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GCAA 2020 Category Winner 8: Harlingen

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 8: Harlingen

Population 65,001-90,000

Landscape Award: $270,000

Harlingen is considered the Capital of the Rio Grande Valley and has served as the heart of industry and agriculture for well over a century. Like many places in Texas, Harlingen continues to grow, and with this growth, can come some challenges.

With help from Keep Harlingen Beautiful (KHB), the City aims to maintain a clean environment and upkeep the parks, highways, roadways, and neighborhoods. KHB works tirelessly to educate the community about litter prevention, solid waste reduction, graffiti abatement and beautification.

In 2019, KHB hosted Harlingen's "Making A Difference" Day, where 200 Oak Trees were given away and 700 pounds of litter were collected. Melissa Boykin, the Executive Director of KHB, says that the award is a testament to the hard work and collaboration of local organizations, residents, and the City at large. 

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