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 9: Tyler
Landscape Award: $290,000
Known as the “Rose Capital of America,” Tyler has a population of 107,151 and is the main city in the regional northeast Texas area. “I think what sets our community apart from others is that our citizens are really proud to live in Tyler,” says Angela Bennis, Recreational Manager of Keep Tyler Beautiful (KTyB).
KTyB and the Tyler Trees Committee hosted four Arbor Day events in 2019 where 667 volunteers planted 1,151 trees. In addition, KTyB’s 2019 spring cleanup hosted 320 volunteers who cleaned up 6,025 pounds of litter from parks, roads, and dump sites.
Bennis attributes the success of the City’s community improvement efforts to the involvement of all Tyler residents. The City, with help from KTyB, a Youth Advisory Council, and many local organizations, is able to mobilize thousands of volunteers and engage the entire community.