Keeping Orange County Beautiful one step at a time
It’s a dirty job, but somebody’s got to do it.
Keep Orange County Beautiful has been one busy organization the past year and it shows no signs of slowing down this year.
J. David Derosier, chair of the KOCB, said one of the highlights the nonprofit corporation is participating in is the red litter button on the kocb.org website.
Residents can report litterers at the click of a button. The site is connected with the Texas Department of Transportation’s campaign Keep Texas Beautiful and Keep American Beautiful.
Residents who see others litter roadways from their vehicles may report to the site after submitting the license number, make and color of the vehicle, date and time, location, who tossed the litter and what was tossed in a form.
Violators are sent a Don’t Mess with Texas litter bag along with a letter reminding them keep trash off the roads.
KOCB created 25 promotional banners for businesses to purchase and sold out. For instance, the entrance to Claiborne West Park in Vidor has a red button banner.
KOCB contracted with American Air Boats to clean the Sabine River from Interstate 10 to the city boat ramp prior to the Bass Masters Tournament in Orange.
Recovered were 18 refrigerators, 50 tires, numerous plastic barrels and foam blocks, plastic and glass and aluminum bottles and cans to fill 300 large industrial trash bags. Also collected were ice coolers, tackle boxes, fishing lures and line, a dead hog carcass, a steel framed old car backseat and a stove and a shower.
Derosier said KOCB would like to do the Sabine River clean-up on an annual basis if they can get money to do so.
KOCB also received $2,000 as part of the Clean Air Program for clean bus emissions.
Recipients could use the funds for either replacing engines or toward the purchase of a new bus. Little Cypress-Mauriceville CISD used their money to purchase a new school bus.
The city of Pinehurst now has over 300 crepe myrtle trees planted along Strickland Drive thanks to KOCB.
Derosier said he was approached by the city of Orange to do the same in their city. One hundred thirty trees were planted on 16th Street, Green Avenue and Simmons Drive. The Stark Foundation and the Orange Economic Development Corporation also assisted with the project.
Lions Club members from 16 counties in Texas attended Orange for a District Cabinet Meeting. The Lions helped clean MacArthur Drive, the entrance to the Walmart Supercenter and Sikes Road during their stay in the city.
Walmart, Shangri La Botanical Gardens and the Greater Orange Area Chamber of Commerce contributed cleaning supplies.
Erica’s Nursery on Highways 62 and 105 contributed day lilies through the efforts of Sandra Hoke to the Orange County Courthouse, Vidor City Hall and St. Mary Catholic School.
Consequently, the school also has a recycling program.
With the help of TCEQ funds, Southeast Texas Resource Conservation & Development was able to assist Orange County with their abandoned tire collection.
Orange County delivered these tires to Liberty Tire Recycling in Baytown, TX where the tires are turned into sustainable products.
The first E-Waste Collection Day collected 18,000 pounds of electronic waste. Everything was recycled.
The second E-Waste Collection Day garnered 16,000 pounds. Triangle Waste provided a truck and forklift for the second event.
As with the Sabine River Clean-Up, KOCB’s goal is to recruit corporate sponsors to chip in money and do the event once a year. Derosier estimates $6,000 a year collected can finance the electronic clean-up.
Rosemary Vasquez, owner of Creative Upholstery in Pinehurst, has sponsored cleaning up Martin Street between Strickland Drive and Park Avenue.
Also known as Snake Road, the street is often strewn with litter.
To help improve the appearance of the area in advance of the Bass Master Elite Series fishing tournament, KOCB sponsored a parking lot clean-up on the 16th Street entrance to Orange from Interstate 10. For $20 a business could get their yellow parking aids pressure washed. For a small additional fee the whole lot could be washed and new paint applied. KOCB thanked www.BlueSonicWash.com for a job well done.
KOCB will also be participating on February 1 in the Community Trash-Off. The Trash-Off was originally called Gateway Cities Proud.
KOCB donated $300 worth of equipment for the event. The money came from Southeast Texas Resource Conservation & Development grant funds from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.
The organization is currently seeking a grant writer to work with Keep Texas Beautiful for a $250,000 grant for landscaping state highways.