Keep Blanco Beautiful ushered in 2012 after the very special 2011 Christmas season that was spent with wonderful volunteers and friends who helped create our first “Christmas In Blanco” Trail of Lights.
The Blanco Chamber of Commerce listed Blanco in the Hill Country Trail of Lights Brochure in 2011. A committee was formed that included KBB, Uptown Blanco, OBCCPS, Chamber of Commerce, downtown merchants, Santa and Mrs. Santa and parade organizers. We all planned and worked together to make sure that we could be proud of Blanco when we welcomed Blanco families and tourists to see our Christmas lights and our first night parade.
They came from all over the country and loved being here. We received so many compliments. I drove by many nights, even after Christmas, to see families and friends meandering amongst the scenes and taking pictures with the Blanco National Bank cowboy Santa, the nativity scene, and at Lorie’s Angel Garden. It was truly spectacular.
We appreciate all of the volunteers who helped with the lighting. The youth are always a big part of decorating Bindseil Park and City Hall. The FCCLA students, the Leo Club, the Middle School Student Council, and the high school art and shop classes all helped again as they have in the past. The beautiful scenes were created and made by Doris Phipps and Perry Kuebel. Arlon Cook and Lawrence Mikes worked on the old Christmas decorations to make the trail complete. Businesses and individuals added new displays; we look for more next year. Joey Garza came to work on dismantling the trail of lights. He has also told me he would like to work with us Tuesday mornings and at the Trash Off in April.
When we dismantle the Trail of Lights this year, the city won’t have any storage space to put our lights and decorations as they have in the past. To resolve this yearly problem, the city offered to pay half of the cost of a storage building that will be placed at the back of the Byars Building for KBB. It will arrive and be set up on January 11. This is an expense that we were not prepared for and will have to be a part of our budget for our annual fundraising and membership drive.
The mission statement for Keep Blanco Beautiful, Inc. is “To educate and engage the citizens of Blanco to take responsibility for improving our community environment”.
KBB starts 2012 with plans for the 13th annual Don’t Mess With Texas Trash Off, the 6th annual Blanco River Cleanup, and a citywide cleanup to be held on April 14, 2012. We look forward to another busy and fun day cleaning up Blanco followed by lunch in Bindseil Park. All volunteers will receive the KBB t-shirts this year. More plans will follow as time draws closer.
I never go to the Blanco County Recycling Center on Jones Road when there is not at least one vehicle of citizens and, more often, several depositing their recyclables. Paul Granberg, Blanco County Commissioner and KBB director, has worked for several years to receive grants that have helped Blanco have this center. You will also see Paul at the center helping keep it clean. The middle school science classes spent Texas/America Recycle Day in 2011 with bus tours of students every hour to learn about the three R’s and why we recycle. The three R’s stand for Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle. This year they hope to make a bus trip to the IESI transfer station on Hwy 281.
In December 2010 Keep Blanco Beautiful and Blanco Middle School received a $3,000 from the HEB Green Bags Grant for their science project. Science treacher Pam Meier and her students purchased and set up several compost bins in 2011 to teach students how to compost. These will continue to be used in 2012 and every year after for their education.
The Beautification Committee will begin working on plans for a spring full of flowers in historic downtown Blanco, plans for the expansion of the Trail of Lights and for the historic district Streetscape project. This year we need to add a tree in Bindseil Park. The Christmas lighting is also a part of this committee, so Judy Dorsett will need your help. Please come and volunteer on Tuesday mornings to keep these flowers and plants watered and maintained.
Our Blanco code enforcement officer, Pete McKinney, has issued several notices for violations of the Nuisance City Ordinance 332. It is so good to see the ones that have been cleaned up but we still have a long way to go. Law enforcement includes environmental and junk vehicle violations and carry penalties. Be a good neighbor and keep your properties free of violations.
The KBB vision is to benefit our community by completion and maintenance of the following initiatives:
• The Great American Cleanup, March 1-May 31
• Don’t Mess with Texas Trash Off and River Clean-Up, April 14
• Historic downtown beautification, revitalization and streetscape
• The “Christmas in Blanco” Trail of Lights
• Education programs in the public schools
• Promote recycling activities in the city, county and schools
• Promote youth involvement through schools and churches
• Fundraising efforts to benefit the city of Blanco
Come and join Keep Blanco Beautiful in 2012 with your sponsorships, individual and business memberships, and donations to help fulfill our vision. Our membership drive will be held in February. Please call Retta Martin at 833-4720 for information on memberships.