Seeing trash dispersed around the Fort Stockton can be a real eyesore for both residents and visitors alike.
The Keep Historic Fort Stockton Beautiful board is working towards a cleaner and more educated community.
“We want to make Fort Stockton the most beautiful city in the nation,” said chairman Leslye Curnutt.
She said that as part of the board's mission, it works to preserve the natural beauty and environment of Fort Stockton by forging a partnership between volunteers, the public, and the private sector.
The board is a part of Keep Texas Beautiful and Keep America Beautiful groups that encourage people to take action everyday to beautify their environment.
One of the events the group hosts in May is the Trash-Off, where people get assigned different areas of the city and they collect as much trash as possible.
This year, the rainy weather put a damper on things. Yet, more than 200 people showed up, including the students from the Fort Stockton High School athletic program and the Girl Scouts.
The board also saw a successful Halloween Carnival last year, and hope to recreate that this year by joining forces with the Downtown Association.
The board hopes to see more games, food trucks, vendors and the return of the haunted house.
Every year the board hosts a contest with the Fort Stockton Intermediate School where the kids are given a theme in order to create a picture that encompasses a “don't litter” message.
The kids are given ribbons and the grand prize winner gets their picture put on a magnet that is then put on a sanitation vehicle.
It hopes to include other grades this year by adding more art projects, gardening and beautification projects.
Fort Stockton High School has an advisory board with two students from each grade level who meet to talk about how they can be involved and what they would like to see.
Curnutt said that one of the biggest problems Fort Stockton has is that they don't do enough recycling.Public Works Director Aaron Ramos said that 80 percent of the almost-to-capacity landfill could be recycled.
The current recycling facility sits at 604 N. Valentine St., and accepts aluminum, glass, paper, cardboard and plastic.
The board has been working on a Rio Street project, planting trees and installing sprinkler systems down Dickinson Boulevard.
Another thing the board currently does is recognizes businesses who beautify around their facilities and will soon do it for residences.
The board received a grant of trees from Apache Corp. and help from Texas New Mexico Power, and hope to receive more grants in the future.
All the work they do now is written into the city's budget. The rest has to be on a volunteer basis or donations.
The board also sells T-shirts and tumblers at Bella Terraza, as a means to raise more money to put back into their projects.
Curnutt's biggest hope is that the community will get more involved and do something to help their area.
“Pick up after yourselves,” she said.
She hopes to launch reusable bags in the future so there are less plastics floating around and getting stuck in the trees.
By starting with the younger kids in school, she is hoping to spark an interest that they take with them into the future.
“Maybe it is something they will go home and share with their parents,” said Curnutt.
The board consists of nine members, Curnutt, Ruben Gonzales, Mike Stallard, Guadalupe Fierro, Ross Harper, Amy Terrazas, Harry Ghandi, DeeDee Warren and Bob Sadler.
They meet the first Wednesday of the month at 5 p.m. at city hall, 121 W. 2nd St.
Keep Historic Fort Stockton Beautiful can be reached through its Facebook page.