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 webinar, engage in our forum and stay tuned to learn about our other winning communities on our blog!
Category 7: Grapevine
Landscape Award: $250,000
Founded in 1843, Grapevine is located in North Central Texas and is home to DFW International Airport. Grapevine accommodates nearly 2,900 businesses and hosts over 20 million visitors annually who enjoy 30 festivals and events and 19 resort hotels. Tourism is a strong economic pillar of the community. Every year, tourists visit the “Christmas Capital of Texas” to ride the famous Grapevine Vintage Railroad, or as it is known around Christmas-time, the North Pole Express. Grapevine’s heritage is uniquely preserved in its residential historic districts and Main Street, which is listed in the National Register of Historic Places and has been a Texas Main Street City since 1983. The city holds over 1,560 acres of pristine parks, 41.7 miles of trails and over 9 miles of lake shoreline.
The community is highly committed to making Grapevine a unique destination and enjoyable place to live. In 2017, more than 16,200 plants and 589 trees were planted along rights-of-ways, parks and habitat enhancement areas. Keep Grapevine Beautiful (KGVB) hosted a total of 18 beautification events with 895 volunteers serving more than 2,923 hours. One particular beautification event was held in partnership with Grapevine Faith Christian School. 393 students participated in this two-day project at the Botanical Garden and Meadowmere Park where they spent 390 hours planting over 38 trees and more than 2,400 native and ornamental plants. Other notable programs and events for KGVB and the City of Grapevine include the Don’t mess with Texas® Trash-Off, Botanical Gardens and Garden Club environmental educational workshops, Arbor Day and Earth Day events and litter cleanups.
Grapevine’s comprehensive and collaborative environmental efforts have resulted in an economically thriving small community that is committed to maintaining a high quality of life. This is demonstrated through the thousands of volunteer hours dedicated to cleaning up litter and numerous school, civic and municipal programs implemented to reduce waste, promote environmental stewardship and change behavior.
Cindy Harris, Affiliate Coordinator of KGVB and Volunteer Services Liaison of Grapevine, says winning a Governor’s Community Achievement Award will allow for continued landscape enhancements along their main gateway corridor, State Highway 114, which welcomes more than 20 million visitors. Grapevine’s beautiful landscape will continue to make it a top Texas destination for many.