Category 10: Irving
Landscape Award: $310,000
Irving lives up to its motto “We Have It All Together.” A tiny village, established in 1903 and named for author Washington Irving, has grown into a 67.9 square mile city that welcomes three million visitors annually and represents a vibrant mix of ethnicities, faiths and countries of origin. Nestled between Dallas and DFW Airport, Irving is home to 239,740 residents and hosts a workforce of 3.3 million people in over 9,000+ companies. The city honors innovation and sustainability, with projects like the longest stretch of solar street lights in Texas, while paying homage to the untamed western heritage with the famous “Mustangs of Las Colinas” statue and a revitalized historic district. Despite its growth and economic success, the city’s primary focus has always centered on community.
“Irving’s commitment to the community is universal,” says Rick Hose, Keep Irving Beautiful (KIB) Affiliate Coordinator. KIB was established by the city in 1992 and provides outreach and environmental education to the community, while supporting city departments. With the help of its strong volunteer network, KIB community projects run throughout the year and help maintain the city’s charm and integrity.
Education is an important aspect of KIB’s environmental efforts. The city offered 105 environmental outreach events, including 12 Texas Stream Team activities, with over 35,000 participants. The Irving Independent School District has the nation’s largest “net-zero” public middle school, which produces as much energy as it consumes.
Another important tenant of Irving is beautification and litter prevention. Through their numerous programs and initiatives, they are able to involve the entire city in community improvement efforts. As a Tree City USA, Irving values its trees, maintaining a Tree Farm since 2013 and publishing a guide booklet, “Irving’s 50 Best Trees.” The combined efforts of the Parks Department and the Las Colinas Association resulted in the planting of 208,271 flowers, shrubs, bulbs, and native grasses, and 556 trees and transplanting 27 trees instead of destroying them.
Other important programs include an Arbor Day event, Adopt-a-Spots, Don’t mess with Texas® Trash-Off, Earth Day, America Recycles Day and more. Altogether, KIB and partners hosted 12 cleanups, with 878 volunteers contributing 2,643 hours, collecting 9,600 pounds of trash and recyclables. Hose says that the Governor’s Community Achievement Award will allow the City of Irving to expand its goals for litter abatement, recycling, and beautification. “These initiatives preserve the health, social and economic prosperity of the city for future generations.”