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An Inside Look at KDB’s Yard of the Month Program

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Lantana, Turk’s cap, and buffalo grass, oh my! Keep Denton Beautiful's Yard of the Month recognizes Denton residents who contribute to the overall aesthetics and health of our city by maintaining exceptionally clean and beautiful properties. Often, homeowners describe their yards as long-term experiments or labors of love. Their yard is not only their property, but a way to invest in the community, be a good neighbor, and promote a sustainable environment.

When we first moved in the yard was pretty much nonexistent and had been totally neglected. All the planting beds were just weeds, no ornamentals. Everything we do in our yard is to reduce water and bring pollinators. I rarely water the planting beds and water the lawn deeply about every 2 weeks. I always keep my grass at 4 inches and routinely top dress with Dynolite.” Nathan Reed, Oct. 2019 Winning Yard Recipient

Nominations for the program are open to the public year-round with awards presented from March through November of each year. KDB volunteer Judges recognize several Yards of the Month from all over Denton with our signature yard signs. We sat down with Beverly McClure, an experienced judge, to hear what she values about the program.

Q & A

Q: When and how did you hear about the Yard of the Month Program? How long have you been volunteering as a Judge?

A : I first heard about the Yard of the Month in the Denton Record Chronicle, it peaked my interest as I had seen the Yard signs in beautifully landscaped yards for years. I have enjoyed volunteering as a Judge for 3 years.

Q: What is your favorite thing about the Yard of the Month program?

A: There are several reasons why I have so much fun serving as a Judge. I have learned a lot about gardening, designing, native plants by observing people's yards, what plants thrive in the Denton landscapes, what plants and bushes thrive well together, and observing people's yards has given me great ideas for my yard. I am fascinated by the ideas other people use in their yards, they deserve to be recognized for the thought and hard work they put into their yard. Another reason serving as a Judge is meaningful to me is meeting the homeowners, hearing their different and unique stories of their choices for their yard, plants, water features and wildlife. Also, I feel Denton is a great community of people, volunteering as a Judge is a great way to give back to the community, contribute toward a sustainable, and healthy environment for us and residents of Denton to come all without a huge time commitment.

Q: Why do you think public nominations are an important piece of the program?

A: Public nominations are crucial to recognizing the hard work so many people put into their yards. It is impossible for the volunteer Judges to find every nook and cranny in Denton. Denton residents drive through the streets of Denton every day observing landscapes, they can be so helpful by making a quick call giving the address.

Q: Do you have any words of wisdom for individuals considering volunteering to be a judge?

A: Volunteering as a Judge with the Yard of the Month is fulfilling, fun, interesting, and rewarding. The Judges get back so much more than the few hours invested monthly. It is a very positive experience for the Volunteer Judge, without needing prior experience.

For more information about the program, how to nominate a yard, and the application to become a volunteer Judge visit the Yard of the Month webpage.

Give Back The Dentonite Way!

 

As the year comes to an end, we reflect on how fortunate we are to live in a vibrant city full of opportunity. There are many ways to support our neighbors, and we are excited to share the ideas we have cultivated to give back and minimize environment impact all while supporting our local economy!

Give Back

You guessed it – we’re number one on the list! Keep Denton Beautiful has a variety of ways for you to get involved from garden workdays to litter cleanups. The Meetup Cleanup program – a one-time cleanup opportunity where you choose the date and time, and we provide the location and supplies – is a great way to check us out. Last year, over 2 tons of trash were removed from our city through this cleanup program alone!

Did you know the Denton Parks Foundation offers scholarships to provide access to recreational opportunities and low-cost childcare? For those who are passionate about children and parks and rec, donating to Parks Foundation scholarships is a win-win!

Minimize Environmental Impact

Gift Experiences – think a gift card to a favorite restaurant, session pass to a yoga class, tickets to a show at Dan’s Silverleaf, or a VIP pass to the upcoming Denton Black Film Festival. Experiences make great last-minute gifts, minimize packaging, and ensure you get to spend time with your loved one, too!

Recycle – There are many ways to reuse items that are often thrown away, especially after a generous holiday season. From arts and crafts to eyeglasses and books, we’ve got you covered!

  1. SCRAP Denton accepts SO MANY different types of items that can be re-imagined by their new owner. Check out their user-friendly guide to what SCRAP is currently accepting.
  2. The Denton Hi Noon Lions collect and recycle used eye glasses of all sizes and styles. For a list of drop-off locations visit their website.
  3. Linda McNatt Animal Shelter accepts used towels and blankets. Keep our furry friends comfortable while they wait to join their perfect family.
  4. Denton Libraries take donations of used materials such as books, DVDs, CDs, and audiobooks. Visit their website for complete details.
  5. Thrift Stores – Denton has a few options to support local organizations while recycling used items. A few locations to consider: Upscale Resale benefiting Denton County Friends of the family; Ruth’s Room in support of Habitat for Humanity of Denton County; Twice As Nice Resale helping Woman to Woman Pregnancy Resource Center.

Local Economy

Gifting experiences not only minimizes the potential for items already in our homes to be discarded, but also supports the local economy! Shopping local is a great way to support your neighbors. You can make your own creation by purchasing supplies at SCRAP Denton or enjoy locally made wares sold at The DIME Store, Denton Community Market, and craft fairs – check out local churches and high schools.

The BUTT Stops Here! – Cigarette Litter Prevention Program

Did you know? Cigarette butts are not made of natural fiber, but rather cellulose acetate – the same plastic compound that makes sunglasses frames!

With the help of grant funding from Keep America Beautiful’s Cigarette Litter Prevention Program, Keep Denton Beautiful (KDB) is working diligently to combat the number #1 most littered item in the United States – cigarette butts. Our most recent effort is the installation of 20 more receptacles in Downtown Denton and the Fry Street Area. While you may have noticed a ground mounted model, the newly installed Sidewalk Buttlers are attached to existing sign posts. Creating awareness that cigarette butts are litter too is important. Keep an eye out for receptacles when you are in Downtown Denton or on Fry Street.

Volunteers are essential to the success of the Cigarette Litter Prevention Program (CLPP), and regularly monitor and empty the receptacles. Quarterly scans, where littered cigarette butts are counted to determine the impact of the receptacles, are also staffed by volunteers. Interested in helping? Email KDB Program & Volunteer Coordinator at volunteer@kdb.org. Please note volunteers must be 18 years of age to assist with CLPP.