If you’ve driven by Navarro and the Loop this past week, you’ve probably seen City crews chipping away at the litter in the drainage ditch near IHOP, doing their part to turn our public spaces into something we can all be proud of.
The City has been working to set an example with initiatives such as the establishment of a Community Appearance Division, the Take Pride Victoria litter awareness campaign and the revival of Keep Victoria Beautiful. However, keeping our community beautiful requires a community effort.
Victoria is a city that’s full of potential and filled with people who can make a difference, but too many people would rather stick to tending their own yards instead of taking ownership of the wider community. We have many yards here in Victoria, and we need to decide together that our city’s appearance is a worthwhile commitment.
The Community Appearance Division is dedicated to enhancing the beauty and livability of Victoria, and we’re excited about the opportunity to build a new culture of caring and taking pride in our city. Our goal is to take a more direct approach to beautification: to identify what is causing the problem, find out how to solve the problem and instill pride in our community’s appearance to help prevent the problem.
The way we’re handling beautification around Loop 463 is a good example of the way we do things. Once the tangle of overgrowth is cleared away from the ditches, keeping the area litter-free will be easier in the future. The next step is to replant the area with vibrant trees and flowerbeds, transforming the former litter magnet into a beautiful public space people can enjoy.
We’ve also identified other spaces throughout the city that would benefit from some extra attention. Some of these, like the open space at the intersection of Raven and LaValliere in the Meadowmere Addition, are small grassy areas we already mow or otherwise maintain, but we’d like to take things a step further by adding colorful native plants such as Pride of Barbados or even a bench. Little steps like these can go a long way toward restoring community pride and changing the way people think about public spaces in our city.
We’re going to keep looking for ways to keep Victoria beautiful, but we can’t do it without your support. You can help keep our city clean by securing loose trash so it doesn’t blow out of your vehicle or garbage cans, and if you do drop some trash accidentally, we ask that you please pick it up. A stray shopping receipt may not seem like much, but with more than 67,000 people living in our city, one receipt from one person and one plastic bag from another can really add up.
If you notice litter is becoming a problem in a certain area, you can call Environmental Services at 361-485-3230 to make an anonymous report. If you’d like to volunteer with Keep Victoria Beautiful, you can contact me at 361-485-3235 or email@example.com.
Tiffany Koenig is the Environmental and Beautification coordinator of Environmental Services.