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 webinars on December 7 and 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 2: Nolanville
Landscape Award: $110,000
Located in the heart of Central Texas, the City of Nolanville is a growing, vibrant community that maintains a small-town atmosphere. Characterized as a “crossroads” community, a small town with a younger than average population, nearby Fort Hood military base influences the diversity of residents and the values of the community. The vision of the city is to preserve the small-town atmosphere, enhance the beautification of the city, embrace the diversity of its people and improve the quality of life for residents. These values are evident in Nolanville’s commitment to the environment and community improvement efforts.
Kara Escajeda, City Manager of Nolanville, says their small population and lack of initial resources was never a deterrent for them. In 2015, Keep Nolanville Beautiful had six volunteers and was inducted and funded by the city’s Economic Development Corporation. It has since grown to include a recycling program, has won numerous grants and involved many volunteers throughout the town.
“We have wonderful volunteers, including school children, who have helped spruce up our little community by picking up litter, recycling, pruning and weeding community planting beds, planting trees and shrubbery in our new park, and working together on youth and adult advisory committees to guide our little city’s growth in a positive way,” says Escajeda.
Nolanville’s initiatives include a Youth Resource Demonstration Garden that is organically maintained with native plants, a sensory garden at the City Park, a Tree Tribute Program that encourages community members to learn about and dedicate native trees, Adopt-a-Roads, Don’t mess with Texas® Trash-Off, a Keep Texas Waterways Clean event and America Recycles Day.
Nolanville’s motto is “A Great Place to Live” and this small town lives up to this message by working hard to keep Nolanville beautiful.