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April 2, 2009

City of Houston Adopt-A-Ditch Partnership with Keep Houston Beautiful Makes its Mark in the Overbrook Community

The City of Houston, along with the Overbrook Civic Association, will be giving the Overbrook community a greener look as hundreds of volunteers lend a hand to Adopt-A-Ditch at Bellfort and Northdale (KM 534-Y) on Saturday, April 4, 2009, from 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

This effort will not only beautify the existing esplanade ditch in the area, but will help create a sense of pride and ownership in keeping the drainage system healthy and free of unwanted debris and trash.

Administered by Keep Houston Beautiful and the City of Houston's Department of Public Works and Engineering Right-of-Way and Fleet Maintenance Division, this effort will kick off with a Keep Houston Beautiful Day landscaping of an 845 linear foot ditch by 400 "Teach for America" teacher volunteers. This inaugural project will also provide these teachers a valuable learning experience to take into the classroom as part of a new environmental educational curriculum focused on water quality.

Professional landscape architect Keiji Asakura of Asakura Robison Company LLC, who is volunteering his time, will also be on hand to provide direction and guidance to ensure the program's success. Drought-tolerate plants native to Texas temperatures will be used, reducing the need for frequent watering.

Mulch used creating an environmentally friendly appearance for this project is recycled brush and trees collected by the City of Houston and processed by Living Earth Houston MulchT. Financial underwriters for the Adopt-A-Ditch program and Keep Houston Beautiful Day include Republic Waste Services, Marathon Oil Company, and AbitibiBowater.  In-kind contributors include: Letco for mulch, TXU, Texas Tree Foundation and Tree Town USA for trees and San Jacinto Environmental Services for organic fertilizer.

Christison Landscape contractors and TBG Partners landscape architects will help supervise the planting.  The Overbrook Civic Club will provide long-term maintenance of the project.  The long-term commitments to the site include:

  • Scheduling clean-up dates based on the City of Houston Department of Public Works and Engineering Right-of Way and Fleet Maintenance Division mowing schedule
  • Recruiting volunteers and monitoring volunteers during clean-up events
  • Ordering equipment from the Keep Houston Beautiful warehouse, distributing equipment and trash bags, and returning equipment to the warehouse after events

Adopt-A-Ditch is an expansion of the successful Adopt-A-Block program that is a partnership among the City of Houston, Keep Houston Beautiful, local merchants, volunteers, and residents.  The goal of the effort is to raise the quality of life by transforming the adopted areas into cleaner, more environmentally pleasant places to live and work.

For more details, contact Robin Blut at Keep Houston Beautiful 713-805-1201 or e-mail