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. The GCAA 2020 application is officially open. Review the application and apply at ktb.org/gcaa.
Applications are due on Thursday, March 4 at 5 p.m. CST. In the months leading up to the deadline, we will be sharing last year’s ten winners, who were recognized at the KTB Virtual Conference in 2020.
Category 10: Grand Prairie
Landscape Award: $310,000
Centrally located in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, Grand Prairie has a population of 193,837, with as many as 30% of residents speaking Spanish. With such a diverse population, community improvement programs are a city-wide effort. In 2019, Grand Prairie hosted their third annual Big Event, resulting in over 1,547 volunteers contributing to the beautification of 101 work sites, including sites that served the elderly, low-income residents, school campuses, and more. Another Grand Prairie initiative, the Plastic Free Plan-It program, encouraged the community to reduce, reuse and recycle their single-use plastics. This program resulted in a 93% increase in plastic recycling and a 157% increase in aluminum recycling. In addition, new initiatives were launched in 2019 to enhance the appearance of public spaces and green areas through community-wide art. Such initiatives are helping to restore pride and volunteerism throughout the Grand Prairie community.