Keep Keep Keep Keep Bastrop Bastrop Bastrop Bastrop County County County County Beautiful
Beautiful Beautiful Beautiful August 25
As we completed our third KBCB meeting last Tuesday it is apparent to all who attended that it is time to get down to real business. Here are some highlights:
Hester Bloom from Keep Texas Beautiful attended and reiterated the benefits of completing our certification with KTB. Hester encouraged the group by talking about how much we have accomplished towards becoming a certified partner and even further encouraged us by explaining how HEB is one of the corporate sponsors for KTB and there is grant money for recycling once we’ve completed steps for affiliation.
Jeannie Jessup, our Communications Chairperson has set up a Yahoo website and talked about the goals for our new Yahoo Group source and the website. Jeannie is looking for people who can write blogs about resource tips and local environmental issues. Jeannie can be contacted at email address at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cindy Allsbrooks talked about the BISD school pilot project for recycling. We will start with two of the Cedar Creek schools and once we have the test schools going well with education and actual recycling structure we can move easily to bring other schools on board.
Dorothy Skarnulis talked to the group about Bastrop’s upcoming NatureFest in October and how we, the KBCB, will have a part in that event. Before the meeting wrapped our Events Committee had a great plan of action for NatureFest. KBCB will have a booth where we will disperse information, recruit new members and sell canvas bags. Naturefest will be held at Fisherman’s Park, Saturday, October 24
2009, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Dorothy Skarnulis mentioned that the county and LCRA are awaiting Commissioner’s approval to have one or two electronic cleanups. More details will follow once approved.
LCRA is asking for assistance in conducting a survey to determine the effectiveness of their marketing and educational campaign to stop illegal dumping. They need volunteers to identify business where survey would gain exposure and results. This was turned over to the Events Committee.
Joe Jenson briefed our group about speaking at the Bastrop City Council meeting where he introduced KBCB and our enthusiasm, emphasizing how we will benefit the city and county by setting an example for others.
Cole Huddleston & Brittney Benton announced that they are looking for a site in the city of Bastrop for a community garden. If you have any suggestions please contact Brittney at email@example.com. We spent the last hour within the committees and talking about goals and plans for each committee. It was exciting to see people brainstorming on HOW TO be leaders for the environment within Bastrop County. There is a place for anyone who wants to be part of this grassroots organization. It is like a puzzle coming together in the beauty of community involvement.
Even though our meeting had to be held on Tuesday, please note that we are going back to Thursday meetings in September on the 25
at the Kerr Center at 1308 Walnut in Bastrop. The meeting will begin at 7pm but the following committees are meeting prior to that
6pm –Events Committee 6:30 –Rain Harvesting
If you would like to join one of these just show up and participate.
We hope to see you there! Cindy Allsbrooks and Dorothy Skarnulis
Keep Bastrop County Beautiful
Re-Cap of Meeting July 30
Last Thursday was our second meeting for KBCB held at the Aqua Water Building in Bastrop. We once again had great speakers and a good crowd of around forty-five people. For those of you who could not attend here is the re-cap of our meeting.
Cindy Allsbrooks gave an update on where we stand with becoming Keep Texas Beautiful affiliates. Right now we are considered provisional affiliates until we have completed several steps to become certified. The most important of the steps is structuring our Board of Directors and pulling our committees together.
Dorothy Skarnulis introduced the committee sign up forms and went through the list of committees we need. We passed out the forms and many people signed up to work on the projects that interest them most. It was a promising start to fill the positions we need to move forward with the KBCB certification process and our county goals. I have listed the committees below (at the end) for those of you who could not attend but would like to get involved by serving on a committee. From our list of names we hope to put together our board of directors.
Adena Lewis from the Smithville Chamber then introduced our very special guest, former Mayor Vernon Richards, Jack Page, City Works Director for Smithville, and Skip Hyson who is Smithville’s most prized volunteer at the age of ninety-three. Skip Hyson is one of those dedicated volunteers who began his recycling project with the Methodist Men’s Group back in the eighties. We were privileged to have him there to say a few words.
Vernon gave us a history of recycling in Smithville and made everyone laugh, mixing humor with his most sincere regards to the Smithville Recycling Center. Jack Page informed the group that the Smithville Recycling Center has one full time employee dedicated to the Center and two part-time employees. However, according to Jack, “ it would not work without the dedicated volunteers that work at the center. That’s what really makes it work as well as it does.”
The group had a brief Q & A session with our speakers and then we moved on to door prizes. Anyone who shared a recycling tip got to put their name in the hat for a door prize. Too many great tips to share here but I hope you attend future meetings because one of the most valuable parts that take place at our KBCB meetings is the information we share as a group. We gave out a nice canvas shopping bag with the KBCB name on it for the five people who won the drawing. We had ten additional bags to sell and they were gone in two shakes of a lamb’s tail. I guess that was our first fund raiser.
We wrapped the meeting with News from the Community. Brittney Benton & Cole Huddleston spoke briefly about their effort to form a sustainable co-op in Bastrop. They hope the co-op will support everything from renewable energy to cooking classes for healthier lifestyles. They can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org for anyone who would like to learn more.
There was so much more that can’t be put in this email because it would be even longer. Vernon Richards called the morning after our meeting to say how much he enjoyed attending and how he went home to tell his wife that “we have got something really special going on here.”
We hope to see you at our next meeting, which will be on a Tuesday.
at Aqua Water Building – 7 pm to 9 pm.
The Smithville Times will be following our group so watch for articles about the KBCB meetings. BRING SOMEONE NEW TO THE NEXT MEETING.
Keep Bastrop County Beautiful June 25th MEETING RE-CAP
The first organizational meeting for KBCB was held this past Thursday at the Aqua Water building in Bastrop. By every one’s account it was a huge success. There was a good turnout, around forty people attended, and many more that emailed or called to say they couldn’t make it but want to get involved. Everyone who attended brought with them such positive energy, it was palpable. For those of you who could not be there, here is an overview of the meeting.
Dorothy Skarnulis & Cindy Allsbrooks presented the agenda and introduced the speakers. Cindy shared the vision for recycling in Bastrop County and how she and Dorothy came together to research the best way to create an organization which would get everyone involved. In the process of that research they both discovered just how many environmental concerns there are in our county and what is happening in regards to those concerns. The Keep Texas Beautiful program encouraged us to join their efforts and we feel it will be a great connection. We look forward to working with KTB to improve our community here in Bastrop County.
Donna Clendennen and Maria Alonso from LCRA came to lend support and provided us an eye opening experience through a power point presentation of the illegal dumping sites around Bastrop County. Gretchen Gardner who is the Environmental Enforcement Investigator for Bastrop County followed up on the PP presentation by explaining what is being done about the illegal dumping sites.
All of these environmental issues are related in some form and all serve to provoke us to do better and do more to preserve the quality of our home here in Bastrop County.
We also heard from Kristie Koch who shared her experience with the Keep Texas Beautiful organization in Midland Texas. Kristie had great things to say about KTB. Her words of encouragement about our Bastrop project carry a lot of weight and she is excited to be involved in this county’s project.
Sharon Rowe was at the meeting as well. Sharon & Jason Rowe are local business owners of Lone Star Disposal. They are always there to answer our questions and advise us on the logistics of a recycling and waste disposal business.
We appreciate all of the good citizens who came to support us and speak for the vision. Everyone had the opportunity to discuss their concerns and ideas for the future.
Volunteer Questionnaires were passed out and there was an amazing response on the number of people who turned the forms back in to offer their skills and time for KBCB.
The one idea that resonated with everyone is the vision of a “one stop shop” for environmental issues. Whether it is water quality or conservation, recycling, illegal
7 P.M. – 9 P.M. WRITE IT DOWN PLEASE AND YES WE WILL SEND OUT A REMINDER.
dumping, bio-diesel, education for the schools and citizens on these issues, we want it to be under one umbrella – the Keep Bastrop County Beautiful organization. To get our project with the KTB underway we must fill out the application for certification and submit a $75.00 annual fee. Well, Thanks to our generous neighbors in Smithville we have that fee covered. Adena Lewis and Richard Latham from the Smithville Chamber of Commerce attended our meeting and offered the money to us from their own recycling project funds. We are grateful for the help and they show us how important it is for us to pull together to accomplish great things. We will get our certification papers started this next week.
The meeting ended with a small homework assignment. Come to the next meeting in July and bring someone with you. Start talking to other people and let’s keep our momentum going. Dorothy and Cindy will be in contact with our new volunteers to start forming committees and working on projects. This will take some time but we are starting to look like a community in action. Dorothy said it best at the meeting. “It’s great when the stars align and things just seem to come together”.
NEXT MEETING – AQUA WATER BUILDING ON JULY 30TH – THURSDAY
Thank you to all our wonderful friends and neighbors who showed up ! We can’t wait to see you again.
Keep Bastrop County Beautiful Cindy Allsbrooks Home office (512)985-5430 Cell – (713)703-2828 Dorothy Skarnulis (512)581-8258