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 2019, we’ll be featuring all ten of our 2018 GCAA recipients over the next few months on our blog. Stay tuned to learn about our other winning communities!
Category 1: Salado
Population Up to 3,000
Landscape Award: $90,000
Salado was established in 1895 coincident with Salado College. It is home to 1,985 residents, making it the smallest city awarded a Governor’s Community Achievement Award this year. Eighteen of the old buildings in Salado are listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and the town has 23 Texas Historical Markers within its Art & Cultural District. Salado is known for its history and natural beauty, the arts and beautiful gardens. Visitors are welcomed with true Texan hospitality and can visit eclectic shops, attend one of Salado’s many unique art festivals or enjoy the charm of Salado Creek.
Cleanups and beautification efforts have been a community-wide effort for Salado. With more than 200 volunteers, donating more than 8,800 hours of their time, 29,120 pounds of litter was cleaned up in 2017. Susan Terry, Chair & Community Liaison of Keep Salado Beautiful, confesses, “it truly does take a village, lots of loving hands and lots of time.” The City of Salado has involved many local organizations to educate the community, promote litter prevention and beautification and engage community members in cleanups and events. Salado has achieved 67% participation in curbside recycling, nearly twice the national average. Thanks to community partners, ten public gardens enhance public spaces, sponsors help maintain 20 Adopt-a-Spot greenspaces, and students are educated and motivated to get involved.
Salado is unique in its location and historical significance. Its gardens draw locals and visitors to appreciate public art and to blend the past with the future. They also serve as demonstration gardens, providing information on native plants, deer and drought resistance and wildscape landscaping. Salado is committed to environmental sustainability and preserving its natural resources.
“Winning the Governor’s Community Achievement Awards commends all of the volunteer time and effort that is required to achieve the image that we all call Salado,” says Terry.
Learn more about Salado at salado.com.