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Keep Houston Beautiful Records

Identifier: 2012-007

This collection includes award applications Keep Houston Beautiful has made to win monetary awards from Keep America Beautiful and Keep Texas Beautiful. It also includes awards Keep Houston Beautiful has won and awards that Keep Houston Beautiful has nominated community partners for. Included are administrative records, community initiatives of Keep Houston Beautiful, and various Keep Houston Beautiful events. This collection also includes photographs, press coverage, training materials, and publications made by Keep Houston Beautiful.


  • 1977-2012
  • Majority of material found within 2000-2008

Conditions Governing Access

Open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Special Collections owns the physical items in our collections, but copyright normally belongs to the creator of the materials or their heirs. The researcher has full responsibility for determining copyright status, obtaining permission to publish from copyright holders, and abiding by current copyright laws when publishing or displaying copies of Special Collections material in print or electronic form. For more information, consult the appropriate librarian. Reproduction decisions will be made by Special Collections staff on a case-by-case basis.


27.0 linear feet

Historical Information

A city ordinance passed under Mayor Jim McConn in 1977 created the Houston Clean City Commission. By 1979, the Commission’s Clean Houston program formed as a non-profit organization funded by the private sector. Operating as the d.b.a. for the Commission, Keep Houston Beautiful (KHB) became the local affiliate of Keep American Beautiful to promote a mission of education, personal responsibility, and community collaboration for a clean and beautiful Houston.

Teaching urban environmental awareness was an early part of KHB’s mission. KHB developed and distributed guidelines for recycling, composting, and planting for beautification in public and private places. Workshop topics included strategies to stop illegal dumping and organize neighborhood cleanup campaigns. KHB offered ideas for classroom activities to Houston teachers at in-service training sessions. For example, the Junior Composter activity guide helped students explore the characteristics of soil and the role of composting in soil enhancement.

Sponsoring events such as the Little Kids’ Litter Party helped children learn the role of personal responsibility in littering and trash disposal. At such events, children participate in the event at the Houston International Festival or other venues. Children enjoy music and instruction on avoiding being a Litter Bug. A truly collaborative event, the Litter Party draws support from schools, City of Houston departments, television stations, and corporations.

KHBs cleanup campaigns lead to beautified neighborhoods and civic pride. Keep Houston Beautiful Day, celebrated each spring, promotes citywide cleanups, organized around collaborative efforts, distribution of prize premiums, and celebrity participation. From its beginnings, more than thirty years ago, KHB worked to raise awareness on the premise that enhancing Houston’s environment creates measurable economic impact for all segments of the Houston area. Civic beautification, as encouraged by KHB, is about pretty trees and flowers but also the development of personal and community responsibility in the maintenance of a clean, healthy, and successful city.

Custodial History

The Keep Houston Beautiful Records were acquired for the University of Houston Libraries in partnership with the Houston History Archives initiative of the UH Center for Public History.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated by Robin Blut, Executive Director, Keep Houston Beautiful on July 13, 2012.

Related Materials

Keep Houston Beautiful Records

Guide to the Keep Houston Beautiful Records
Eliane Desjardins and Julian Quesada
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Repository Details

Part of the University of Houston Libraries Special Collections Repository

University of Houston Libraries Special Collections
MD Anderson Library
4333 University Drive
Houston TX 77204-2000 USA