You have permission to edit this article.
Edit

Couch's Corner: County approves formation of Keep Kern Beautiful Committee

Spring is around the corner and with it spring cleanups. That’s why I’m pleased to announce that this month, the Kern County Board of Supervisors approved the bylaws and the formation of the Keep Kern Beautiful Committee, of which you can be a part.

With the official formation of this committee on Feb. 9, the county becomes an affiliate of Keep America Beautiful, the national organization, in its effort to increase awareness of the problem of litter and the need for beautification. It also connects us and all of the communities of Kern County into this web of organizations working to make America, and Kern County, more beautiful.

In many cases, the volunteer networks and the public agencies are already doing the work of picking up litter, wiping out graffiti and planting trees, flowers and gardens. Schools and families might be already teaching on the need to take pride in one’s community. But with affiliation, we harness the connectivity and the resources of each other and the national, state and county organizations dedicated to this purpose. And with the formation of this committee, we get greater citizen participation in this effort.

In District 4, expect to see more collaborations immediately, starting this spring, that will reflect how this affiliation can help Kern County and our District 4 communities. In Shafter, for instance, the AB 617 Steering Group identified as part of its efforts the need to plant more trees. Through our affiliations and our collaborations, we have enlisted the Tree Foundation of Kern, along with our Keep Kern Beautiful partners, in particular Lynnda Martin from American Refuse, Shafter’s waste and recycling hauler, to develop a plan to plant nearly $100,000 of trees in the Shafter area to help clean up the air and also beautify the city. Volunteers will be needed in this effort, when it’s time to plant the trees, and KKB is positioned to engage the community to participate in this effort.

Throughout District 4, groups are already engaged in efforts to beautify their communities and enlist volunteers to support those efforts. Steve Kinsey in Delano, Mayor Olivia Trujillo in Arvin and Jose Gonzalez from Lamont, to name just a few, immediately come to mind. Their efforts preceded KKB, but with KKB, their efforts can be enhanced, in terms of increased awareness, increased community support and resources that can be gathered. By bringing awareness of each other's efforts, and by cheerleading those efforts, so to speak, momentum can be created that can generate more activity, and more pride, in one’s community.

Our next steps are the creation of the committee. Two representatives from each supervisorial district will be selected, and they, along with any person with a passion for building this kind of beautification program, should contact their district offices to see how to get involved. While the committee will be a select “official” group, the people who can make a difference in our communities are limitless. There will also be room at the table for volunteers and people passionate about keeping Kern beautiful and making Kern more beautiful.

Got any questions about this or any District 4 matter? Contact us at district4@kerncounty.com or at 661-868-3680. Have a beautiful week.

David Couch represents Kern County’s 4th District.