Marble Falls scored gold in Scenic Texas’ objective, points-based review of efforts the city has taken to maintain high-quality scenic standards. Staff photo by Alex Copeland
The city of Marble Falls earned a gold in the 2020 Certified Scenic City awards, Scenic Texas announced on Oct. 9.
Scenic Texas scores cities on 12 categories relating to visual environmental standards, including well-lit streetscapes, public spaces, landscaping, and parks and trails. Marble Falls was certified as bronze in 2016.
“In 2020, as Texans found themselves investing and spending more time in their neighborhoods and their communities, the Scenic City designation became a reflection of communities working to make a more scenic Texas for residents and visitors alike,” said Sarah Tober, executive director of Scenic Texas, in a statement recognizing the cities.
In all, 19 Texas cities acquired some level of certification. Ranks are recognized, bronze, silver, gold, and platinum. Other gold cities are Belton, Cuero, Granbury, Sealy, South Padre Island, and Sugar Land. Platinum cities are Celina, Lakeway, Westlake, Georgetown, Missouri City, and Pflugerville.
Marble Falls excelled in 10 of the 12 judged areas, including landscaping, unity of design, litter and graffiti, and parks, trails, and open spaces.
It lacks a utility or cable line program, which would involve installing utility lines underground, below the finished grade of a right of way, or hiding utility structures from plain sight.
Marble Falls also came up short in the category of dumpster screening. Remarks from Scenic Texas pointed out that requiring dumpster owners to incorporate landscaping as more effective screens could raise the score in this category.
“The certification process itself provides cities with a roadmap for future growth and development, and we are confident that more and more cities will be seeking out the kinds of roadmaps as Texans continue to shift our focus to improving our surroundings,” Tober said in the statement.
Scenic Texas, an affiliate of Scenic America, has been in operation since 2010. Its mission is to encourage the preservation and enhancement of the state’s visual environment and beauty. Any Texas city can apply to the program for an objective, points-based review.