From March to May, thousands of volunteers came together in dozens of communities across Texas for Keep America Beautiful’s 2016 Great American Cleanup.
This year, many of Keep Texas Beautiful’s volunteers were especially inspired to lend a hand as many communities have recently dealt with severe weather events. The environmental impact of these storms has put an untold strain on many city departments, with debris from houses, trees, and other sources cluttering waterways, public spaces, and roadways.
In Rowlett, Texas, which was devastated by a tornado on Dec. 26, thousands of volunteers have streamed into the city to support relief efforts. During this year’s Great American Cleanup, Keep Rowlett Beautiful organized teams to collect debris and litter from parks, waterways, and roads.
In Wimberley, which was hardest hit by last year’s Memorial Day floods in central Texas, teams of volunteers found roofing tiles, pieces of drywall, doors, and other building materials in streams and near the calm Blanco River, which was a raging monster only one year ago.
Finding pieces of damaged and destroyed homes is a somber reminder of these tragedies, but the spirit of these committed volunteers is a suggestion that our brightest days are yet to come. In Texas, the 2016 Great American Cleanup served to assure us all that, when communities come together, there is rarely an obstacle that they cannot overcome.