Monday, October 3, 2022

Organization lauded for keeping town tidy

Members of the Keep Flower Mound Beautiful Board of Directors. From left, Jim Gerber, Dave Decker, Angie Cox, Marilyn Lawson, Mary Helen Phillips-Feiler, Linda Woosley, Nancy Matocha and John Atkinson. (Photo by Helen’s Photography)

For nearly two decades, Keep Flower Mound Beautiful has been collaborating with the Town of Flower Mound to beautify the outdoor community and preserve natural environments.

Those efforts were recently recognized when KFMB won the 2020 Flower Mound Outstanding Group Citizenship Award. KFMB was officially presented the honor Jan. 4 by the Flower Mound Town Council, beating three other nominated groups. The organization’s name will be included on a plaque to be placed at Town Hall and engraved on a brick at the Flower Mound Public Library.

“We’re really proud of the award,” said Marilyn Lawson, the group’s board chair and treasurer since 2009 and head of its seven-person board of directors. “It’s nice to get the recognition.”

It was the group’s second major honor in three years. In 2017 Keep Flower Mound Beautiful earned a $250,000 Keep Texas Beautiful award which is being put to use this year to spruce up and clean up the Texas Department of Transportation’s right-of-way along FM 1171.

“We do a lot for a small non-profit group,” Lawson said. “Most of the keep ‘whatever’ beautiful affiliates have a larger budget and full-time staff. We now have a part-time person that the town provides.”

In a typical year, KFMB conducts trash pick-ups or other beautification projects the third Saturday of each month, spring and fall trash-off events, the Lend-a-Hand and Community Service programs and the Bags to Benches initiative which started in 2020. It also oversees the town’s Adopt-a-Spot program.

Marilyn Lawson, president of Keep Flower Mound Beautiful. (Photo by Brian Maschino)

In 2019, the group estimates it retrieved more than 48,000 pounds of trash town-wide.

“We pick up trash in all the public areas of town which includes all the parks, trails, and roadways,” Lawson said. “We also work with the (Army) Corps (of Engineers) removing trash from the lake and trail areas, even though it’s not part of the town. It’s all about keeping trash out of the water and keeping our town looking great.”

KFMB typically is assisted by various area service leagues including Young Men’s Service League Integrity, YMSL Pacesetters, National Charity League, LDS Elders and Sisters and Family Service League. On selected occasions, National Honor Society students and other individuals, families or organizations lend a hand. Corporate sponsors include Best Buy, Cornerstone Staffing, CoServ, Frankie Arthur Realty, Jets Pizza, Market Street and Roosters Men’s Grooming Center. Lawson also partners with Chuck Jennings, director of the Flower Mound Parks and Recreation Department, on a number of trash and beautification projects.

KFMB, an affiliate of Keep Texas Beautiful, prides itself on its flexibility in allowing people to help when it’s convenient to them.

“It’s almost every day we have someone out there picking up trash,” Lawson said. “What’s nice about the program is they can do it any day or any time as long as it’s light out because many people are working and cannot get away from work or school to complete their community service hours during regular business hours.”

KFMB has conducted more than 60 Lend-A-Hand projects since former Mayor Tom Hayden proposed the program in 2013 including taking down and removing dead trees, replacing siding and fencing in addition to general lawn maintenance.

Right before COVID-19 hit, KFMB partnered with Keep Lewisville Beautiful to conduct a three-day State of Texas curriculum-based Master Composting classes.

While the pandemic has canceled the spring 2020 bi-annual festival at Flower Mound High School, KFMB still plans to hold its Spring Recycle Drop-Off on April 10 and Spring Trash-Off April 9-11.

Volunteers should pre-register for the trash pick-up. The recycling event does not require pre-registration; however, it requires residents who are dropping off recyclables to stay in their cars for the drop off.

“People who did it last fall really liked being able to do the trash pick-up according to their personal schedule,” Lawson said.

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