Marble Falls discusses Keep Texas Beautiful affiliation

JENNIFER FIERRO • PICAYUNE STAFF

MARBLE FALLS — The Marble Falls Parks and Recreation commission discussed taking part in Keep Texas Beautiful, a nonprofit organization that helps residents take responsibility for local clean-ups, recycling programs and water quality.

Parks and Recreation Director Robert Moss summed up the commission’s discussion.

“You need a champion for it,” he said. “I think the best chance is a grassroots movement that’s community based and city based.

Place 4 Commissioner Charles Watkins brought up the idea of joining Keep Texas Beautiful to the commissioners several months ago. And Moss said civic organizations and city staff members already are doing many of the tasks on the Keep Texas Beautiful to-do list.

Moss even traveled to San Saba, a Keep Texas Beautiful affiliate, to discuss with city leaders how they have been able to excel in the program.

New Commissioner Josh Parker suggested retired Burnet County AgriLife Extension Agent Wade Hibler as the chairman of the Keep Marble Falls Beautiful board, if one is formed.

Watkins said he would be happy to help with forming a board and doing much of the behind-the-scenes work. But because he has not lived in the city very long, he does not believe he would be the best person to lead it.

“I don’t know enough people who owe me favors,” he joked. “I wouldn’t push, I wouldn’t persuade them.”

Moss said the administrative part of Keep Texas Beautiful, producing an annual report, “is not a big deal.”

Still, grants are available to communities that are affiliates of Keep Texas Beautiful, which is another reason to join, he said.

“We only have to do one project a year, just one,” he said, “and you have access to all these other things.”

Among those “things” are free regional and online training, workshops and seminars for volunteers and board members; free supplies, signs and volunteer incentives for affiliate clean-up events; and a program manager assigned to the region. The cost of being a Keep Texas Beautiful affiliate is $100 a year.

Moss advised the commissioners to get feedback from residents — in casual conversations — for their thoughts on the city becoming an affiliate.

“If everyone thinks it’s something we need to do, we’ll do some sort of kickoff,” he said. “It’s not something we will necessarily do next week or next month.”

Keep Texas Beautiful is an affiliate of Keep America Beautiful. Popular programs that are part of the Texas nonprofit include the Don’t Mess With Texas anti-litter campaign and the Adopt-A-Highway and Adopt-A-Beach programs. Go to www.ktb.org for more on Keep Texas Beautiful.

The commissioners also:

• voted to keep David Rhodes as the Parks and Recreation chairman and voted McCary as the new vice chairman.

• saw the Spring Break 2015 flier announcing the activities for the week of March 16-20.

jfierro@thepicayune.com

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