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Saving FROM a Rainy Day; DIY Rain Barrel Class

This class is a barrel of fun! Rainwater is the best water for your lawn, landscape or vegetable garden; Divert it, Save it, Use it! Come learn the basics and benefits of rainwater harvesting and reduce the effect your stormwater has on the environment. Participants will learn how to collect and utilize rainwater at home. This class is hands on “DIY” where each participant will build and take home a 55-gallon rain barrel at $50 dollars each. Rain barrels are recycled food-grade containers and are roughly 24” wide by 36” tall.  Pre-registration is required.


This class will be held at the Biodiversity Education Center, 367 Freeport Parkway Coppell, Texas 75019, on Saturday, May 12, 2018 at 11:00 am - 1:00 pm.

If interested, please RSVP at the following website. Spots are limited and registration is required.

https://wateruniversity.tamu.edu/water-university-events/2018/may-12-2018-saving-from-a-rainy-day-diy-rain-barrel-class-coppell/ 

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Coppell will have its first ever "Open Garden Day" on September 30, 9:00am-1:00pm. Eight gardens will welcome visitors, some that have not been on a tour before, others popular past participants in tours such as the Smartscape tour and the Dallas WaterWise tour.  This tour, however, unlike tours of the past, did not limit participation by criterion; it was open to whoever wanted to share their outdoor creative endeavors with the public. 

Three gardens have design elements provided by Coppell's own Grow It Land Design, two have been featured in the Dallas Morning News, another was inspired by Monet's gardens in Giverny. All provide the opportunity to enjoy an array of styles, structure, and plants that can inform your choices now and in the future. Fall is the best time to plant perennials, trees, and shrubs because the plant's energy goes into root growth while it is otherwise dormant in the winter.  This tour may provide your own inspiration, allowing you to give it the optimum opportunity to flourish in the spring!

Maps will be available at Helping Hands Community Garden at Town Center, 255 Parkway Blvd., on the day of the tour, or on the website, coppelltx.gov/kcb, beginning September 25.

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Nominate Coppell to Get a Grant for Nature ‘Play and Learn’ Area


Coppell is in the running for a $20,000 ‘Meet Me at the Park’ grant that would fund a play space designed to facilitate learning about nature. The Nature Explore design would provide a space for kids to play on a playground that utilizes natural elements like trees and water. It will be positioned just between the Biodiversity Education Center and the trailhead of the Coppell Nature Park, making hikes and more info on nature programs readily available to the families that will be adventuring there.

Nature Explore recognizes a need for today’s kids to break away from screens and reconnect to nature. They use research-based outdoor classroom features developed by teachers to engage kids through play. The stations typically include a nature art area and community stage as well as incorporating physical activities like climbing, building, and gardening. Coppell’s plans will provide sensory learning experiences such as outdoor art easels, a water manipulation station, and a music and movement area - offering a local opportunity for kids that learn different.

The natural play and learn area will be free and open to the public. It is likely to be utilized by the youth groups that visit the Biodiversity Education Center, but is intended to provide a unique and kid-friendly area for families to meet up and enjoy the outdoors.

Please support this community project by nominating Coppell daily through the month of April.  Here's how:

1. Coppell stakeholders can visit: www.meetmeatthepark.org
2. Register with your name and email address
3. Write in Coppell, Texas as the nominated city and click ‘Submit Votes’. It will not be one of the drop down selections.
4. Favorite the website and login to vote one time each day in April.
5. Get social! Share your experience on social media to spread the word and encourage others to vote. 

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Nominate Coppell to Get a Grant for Nature ‘Play and Learn’ Area


Coppell is in the running for a $20,000 ‘Meet Me at the Park’ grant that would fund a play space designed to facilitate learning about nature. The Nature Explore design would provide a space for kids to play on a playground that utilizes natural elements like trees and water. It will be positioned just between the Biodiversity Education Center and the trailhead of the Coppell Nature Park, making hikes and more info on nature programs readily available to the families that will be adventuring there.

Nature Explore recognizes a need for today’s kids to break away from screens and reconnect to nature. They use research-based outdoor classroom features developed by teachers to engage kids through play. The stations typically include a nature art area and community stage as well as incorporating physical activities like climbing, building, and gardening. Coppell’s plans will provide sensory learning experiences such as outdoor art easels, a water manipulation station, and a music and movement area - offering a local opportunity for kids that learn different.

The natural play and learn area will be free and open to the public. It is likely to be utilized by the youth groups that visit the Biodiversity Education Center, but is intended to provide a unique and kid-friendly area for families to meet up and enjoy the outdoors.

Please support this community project by nominating Coppell daily through the month of April.  Here's how:

1. Coppell stakeholders can visit: www.meetmeatthepark.org
2. Register with your name and email address
3. Write in Coppell, Texas as the nominated city and click ‘Submit Votes’. It will not be one of the drop down selections.
4. Favorite the website and login to vote one time each day in April.
5. Get social! Share your experience on social media to spread the word and encourage others to vote. 

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COPPELL, Tex. – An evolution of the annual Smartscape Tour of Coppell, the Sustainable Home and Garden Tour will expand to include features such as solar, rain water catchments, compost methods, and backyard habitats in addition to Smartscape design. This casual self-guided yard tour will take place on Saturday, October 1st from 8 a.m. to noon.

The idea is to provide people the opportunity to talk to homeowners casually about the real impact of investing in features that can be both beneficial to the environment and cost saving. City of Coppell Community Programs Coordinator, Molly Bujanda says, “In our environmental education classes we find that people are curious about the costs of investing in alternative energy or water wise irrigation, but don’t necessarily want to get this information from a company who has an interest in selling the idea. The tour will allow people to compare something like the cost of renting vs. purchasing solar in an environment that feels like talking to a neighbor.”

Each home will boast diverse highlights. Tour-goers will be able to attend all stops or pick and choose the locations that are most relevant to their interests. The features will include but are not limited to rented and purchased solar, shade gardens, water wise and habitat friendly native landscape designs, vegetable gardens, and smart irrigation. People who visit all stops will have the opportunity to complete a scavenger hunt that will qualify them to win a rain barrel or compost bin from the City of Coppell.

Keep Coppell Beautiful’s new spin on the Smartscape Tour offers a fun day exploring local gardens that will inspire greener living. To attend, no registration or payment is required. Simply collect your map from Helping Hands Garden, 255 Parkway Blvd. (next to Town Center) on Saturday, October 1st between 8 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. The first 100 people will receive a green living giveaway.

For more information, visit www.coppellcommunitygarden.org.

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Keep Coppell Beautiful (KCB) offers regular classes on gardening and green living topics such as rain water harvesting, composting, vegetable gardening and more. Now Coppell residents have the opportunity to show what they’ve learned with a chance to win $250 to spend at the Coppell Farmers Market! KCB will be looking for any and all green living ideas that may inspire others to make practical ecofriendly changes at home. Amateur photographers are welcome to participate.

To qualify, contestants must be residents of Coppell and photos must be taken within city limits, agree to have their photos shared online, and meet photo requirements. . Photos should inspire green living showcasing ideas such as:

  • Eco-friendly gardens or landscapes, that utilize native and drought tolerant plants
  • Conserving water through rain barrels, drip irrigation or other methods
  • Recycling/Waste Reduction around your house
  • Repurposed material projects
  • How you are using eco-friendly technology

With each photo should be a short description of how the photo represents eco-friendly practices. Photographers younger than 18 must indicate so.

The contest runs July 1st to August 31st. To submit your photo you can post it on your Instagram with the hashtags #ThinkGreen2016 and #KeepCoppellBeautiful, tag or share your photo with the Keep Coppell Beautiful Facebook page, or email your photo as a jpeg file to kcb@coppelltx.gov. By submitting your photo, you are giving KCB the right to use your photo.

If you have any questions email kcb@coppelltx.gov

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Dozens of community groups came together to beautify Coppell as part of the annual Clean Coppell event in April. The two week event is a community wide effort to clear Coppell streets and neighborhoods of litter. This year, many groups stepped up to volunteer for beautification projects in addition to the usual litter cleanups. Projects included painting a fresh mural, trail maintenance, planting for the monarchs, and replacing weathered stickers and labels at community gardens and parks.

The Friends of Coppell Nature Park partnered with Keep Coppell Beautiful to offer the trail cleanup and planting for the monarchs. The Friends hosted Rejoice Lutheran Church and Cub Scout Packs 850 and 841. They also worked with Girl Scout Troops 7233, 7232, and 4635 to plant native sedges at the Biodiversity Education Center’s native demonstration garden.

Allstate pitched in to clean up and whitewash the pedestrian underpass at Parkway Blvd which citizens have complained about since it had become a site for graffiti. The following day, 10 youth members from the 4-H Cowboys of Coppell painted hand trees, a colorful illustration of the collective effort to take action for a better community.

Keep Coppell Beautiful offers Clean Coppell each year as part of the statewide Don’t Mess with Texas Trash-Off and nationwide Great American Cleanup. Families, scout troops, schools and workplaces are encouraged to join together in a unified demonstration of community pride and commitment to a beautiful environment. Molly Bujanda, Community Programs Coordinator with the City of Coppell said, “It’s really inspiring to see how our local community contributes to such a big impact. Last year, 37 million pounds of litter and debris were collected across the United States during the Great American Cleanup. Coppell residents contributed thousands to that number.”

Keep Coppell Beautiful will provide opportunities for Clean Coppell again next year. Community groups are encouraged to identify potential sites for cleanup and beautification. It’s never too early to start thinking of projects to better our neighborhoods. Follow Keep Coppell Beautiful on Facebook for updates or contact kcb@coppelltx.gov to get involved. 

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               Seventy-two volunteers representing over a dozen community groups came together on November 7th to make the first Community Planting Day a success! Volunteers pitched in to plant dozens of native and well-adaptive plants that will be part of an elaborate demonstration rain garden at Coppell’s Biodiversity Education Center. The event which included the Arbor Day tree planting, was originally scheduled for October 31st, but had to be postponed due to storm warnings.

               The project was organized by local non-profit, Friends of Coppell Nature Park in partnership with the City of Coppell. Local Coppell resident and landscape architect, Janna Tidwell created the landscape design as a huge gift to the community. She also drew donations of time from other professionals that advised on irrigation and sustainability. The plants in the design require minimal water and utilize drip irrigation. According to Jen Ferguson, Community Programs Manager with the City of Coppell, “Coppell has an outstanding number of engaged citizens that enthusiastically give back to their community. The native plant demonstration garden will serve as an excellent learning grounds for water conservation and horticulture, further adding to the unique attributes that keeps our city special to our residents.”

               “Many hands make light work” was proven true, as volunteers hammered out the planting, mulching, watering, and clean-up before noon! The entire truckload of mulch disappeared quickly as they had five wheelbarrows lined up, using an efficient assembly line for distribution to garden beds. There was great comradery among the diverse groups, as families, community groups and professional associations worked together. One North Lake student said, “It feels good to get outdoors and do something good for the community.”

               Come check out the new rain garden and take a walk through the Coppell Nature Park! The Biodiversity Education Center is a “green” constructed net zero building nestled on the sixty-six acres of nature preserve in Wagon Wheel Park. It is available for use by Coppell non-profit entities for meetings and environmental education.  It is also a great location for Coppell ISD field trips and facilitates a regular schedule of classes and events that are free to the public.  To find out more about the Biodiversity Education Center and to obtain forms for its use, please visit www.coppelltx.gov/BEC .  The center may be reached at 972.304.3581 or cnp@coppelltx.gov.  

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November 7th is Community Planting Day at the Biodiversity Education Center!

You are invited to come help the Friends of Coppell Nature Park plant an extensive native demonstration garden designed by professional landscape architect and Coppell resident, Janna Tidwell. Volunteers are needed all day from 8 a.m.-6 p.m. in two hour shifts. Come share in this positive community event with friends and family. Lunch is provided, and in the spirit of Halloween, there will be face painting for the kids from 10am-2pm.

What will volunteers be doing? Plants will already be laid out in their designated spots so they can easily be picked up and planted. Supervisors will be present in each section to give instruction and facilitate the work so that the end result is a gorgeous professional landscape design! After each section is complete, it will be mulched to make for a picture-perfect shot of a beautiful fresh garden. This is an excellent learning opportunity since volunteers will identify native plants, get the hands-on experience of putting them in the ground, and see how their work contributes to a larger landscape plan.

What is required to volunteer? Pick one or more shift from the registration link below. Simply sign in upon arrival near the entrance to the Biodiversity Education Center. Just look for the Friends of Coppell Nature Park canopy to get set up! Since supervisors will be present to clarify what the plants need to thrive, there is no need for a green thumb, just the desire to be part of a project that will serve as an excellent learning ground to thousands and beautiful gem in our community. Gardening is hard work and a science however, so we are looking for volunteers that can follow directions closely and don’t mind getting their hands dirty.

How can I get involved? You can sign up for volunteer shifts on Friday, Saturday, or Sunday here, BEC Rain Garden Planting Day. Click here to sign-up to volunteer. This is also posted on the Friends of Coppell Nature Park Facebook page as an event here. Please feel free to “share” the Facebook page so all your friends will see it and/or send the BEC Rain Garden Planting Day sign-up link to your friends.  For more information, email jferguson@coppelltx.gov

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Keep Coppell Beautiful to recognize residents with sustainable landscapes

 

Tour of Coppell: Texas SmartScapes applications to have your home featured on this year’s tour are now being accepted.  Each year, Keep Coppell Beautiful recognizes Coppell residents who have implemented Texas SmartScape concepts into their landscapes. These homeowners are eligible to be featured on the Tour of Coppell: Texas SmartScape, Saturday, October 3.  Last year’s tour drew over 1,100 people from all over the region! 

The application focuses on the types of Texas native and adapted plants incorporated, use of compost and mulch, irrigation practices, and turf reduction.  The applications are open to Coppell residential landscapes only.  Applications are due August 7, 2015.

Landscapes that incorporate these sustainable techniques conserve water and protect water quality, as well as save the homeowner on their water bills!  The Texas SmartScape  program has a plant database of over 200 native and adaptive plants that thrive in the North Central Texas climate.  The website also walks you through the steps to create your own lush landscape that uses little water, fertilizers and pesticides, and also attracts butterflies and hummingbirds.

Homeowners chosen for the tour will receive a Texas SmartScape™ yard sign.

To apply to have your home featured on the tour contact Keep Coppell Beautiful at kcb@coppelltx.gov, or call 972-462-5191.

For more information, visit coppellcommunitygarden.org.  To learn more about Texas SmartScape™, visit TxSmartScape.com.