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. We’re also providing support to our applicants with our second webinar, Applying for GCAA Part II on January 15 at 12:30 p.m. CST. Register to attend.
Category 7: Little Elm
Landscape Award: $250,000
Little Elm considers itself the “Town with the Lake Attitude,” with more than 66 miles of its incorporated town limits on the shoreline of Lake Lewisville. This motto pays tribute to the town’s scenic lake views, while encapsulating its laid-back, welcoming community. With a population of 42,771, Little Elm works to balance its explosive growth with the small-town charm of this lakeside community. Beach events and activities like boating and fishing make this community well-visited and increasingly popular. As the population surges and events grow larger, the dedication to keeping Little Elm beautiful remains as strong as ever.
Little Elm’s city government believes in a culture of “servant leadership,” where it is one’s duty to lead by example. This demonstration of social responsibility has had a huge impact on residents and visitors. The entire community works together to keep their environment clean and beautiful. Community improvement programs are funded in part by governmental dollars, and Keep Little Elm Beautiful is widely supported by local organizations and the city government. In 2018, Little Elm staff recruited 543 volunteers who donated 1,740 hours to community improvement projects.
The City of Little Elm does a great job of engaging volunteers and educating the community on the importance of litter prevention and community improvement projects. Through social media accounts totaling more than 16,000 followers combined, newsletters, online videos and educational opportunities, Little Elm has conveyed the “servant leadership” spirit throughout the community with its digital presence. Little Elm engaged volunteers in numerous cleanups and beautification events and found ways to involve whole families in environmental efforts. In 2018, Little Elm hosted Keep Texas Waterways Clean events, four Adopt-a-Highway cleanups, the Lakefront Trash Bash and other community Clean & Green events.
Kevin Mattingly, Director of Public Works with the City of Little Elm, says that winning the GCAA is an honor and “proves that the Town of Little Elm, the Keep Little Elm Beautiful committee and all of our loyal partners can work together for many years and reap the benefits.”
Learn more about our GCAA winners at ktb.org/GCAA