Clean up efforts could net county $95,000 landscape prize

By FAITH HUFFMAN, News-Telegram New Editor

Feb. 3, 2008 - Local residents have the opportunity to help the county earn as much as $95,000, all by submitting evidence of clean up and beautification efforts made last year.

The funds are the award for a populace our size if selected for the Governor's Community Achievement Award, and will be awarded as a landscape prize from Texas Department of Transportation.

The awards recognize achievement through community leadership and coordination, education, public awareness, litter prevention and cleanup, litter law and illegal dumping enforcement, beautification and community improvement, and solid waste management.

In order to apply, Hopkins County Quality Environment Office needs pictures and information in all seven areas. Each area will be awarded up to 12 points, with an additional six points awarded for the overall summary, and 10 for a supplemental notebook. A photo CD with 20 to 50 uncropped photos featuring work referenced in the application is requested; although that part won't be judged, they will be used by TxDoT and KTB.

Rosamond is asking for photos of any type of community, city or other clean up or beautification project which occurred between Jan. 1, 2007 and Dec. 31, 2007. Please provide information to go with the photo as well, so the information can be included in the application. These efforts can be from picking up trash, cleaning up a dump, donating planters full of colorful flowers or greenery to beautify the city or county, planting a tree, kids' environmental posters, cleaning up graffiti, landscaping, community cleaning projects, education efforts through distribution and speaking with individuals and groups, or any major beautification efforts. If a group is involved, please specify the number involved and group conducting the activity. Please include data on the particulars of the project, conclusion, and include date (or approximate date) of the activity and a phone number in case more information is needed or the HCEQ office needs to contact the person donating the award.

All entries should be received by Hopkins County Environmental Quality Office, 105 Weaver Drive, no later than Feb. 6, so that the information can be compiled and the application prepared and submitted prior to the Feb. 12 deadline. Information may also be faxed to 903-885-2912.

Nine first place landscaping awards will be presented to the top application in each population category. Each community which scores 90 or higher will also be recognized with an Award of Excellence for outstanding achievements in protecting and enhancing their environment, and Sustained Excellence Awards for scoring 90 or above for three consecutive years. Awards will be presented during the 41st Annual Keep Texas Beautiful Conference June 24-27 i Irving. Award winners will also be posted on the Keep Texas Beautiful website on March 28.

For more information about the local application and efforts contact HCEQ Investigator Holly Rosamond at 903-885-2732 or 903-348-0523; please leave a message if she is unavailable and she will return your call. For more information about the Governor's Community Achievement Awards program, including particulars of each of the seven subcategories, visit www.ktb.org or call 1-800-253-2689 (800-CLEAN-TX) OR 512-478-8813

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