January 3, 2012

  

Keep Arlington Beautiful Advisory Board Being Established

Officials from the Parks and Recreation Department on Tuesday, January 3 presented the Mayor and City Council with their vision for a community-led advisory board to help create programs and initiatives to enhance beautification projects throughout the City.

Officials told the Council that they hope the Keep Arlington Beautiful (KAB) Friends Group will play a leading role in cultivating the public-private partnerships necessary to make urban living attractive and more fulfilling.
“We want to create this board to bridge that relationship with the private sector,” said Gary Packan, assistant director of the Parks and Recreation Department. “We need to enhance that partnership in order to elevate the beautification of Arlington.”

Ultimately, officials envision a board of 25 members which will meet quarterly each year to craft projects that will include the maintenance of the City's 88 parks, entertainment and downtown districts, the Interstate 30 corridor, and others.

Officials anticipate subcommittees will work on specific initiatives based on the board’s interests. That would precipitate an additional level of commitment, Packan said.

The board would work on two-year terms. The terms would be renewable, with no limits on time served. The board would work independently, yet in conjunction with the Parks and Recreation Board which will review submitted KAB board member applications.

In addition to building relationships with the business community, officials hope the board is successful in the following:

  • Brokering relationships that might lead to sponsorships and donations.
  • Community outreach aimed at growing program participation and volunteerism.
  • Establishing a 501(c)3 nonprofit for accepting grants and donations.
  • Providing input on projects and programs that will align Keep Arlington Beautiful with community priorities.
  • Plan, promote, and assist in implementing special programs such as, but not limited to, Trinity Trash Bash, National Trails Day, and the Great American Cleanup.

“Those are our areas of focus right now,” Packan said. “Those might change once we get the board up.”

The board, Packan said, is a spinoff of Keep Texas Beautiful, which was formed in 1968 to assist communities across the state with beautification projects. In 2010, Parks and Recreation reinstated the City's “Gold Star Affiliation” status with the organization primarily to assist Arlington in obtaining grant funding for green space initiatives.

Packan said an initial outreach has already garnered the interest of 35 individuals applying to serve. Anyone in the community interested in applying should contact Jennifer Chadwell at 817-459-5477.

The board is expected to be up and running with a first meeting scheduled for April.

“We have been looking in the past few years at creating a foundation, or a friends group,” Packan said. “We can't do this without the community’s help.”


 
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