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GCAA 2019 Category 8: Temple

By December 12, 2019No Comments
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 8: Temple

Population 65,001-90,000

Landscape Award: $270,000

Nestled amidst rolling hills and open farmlands, Temple is located 65 miles north of Austin and 30 miles from Fort Hood. Temple maintains its small-town charm despite its growing population of 74,530. Historically considered a pioneering railroad town built around Temple Junction railway, it has evolved to become one of the leading medical communities in the southwest and due to extensive agriculture production, was named the site for the state offices of the Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board. This diverse city engages its citizens in stewardship, bringing over $300 million worth of economic development in the last few years. Temple’s history, beautiful scenery, and lively culture make it a great city to live, work and play.

The City of Temple, along with Keep Temple Beautiful (KTB) and other local organizations, is heavily invested in community improvement and environmental stewardship. KTB has helped engage community members through their “Get in the Know” environmental and education campaign, inviting citizens to get involved in local cleanups and beautification events. KTB has also helped spread awareness and encourage participation through their “Take Action” campaign, teaching citizens about the importance of recycling, waste reduction, revitalization, litter prevention, and beautification.

Tanya Gray, the Executive Director of Keep Temple Beautiful, says that winning the GCAA is a testament to Temple citizens’ “hard work, dedication, and love of their neighbor.” Tanya says that Temple citizens take pride in their community and work together to make Temple clean and beautiful. One example of these efforts is the Lee Crossley Veteran’s Community, where dozens of partners, local volunteers and the City of Temple banded together to develop a new eco-sustainable housing program for war veterans. Over a four-month period, 532 volunteers planted 18 Lantana, 24 Dwarf Yaupon, 14 Hameln Dwarf Fountain Grass, and two Texas Sage, and landscaped and irrigated 26 lawns to help build an adaptive and sustainable landscape model for the community. Citizens of Temple also participated in cleanups hosted throughout the city, such as Adopt-a-Park, Adopt-a-Street and the Don’t mess with Texas Trash-Off.

Temple’s diverse community improvement projects, proactive and engaged citizens, and commitment to the environment prove they are deserving of a Governor’s Community Achievement Award.

Learn more about our GCAA winners at