With several recent high school students heading to college, Keep Copperas Cove Beautiful has numerous board openings for area residents looking to be active in their city’s appearance.

There are currently nine board members serving on the city beautification organization with room for 15, said Silvia Rhoads, executive director of group.

“When you have more volunteers, you have more input in the different projects we are doing,” said Rhoads, noting she would like for the organization to operate at full capacity. “You get more ideas, more help and more volunteers.”

Keep Copperas Cove Beautiful is an organization that works to educate the community about beautification practices while enhancing the environment of the city.

The organization hosts several programs and events throughout the year to include Eco Harvest, an educational fair meant for school-aged children; several large citywide litter cleanups; and smaller, more localized litter pickups. The group also operates information booths for several area events, including Rabbit Fest and Fort Hood’s Earth Fest.

Medium-sized boards such as the one for the Keep Copperas Cove Beautiful are not uncommon for the Keep Texas Beautiful affiliates, said Cathie Gail, executive director for the statewide organization.

Ultimately, the organization’s size is based on the community and its needs but having such a number of people brings diversity to the group.

“The role of the board is very diverse, and in our organizations you want to have that diversity,” said Gail. “You want to have people from the municipality, you want to have businesses, and you want to have individuals. It’s a pretty lofty mission, so you really want the power to get the job done.”

Bringing in that power has been done in the past, said Rhoads. Current members all help to bring in a number of volunteers for the large events, and what the board is losing are some high school elements of community outreach.

Several of those leaving were members of the Copperas Cove High School’s National Honor Society, said Rhoads, and the group worked really hard to recruit other high school students to participate in large events such as the Texas Trash Off, which had more than 80 people participate this past year. They also provide a younger perspective on projects.

“They would just go out periodical and do their own cleanups,” said Rhoads of the high school group. “It seems like the younger generation is geared toward the environment and doing so much more for the environment. It is really refreshing to have them on the board and have those new ideas on the board.”

One new National Honor Society student, Kimberly Fayard, was already appointed to fill a vacancy on the board last week.

Rhoads said it doesn’t matter where the board members come from; they just have to want to serve.

“You definitely have to really want to volunteer to be on the KCCB,” said Rhoads. “KCCB is a commission that physically does things around the community all the time.”

Adam Wolf, president of the organization, said he has stuck with the organization because of the activities it runs.

“I like the organization, because it is one of those boards that doesn’t have a lot of politics and there are a lot of hands-on where you are actually doing stuff,” he said.

“We are looking for people that want to get involved and take some responsibility for environment and the way the city looks,” said Wolf. “We have meetings once a month for about a hour, and try to have events twice a month then annual projects — ranging from cleanups to educational events to the big trash-off.”

Contact Mason W. Canales at mcanales@kdhnews.com or (254) 501-7474

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