One of the many amazing things about San Saba is the abundance of scenic areas here – from downtown flowers and historic buildings to our spacious parks. It’s thanks to the efforts of our community leaders and volunteers that we’re all able to enjoy such spaces! Keep San Saba Beautiful (KSSB) is a local organization that has been hard at work in our town. We’re excited to congratulate them for being recognized as one of 10 winners of Keep Texas Beautiful’s 2021 Governor’s Community Achievement Awards for outstanding community improvement!
Keep Texas Beautiful is a nonprofit network of dedicated Texans working together to make our state the best place to live, work, and play. They were founded in 1967 as a state affiliate of Keep America Beautiful, and have over 50 years of experience with deploying resources for local clean-up, recycling, and youth engagement efforts.
The Governor’s Community Achievement Award is one of the most coveted annual environmental and community improvement honors in Texas. It has been presented in partnership with the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) for more than 30 years. This year, the 10 winning communities will share $2 million in landscape funding from TxDOT. San Saba is receiving $110,000 for landscaping projects along TxDOT roadways. A community’s environmental program is judged by a group of judges on achievements in seven environmental and community improvement areas: public awareness and outreach; environmental education; beautification and community improvement; litter prevention and cleanup; solid waste management; litter law; and illegal dumping enforcement. San Saba will be recognized at the 54th Keep Texas Beautiful Annual Conference this June. The other winning communities include Muenster, Cuero, Athens, Gatesville, Duncanville, Friendswood, Mansfield, Denton, and Mckinney.
The Start of Keep San Saba Beautiful
In 2007, our newly selected City Manager Stan Weik, who was familiar with Keep America Beautiful and Keep Texas Beautiful, asked the City Council for assistance in beautification and preventing litter. KSSB was officially commissioned in 2009 with a Council-appointed 8-member board. Since then, the organization’s vision for our community has played a huge part in transforming San Saba! They truly exemplify the hard work and San-Saba-style resiliency that make the “Pecan Capital” so special.
KSSB’s Work in San Saba
While San Saba may have once been an area that people passed by, it’s now an ideal getaway for anyone looking to experience a slower pace of life and, of course, the southern hospitality that our community is known for. We have a thriving downtown area with destination dining, boutique hotels, and local shops with outdoor activities just a few steps away. KSSB has been involved in many of the improvement projects that make our town such a hidden gem – especially for the outdoor enthusiast. They’ve worked with the city and LCRA cleaning waterways in the San Saba River Nature Park. Additionally, they worked with other organizations and partners on cleaning the pollinators and community garden, the Visitor Center Phase 1 Landscaping Project, and the building of the retaining wall at Mill Pond Park. Even throughout the Coronavirus pandemic this past year, KSSB has found ways to adapt with socially distanced outdoor volunteer projects. Their projects this year have included:
- Assigning volunteers to the downtown flowers pots and flower beds that align TxDOT Highways
- Providing volunteers with supplies for individual cleanup efforts around town
- Educating the public by distributing recycling brochures and printable children’s activity pages on Facebook, included labeled trash bags in visitor’s goodie bags to help prevent litter, and posted recycling signage at community gatherings.
We’re so grateful to have an organization like Keep San Saba Beautiful in our community, and we can’t wait to see the future improvements and beautification projects they have planned! If you’re interested in volunteering with them, make sure you keep an eye on their Facebook page for updates on opportunities.