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 8: Baytown
Landscape Award: $270,000
Baytown is a legendary energy-production and chemical-processing boomtown whose population exceeds 78,000. Just east of Houston and north of Galveston, Baytown is situated in the Gulf Coast region of Texas along the scenic waterways that once witnessed the decisive battle of the Texas Revolution. Today, the city is experiencing accelerated growth due to industrial expansion but also hardship in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey.
Keep Baytown Beautiful (KBB) proudly teams with the City of Baytown, corporate, civic and service organizations and thousands of volunteers to develop, beautify and increase pride in their hometown. One of their largest and most successful events is the Don’t mess with Texas® Trash-Off, which involved students from all three Baytown high schools and included their annual T-shirt Art Contest, where designs were reproduced in an interactive coloring/activity book to provide knowledge about reducing, reusing and recycling.
The City of Baytown sets an example through leadership and coordination, public awareness efforts, education, beautification, litter abatement and ongoing community improvements. In the past year, they re-landscaped 25% of the city’s parks, and constructed outdoor gardens in several schools. A shining star of the city’s efforts is the Baytown Nature Center. In partnership with Houston Audubon and international design firm SWA, Baytown has developed a 450-acre special use area that has been recognized nationally and has become home to more than 300 species of birds and other native wildlife.
The city also maintains enthusiastic corporate support. Sponsors and partners like Walmart Logistics, NRG, ExxonMobil and Home Depot help support efforts to keep Baytown beautiful.
“We are gratified to win this prestigious award, along with the recognition of what we’ve accomplished, but we’re even more excited to receive funding to continue our beautification efforts,” said Mayor Stephen DonCarlos.