Keep Texas Beautiful (KTB) recently announced the Biodiversity Education Center (BEC) as the first place winner of the 2021 Educational Institution Award for creative service delivery during the pandemic. The Beautify Texas Award Program is an annual statewide recognition that encourages local efforts to enhance communities through education and community involvement.
The Sadie Ray Graff Educational Institution Award specifically recognizes efforts that provide programming to Pre K through college students to encourage youth involvement to make their communities cleaner and greener. The Biodiversity Education Center earned the 2021 recognition with several innovative programs that were introduced during 2020.
Thousands of Coppell residents took advantage of EcoExplorer Activity Kits that are distributed with a trail map to complete on the trail system or at home. This was a pivot from a usual indoor program that would welcome visitors inside to explore a weekly theme and collect trail information. Other programs that shifted outdoors with different formats included Trail Days, Outdoor Yoga, themed guided hikes, and virtual service learning for teens. Approximately 700 people per month safely engaged in the BEC’s programs during 2020. Those numbers are incredible considering the figure represents people seeking out nature education and community service during such a challenging year. Many more enjoyed Coppell Nature Park trails which are generously kept in great shape by Friends of Coppell Nature Park alongside many volunteer groups.
“We are proud to honor and recognize Texans who are making a difference in our state,” says Suzanne Kho, Executive Director of Keep Texas Beautiful. “Their actions do more than protect the environment: they inspire community members to get involved and help us keep Texas beautiful.”
The Biodiversity Education Center will be honored at the KTB Annual Conference, which will take place virtually from June 29 through July 1. Follow the BEC on social media to keep up with future programs and volunteer opportunities.