In 1979, Frances Sturgis, friend of First Lady, Lady Bird Johnson who introduced the national beautification effort during Lyndon B. Johnsonís presidency, convinced Waco leaders to establish the Greater Waco Beautification Association.  Nine people met to discuss the needs for an active, ongoing beautification effort.  The Environmental Commission and the Image Committee of the Chamber of Commerce were unanimous in their backing of this new association.

In 1980, the organization incorporated and became a 501c3 nonprofit organization called Keep Waco Beautiful.  By 1984, Keep Waco Beautiful had become a certified affiliate of Keep America Beautiful and Keep Texas Beautiful with 437 members.

Keep Waco Beautiful's countless volunteers have given tens of thousands of hours to cleaning, beautifying, recycling, educating and creating community awareness through the years.

Recently hundreds of volunteers and members, current as well as former, met to celebrate Keep Waco Beautiful's 25th anniversary and to honor founder, Frances Sturgis.  They recalled the fun, but hard work that went into all of the many activities and events throughout the years.  As they mingled, no one could help but notice that the community spirit and community pride was still there.  It filled the room.  There was still so much desire to give to this community, so much hope for its future, so much pride in its accomplishments.  Keep Waco Beautiful has a wonderfully strong volunteer base with a better community its constant goal.  After 25+ years, the mission is still unchanged; to make Waco a clean, healthy, safe, and more beautiful place to live and work.

And now the next 25 years is well underway.  Keep Waco Beautiful continues to host cleanups and landscaping events.  We continue to educate students and residents.  We continue to hold Arbor Day celebrations and bring exciting new programs and events to the community.  We keep hosting Holiday on the Square and lighting the community Christmas Tree.  We will still contribute large projects such as Heritage Square to the community.  Keep Waco Beautiful continues to offer service to this community in the form of enhanced quality of life.  Those issues are vital to a thriving community and often go unnoticed when they are accomplished well.  A good quality of life will result in retention of happy, more satisfied residents and businesses and will aid in attracting new businesses and citizens as well. 

This is such an exciting time for our community!  So much is being planned and taking place.  Cameron Park recently turned 100 years old.  How can Keep Waco Beautiful contribute to the revitalization of that wonderful 400 plus acre park in the heart of our city?  The Mammoth dig site may soon become a National Park!  The Chamber of Commerce has a progressive strategic economic development plan and has taken a lead by designing a soon to be built headquarters that will be completely "green," made with recycled products, energy conservative, and able to recycle rainwater to be used for landscaping.  Our City Manager has been talking to a developer about plans for business buildings around the Heritage Square area.  An exciting new Community Visioning Project has recently been completed, giving the community's citizens a clearer picture of their dream and their direction.  Environmental issues, parks, and beautification were mentioned more than once in that important survey.  Keep Waco Beautiful is ready to help with our piece of the community's vision for the future.  There is so much opportunity for Keep Waco Beautiful to support and contribute and play a significant part in so many of these exciting new plans!