A Look Inside “Keep Waco Beautiful”

As a Robinson resident, I wasn’t certain of the impact Keep Waco Beautiful had on my local experiences. However, after a sit down with Carole Fergusson, Executive Director, I was surprised at how little I knew about the organization and how much of a difference they make on the lives of everyone in McLennan County, not just Waco.

My knowledge of the non-profit was limited to initiatives like trash pick-up and glass recycling, so I was eager to visit with Carole and gain a deeper perspective on what their organization was all about. Immediately, I was drawn in by their mission statement, “Making Waco a more vibrant and sustainable place to live.” The bright personality of their leader was also something I took quick notice of. It was clear Carole had a passion, not only for improving her city, but for sparking the same desire in others.

Right off the bat, she shared with me some major past projects that were spearheaded by Keep Waco Beautiful, since its formation in 1981. Did you know they were the brains and hard work behind the the lighting of Suspension Bridge, Heritage Square, and the Wildflower Refuge at Miss Nellie’s Pretty Place? I was surprised to learn that the organization had been around that long and that it was responsible for such large ideas in the community.

Garrison Garden Workday

Projects big and small carry equal importance for Keep Waco Beautiful and this time of year things tend to be pretty busy. Earth Day is just around the corner (April 22, 2024), and they have a full lineup of events for Waco’s Earth Week. From the Great Waco Cleanup to tree planting for Arbor Day, there really is a way everyone can participate, including kids. Giving back to the community is always a win, but being able to bring little ones along is a huge plus for us moms. Personally, I’m looking forward to Science Day with Sarah the Scientist, where kids learn about the Greenhouse Effect through hands-on experience and a real-time science experiment!

While Earth Week is clearly top of mind at the moment, it didn’t mean the wheels weren’t continuously turning on other projects. Carole has big plans for what is to come for Keep Waco Beautiful; her innovative ideas are not only helping fundraise for the non-profit but also helping engage members of the community and area businesses. Trash Dash & Bash, which took place earlier this month, is just one of those unique concepts.

When I asked her about other ways to get involved throughout the year she shared with me a variety of options, including their Adopt-A-Parks program (any available parks to be announced in May), Litter Kits (found at any Waco library), and more. Carole noted she is already planning events for fall and there is plenty to come from Keep Waco Beautiful after the heat of the Texas summer tapers off. One continuous way you can show support is through donations. Options for one-time, monthly and annual contributions are available on their website, starting at any amount. They’re proud to put every dollar donated back into the city!

After our quick conversation, it’s easy to see how even though I don’t live in Waco, I am benefiting from the hard work that Keep Waco Beautiful is doing. Though operating within the confines of the city limits, their reach is far greater and can be felt by anyone who has paddled down the Brazos or enjoyed a hike through Cameron Park. Keep Waco Beautiful is making its mark on the city in a big way and I’m eager to begin walking alongside them to see what they’re up to next.

I hope you’ll join me in making Waco a more vibrant and sustainable place to live.


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