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 3: Brady
Landscape Award: $130,000
Brady considers itself “The True Heart of Texas,” as it is located only 15 miles southwest of the geographic center of our great state. When the area was settled in the 1870s, the community was named Brady City after Brady Creek, which runs through town. With a population of 5,577, Brady is a small Texas town rich in culture and history. In 1973, Brady hosted the very first World Championship BBQ Goat Cook Off, which is now an annual tradition attracting hundreds of people from across Texas and the nation. It is home to the Heart of Texas Historical Museum and the Country Music Museum.
Amanda Lewis, Affiliate Coordinator for Keep Brady Beautiful, describes Brady as a small town with a “huge desire to show folks the heart and devotion we all have for Texas.” This devotion bleeds into the community, as volunteers and local community members have worked hard to beautify the community. In 2017, Keep Brady Beautiful was established and City of Brady employees adopted a two-mile road through TxDOT’s Adopt-a-Highway program. Because of these efforts, Brady now has a monarch waystation at EO Martin Memorial Park and a native garden and retaining wall to prevent erosion along the Brady Creek Trail. These improvements encouraged the entire town and motivated residents to get involved. Cleanup events are considered a family affair that has brought the City of Brady closer together. In 2017, they hosted six Adopt-a-Highway cleanups and collected 604 pounds of trash over four miles of land.
The City of Brady is also focused on environmental education. Each year students have the option to participate in several contests, field trips, and presentations related to conservation, recycling, planting and waste reduction such as the Hickory Underground Water Conservation District poster contest, Soil and Water Conservation Day, Cabbage Contest and a camp for all 5th grade students.
Lewis says that winning the Governor’s Community Achievement Award “is a true honor and a testament to the devotion that the people of our community.” This award will allow them to continue to strengthen the support of the Brady community.