Keep Copperas Cove Beautiful began in 2002 and currently has fifteen members, appointed by City Council as Commissioners. Our Commissioners represent the community, and we are fortunate to have a diverse group of individuals that bring new ideas to the table. I have been in my position as Executive Director for two years and have learned a lot about this great city that is referred to as the “City Built for Family Living.” The City of Copperas Cove and its residents really embrace Keep Copperas Cove Beautiful and work alongside us. As Executive Director, my philosophy has been to offer the same events to the community each year, while encouraging the board to implement something new for each program or event. It may be changing the start time, or shortening the volunteer time, or simply changing a food item. I have always felt we can’t grow as an organization or as an individual if we don’t try to embrace change and adapt to new challenges.
This past year, with the COVID-19 pandemic, we were challenged to create a new slate of projects and events. The pandemic brought on new and different opportunities so now was the time to think outside of the box. Before we could tackle new initiatives, we needed to complete our list of projects that we always wanted to do but did not have time or resources for in years past. First on the list was Avenue D Landscaping.
Avenue D. Landscaping
This was a project that was discussed for several years but never moved from the idea stage. A few events had been canceled due to the pandemic, which left additional funding to support this project. We met with Master Gardeners and came up with a plan to beautify our Avenue D intersections. One challenge we faced was that that two of the six locations were not near irrigation, so we could no longer plant what he had initially planned for. We decided to place native plants in a few locations. The others were planted with a Southwestern theme of cactus, succulents, and pea gravel. In our final planter, we placed artificial flowers. The goal was to show residents how accessible and beautiful plants are to the community. We were happy with our final product and the residents enjoyed volunteering to help install these planters along Avenue D. Despite being a labor-intensive project, we had a record number of volunteers show up, ready to plant.
Texas Arbor Day
In the past, KCCB planted memorial trees as part of Texas Arbor Day. This year, we needed to plant a few plants left over from our Avenue D landscaping. KCCB decided to do another community-wide beautification project instead of memorial tree planting. We learned that the local police department had a wishlist item to have landscaping done around their department. We were excited to take on this project, especially when we found out irrigation was already on site. Designs were drafted and it was decided that this project would be completed in two phases. The first phase was the front of the police department and second phase was the back of the police department. Over ten community groups showed up and planted over 80 plants and trees. Many resources were donated and we even had a DJ present to play music and create a fun atmosphere for the volunteers.
2020 may be soon over but as we reflect, we remember the new programs or events we offered:
- Graffiti cleanup with local youth
- Community painting project of 61 picnic tables
- A week of Virtual Earth Day events
- Contactless cleanups
- Avenue D Landscaping
- Community-Wide Shred Day
- Craft and go events
- Holiday DIY Ornament Class online
- KCCB Mask fundraiser for scholarships
A few new projects were brought to life, while others were adapted to fit COVID-19 safety guidelines. What did not change is the continued support of our community and volunteers. Here’s to 2021 and we look forward to the challenges we will face and the growth we will achieve.