance.” KFB volunteers work all year to support that mission.
For example, in 2014, KFB launched the “Make Your Bed” landscape project. Individuals and business owners support downtown revitalization by sponsoring median bed landscaping. Also last year, 150 native trees were given out to citizens. Master Gardeners educated residents on planting beautification and composting. KFB’s ongoing Solar Light Project is an opportunity for citizens and businesses to donate lights for the jogging trail.
KFB provides and supports environmental education for kids, ranging from pre-school through college. “Figgy,” KFB’s mascot, encourages young children to participate in clean ups with parents.
KFB supports the students’ recycling efforts and environmental education by providing supplies, recycling bins, assisting with grant proposals, presentations, and sponsorship connections. In the classroom, teachers incorporate the “Waste In Place” curriculum, “Litter Force” materials and “Project Wild” lessons into environmental studies.
Friendswood High School students lead the way in innovative environmental initiatives. Students have Recycling Clubs, they maintain campus gardens and participate in local cleanup activities. College students are invited to serve on the KFB board.
To promote Friendswood’s litter prevention and clean up campaigns presentations are provided for schools, businesses, organizations, and residents. Also, trash bags, litter reduction brochures, and recycling bins are available at major events. These efforts have resulted in a great impact on the community and the environment with the group logging 6 cleanup events in 2014, with 250 volunteers working more than 1,500 hours, and 620 citizens participating!
Current members of KFB are: Katy Blanchard, Chris Chism, Kaye Corey, Martha Cotton, Kate Cross, Sara Eakin, Frank Garza, Sherry Goen, Paul Marx, Natasha McAdoo, Todd Mendenhall, John T. Merrifield, Patricia Steinke, and Susan Stephens.