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Energy & Environment

More Than 1,000 Volunteers Will Beautify Houston’s Parks And Greenspaces

Volunteers help keep Houston’s parks attractive and clean for the public.


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Trash Off logo
Official Texas Trash-Off logo

A lot of people may take a clean, litter-free park or greenspace for granted. But it turns out there are volunteers who go out and clean up Houston’s greenspaces every weekend.

Keep Houston Beautiful, the organization that coordinates this effort, hosts the single largest cleanup in the city every April. Program Director Emily Barlow says the event coincides with the Don’t Mess with Texas Trash-Off.

“The city doesn’t have the infrastructure to send everyone out all the time to clean up after others. And I think it’s also leading by example, when you see others taking responsibility for their own actions and picking up after themselves, then others will kind of follow.”

Barlow says volunteers will clear brush and weeds, pick up trash and plant trees and shrubs at locations all over the city. Keep Houston Beautiful is also training volunteers on how to conserve water and use more drought-resistant and native plants during weekend clean-ups. She says the event is growing in popularity.

“We have over 1,000 volunteers working at over 20 sites. It’s about more than double the size of last year and from what I’ve been told, this is the first time we’ve had over 20 sites in the last five years.”

Last year, the group removed more than 1 million pounds of trash from Houston’s public spaces and planted nearly 6,000 trees and shrubs.


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Laurie Johnson-Ramirez

Laurie Johnson-Ramirez

News Director

Laurie Johnson-Ramirez leads news coverage for Houston Public Media across broadcast and digital platforms. Ramirez is a native Houstonian who started her career at Houston Public Media in 2002. Before becoming News Director, Ramirez held the position of Executive Producer for Daily News, leading daily and breaking news coverage, helping...

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