Written by Sarah Saldivar, Executive Director, Keep San Saba Beautiful (KSSB)
In 2007, the new City Manager, familiar with the guiding principles of Keep America Beautiful (KAB) and Keep Texas Beautiful (KTB), asked the City Council for assistance in preventing litter and in beautification. And so, began the formation of our affiliate, Keep San Saba Beautiful (KSSB). KSSB was commissioned in 2009 with a Council-appointed 8-member Board. San Saba, suffering from blight and economic struggles, was now in the beginning phases of change. Our community which visitors once described as a town they would just “pass by” and drive on through, is now being described as a “cute little town.”
Today, KSSB is still thriving. Like most, the pandemic created many setbacks and challenges, but San Saba is a community of resiliency and was not going to let COVID deter us from continuing our vision and accomplishing our goals. KSSB began searching for methods to get projects accomplished and adhere to COVID-19 guidelines and safety regulations. Realizing the increase of visitors to our community, KSSB set new goals to host outdoor projects while still practicing safe distances in open-air locations for individual or small workgroups.
With KSSB’s awesome partnerships, we have completed several other outstanding projects, such as the City and LCRA cleaning waterways in the Nature Park, cleaning the pollinators and community gardens, the Visitor Center Phase 1 Landscaping Project, and the building of the retaining wall at Mill Pond Park. Check out some new projects and initiatives highlighted below.
Assigning volunteers to the downtown flower pots and flower beds which align our TxDOT Highways
Now instead of the scheduled large group workdays, volunteers were able to work individually or in small groups and on their own time. Beautiful flowers could be enjoyed by residents and visitors as they stayed in their automobiles and drove by. This project “BLOOMED” well during the gloomiest time of the pandemic, when all were required to stay home.
Cleanup Supplies for Individual Cleanup Efforts
With no spring cleanups in 2020 and an issue of sanitizing trash pickup equipment, KSSB provided volunteers with cleanup supplies including a trash grabber when they committed to cleaning up on their own. This eliminated having to sanitize the trash pickup tools, was less costly in the cleanup process, and allowed for better use of the tools since they were normally put in storage until the next cleanup. This project worked well and created Facebook exposure from individuals posting their own pictures of their cleanup efforts.
We look forward to seeing all our volunteers since we are able to once again hold our community cleanups. On April 10, we will conduct our Great American Cleanup/Don’t Mess With Texas Trash-Off!
With school closures and limited gatherings, KSSB sought other methods to educate the public. Recycling brochures in emergency food pantry distributions reached approximately 600 families. We also shared printable children’s activity pages on Facebook, included labeled trash bags in Visitor’s goodie bags to help prevent litter, and posted recycling signage at school and community gatherings.
With the help from our small but mighty Board, our partners, supporters and volunteers, we are able to accomplish so much in our community. Our San Saba supporters truly embody the saying, “where there’s a will, there’s a way.”