Each year, the Governor’s Community Achievement Awards (GCAA) celebrate ten Texas communities for their outstanding efforts to keep their communities beautiful. From the Texas coast to the Panhandle, the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) has awarded cities with this honor since 1986. Winners are selected for their ability to engage citizens, local businesses, schools, and other organizations in environmental improvement initiatives. Categorized by population, these ten cities share an award of $2 million in landscaping projects. Keep Texas Beautiful (KTB) and TxDOT have worked together to administer the GCAA for more than 30 years.
As we gear up for GCAA 2019, we’ll be featuring all ten of our 2018 GCAA recipients over the next few months on our blog. To help you prepare for the 2019 application, we’re offering a number of new resources, including our affiliate Forum and upcoming webinar on January 17. Register for our webinars, engage in our forum and stay tuned to learn about our other winning communities on our blog!
Category 4: Seabrook
Landscape Award: $160,000
The City of Seabrook is home to 13,927 residents and overlooks an extended waterfront with views of Galveston Bay and several lakes and bayous. The city has a small-town flavor and a beloved network of trails connecting neighborhoods, parks and natural areas. The city’s pride lies in its love of the landscape. Seabrook is distinct because its parks contain natural woodlands, prairie areas, as well as Galveston Bay and bayou shorelines that make for great hiking trails and provide frequent wildlife sightings. Here, residents truly care for the nature in their community, and it shows.
The City of Seabrook has long participated in the annual statewide waterfront cleanup program, “Rivers, Lakes, Bays ‘N Bayous Trash Bash” and now participates in “Cease the Grease” with Galveston Bay Foundation to keep oil out of Texas waterways. They were awarded a Scenic City Certification (2013-2018) and recently became a Keep Texas Beautiful affiliate.
Kevin Padgett, Assistant Director of Public Works, says that the city works with a low budget and depends on volunteers to show up and get involved. In 2017, volunteers recorded 1,252 hours of service with the help of Public Works staff. The city emphasizes community improvement events and educational experiences that engages residents them to contribute to beautifying the landscape.
These efforts have not gone unnoticed. In 2017, the City of Seabrook received the annual Armand Yramategui Conservation Award from Armand Bayou Nature Center. This award recognizes efforts to conserve local natural resources for the benefit of native wildlife, ecosystem services, environmental education and public access to nature.
Seabrook also partners with local organizations to offer programs that celebrate the outdoors and involve the community such as the Lucky Trail Marathon, pet adoption days, curbside recycling, Adopt-a-Park, Adopt-a-Highway and more. They recently held a Day of Tree Planting Awesomeness, during which 45 volunteers braved the coldest day of the year to plant 1,000 pine seedlings.
Padgett says that the Governor’s Community Achievement Award will further their reach and contribute to the success of all their beautification projects.