It’s been three years since we visited Park Cities, Utah. In my mind, it’s a city that will always be synonymous with beautiful. Besides its terraced landscape and grandiose vistas, it was clean. I don’t just mean absent of trash on the roadways, but attention-to-detail clean. We’re talking yards mowed, hedges clipped and roads swept. There were no garish signs on poles; in fact, there were few poles of any kind at all. Maybe it was the way the sun set in the sky or, simply, because I was on vacation, but I was happy. It felt like I’d just stepped into the Technicolor “Wizard of Oz.”
Until I visited this town, I wouldn’t have imagined how the aesthetics of a city could truly make or break a tourist’s experience. Nacogdoches is home to many tourists each year. Many of them come because of our designation as the Garden Capital of Texas. Our city’s university, businesses, civic groups and many individuals have worked well together to help create that designation. We should be proud of these efforts and for the difference it’s made in our parks, paths, and gardens.
When I see the improvements to our parks or the flower boxes downtown or the new labyrinth at SFA’s trail system at University Dr. and Starr, I’m inspired to play a part. We recently received the Landscape Leadership award by Keep Nacogdoches Beautiful for the initiative we took in establishing our portrait garden in downtown Nacogdoches. It was bestowed on us due to the efforts made by my parents and other volunteers; it’s because of their concerted efforts, I realize that “many hands make light work.”
If you want to be part of the change but don’t know what to do or where to go, Keep Nacogdoches Beautiful is a great place to begin. KNB implements programs to clean up litter, reduce and recycle waste, encourage individual responsibility and beautify and enhance the local community. KNB’s volunteers have done this so well they were named a Gold Star Affiliate by Keep Texas Beautiful, a designation conferred on just 66 of KTB’s more than 395 affiliates in 2017. At www.keepnacbeautiful.org, you’ll see exactly what they do and many different ways you, or you and your family, or you and your co-workers can get involved.
There’ve been many positive changes made to our city, but noo one will tell you it’s easy. Wouldn’t it be worth it, though, to be able to say, “We’re proud of Nacogdoches and how beautiful it is?” To be the town that everyone else blogs about? I can’t think of a better way to spend a weekend but alongside friends helping clean and beautify Nacogdoches. It all starts with you!