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 2020, we'll be featuring all ten of our 2019 GCAA recipients over the next few months on our blog. Stay tuned to learn about our other winning communities!
Category 2: Aubrey
Landscape Award: $110,000
Aubrey is a dynamic small town with a big heart and ambition to grow and develop. The City of Aubrey was founded in 1867 and is located in northeast Denton County. Aubrey is in the Cross Timbers region, which was historically an agricultural area for cotton and peanuts. The peanut farms were eventually replaced with horse ranches, making it part of "Horse Country, USA." Home to 3,504 residents, its small-town charm and proximity to Lake Ray Roberts, Lake Lewisville and the Ray Roberts Greenbelt trail, make Aubrey a great place to call home.
The City of Aubrey encourages community engagement. Despite its small population, Aubrey opens its cleanups and beautification projects to surrounding communities within their zip code. Keep Aubrey Beautiful (KAB) is a city-led organization that spearheads all community improvement initiatives and helped Aubrey win their GCAA.
"It's the outstanding volunteers and youth of the community who help improve the community throughout the year," says Deborah Goin of KAB. Last year, KAB volunteers invested 5,235 hours in service to the community. KAB worked hard to educate the community on cleanup efforts, litter prevention and recycling by hosting presentations at City Council meetings, handing out flyers and literature, and participating in demonstration booths. It is important to the City of Aubrey for community improvement to start with education and even more important for it to begin with youth. The Aubrey school system integrated environmental curricula designed for each grade level from elementary through middle school.
In addition, the City of Aubrey participated in the Don't mess with Texas® Trash-Off, the Great American Cleanup, Adopt-a-Highway, America Recycles Day and began their own Yard of the Month program. Goin says that winning the GCAA, "is a reflection of the hard work and dedication of our community and volunteers."
Learn more about our GCAA winners at ktb.org/gcaa