Over the last several years, we have been able to grow our organization due to the numerous volunteers and the support of so many great businesses and organizations. We have done events for National Make a Difference Day, Don’t mess with Texas® Trash-Off, Arbor Day tree planting, Harlingen’s Making a Difference Day, e-waste events, neighborhood cleanup events, and a recycling contest for our school district. We are so immensely proud of Harlingen Consolidated Independent School District and the partnership we have built with them. Every year, we welcome students to the recycling center for tours, or we visit campuses to do presentations. This past year, we had a group of students from one of our campuses comes up with an idea that not only feeds the homeless but also gets them to recycle. Another group of students developed a video titled, “Recycling in Harlingen is easy as 1,2, 3!” We also have an amazing source of volunteers from our local college, who we partner with on the National Make a Difference Day Event. Another group of volunteers come from the Marine Military Academy and they give their free time often to help out with our cemetery cleanup, e-Waste event or just give their Saturday to volunteer at the Recycling Center.
One of the greatest things we have been able to achieve amid COVID-19 is that we were awarded the Governor’s Community Achievement Award in 2020! This is the third time our organization has received this honor. As I mentioned above, we could not do any of the things we accomplish without our numerous volunteers who give so much of their time to our organization or without the partnerships we have built with the City of Harlingen, Harlingen Consolidated Independent School District, Texas State Technical College and Marine Military Academy. So many of our projects are done in partnership with the City of Harlingen Parks & Recreation Department, the Code Compliance Department, and the Recycling Center.
With the help of the City of Harlingen Parks & Recreation Department, we have been able to maintain 380 acres of parks through the Adopt-A-Spot program, cover 22 Adopt-A-Highway miles, plant over 45 trees, 300 shrubs and 365 plants in the last year alone. Code Compliance has been busy with neighborhood cleanups and our city-wide Trash-Off events with the help of volunteers. Our Recycling Center collected over 1,000 tons of recycling materials as well. We have had over 9,000 volunteer hours that have made all this possible.
We realize things have changed this past year due to COVID-19 and we are working hard to adapt to the changes. We will continue to do our best to keep our great city clean, beautiful and create a lasting impact on our local environment.