Liz Berry, President Emeritus and Jane Stroud, President Loving Garland Green support the Keep Garland Beautiful Spring Trash Bash in Garland on Saturday May 6, 2017.

Yesterday was a big day for me as a local yokel and member of the Garland Texas Park Board. Our celebration for Earth Day was extended into May and Saturday was also the day I voted for Mayor and my city councilman.  After voting at 7:15 AM Charlie and I drove over to 66 and Commerce Street to sign in for the Spring Trash Bash.  We got our trash sacks and gloves and headed on over to 4022 Naaman School Road where we picked up trash near the roadway that faces the Garland Community Garden. 

I was happy to see all my friends from Keep Garland Beautiful there—Betty Roberts, President; Reba Collins and Ken Risser.  Donna Baird, from our Garland Multicultural Commission, was also helping them out.  It’s great to see all our organizations working together to make Garland even more beautiful and healthy.  In addition to Keep Garland Beautiful, our Environmental Waste Services, our Garland Storm Water Management, our Garland ISD, the North Central Texas Council of Governments and other local groups helped to make this event the success it was.  There were also Scout troops and a large group from the local Knights of Columbus who were among those participating in our Trash Bash pickup activities.

The Loving Garland Green group found only one cigarette butt.

One thing that made me happy about the trash we found was that there was only one cigarette butt among our trash collected.    According to Keep America Beautiful, the parent organization for our Keep Garland Beautiful, only 10% of cigarette butts are properly deposited in ash receptacles.  A survey of more than 1,000 smokers found that 35% of smokers toss five or more cigarette butts from each pack on the ground.

Cigarette butts are the most littered item in the world.  Over 4.5 trillion cigarette butts are littered worldwide each year.  These little butts add up. There are over 176,000,000 pounds of discarded cigarette butts in the USA each year.  (

Cigarettes are extremely toxic.  They contain over 165 chemicals—bad stuff like arsenic, acetone, lead, formaldehyde, and cadmium to name a few of these polluting and deadly chemicals in a cigarette. 

In a study performed by Elli Slaughter of San Diego State University, a single cigarette butt that had traces of tobacco was introduced to a liter of water. This resulted in high toxicity levels, and the death of 50% of the fish in the water. This is the result of one little cigarette butt.


Charlie brings in his haul for delivery to the community trash-gathering bin.

Turning in Trash for Prizes

We really would do this even if there were no prizes, but the prizes and games make the event even more fun.  After gathering our trash we returned to our starting point to turn it in and be rewarded for our efforts with hotdogs, fun and games and prizes.  In order to win the prizes, visitors had to answer questions regarding the environment and responsible practices as a good citizen.  I’m happy to report that Jane, Charlie and I got all the answer correct and thus we went away with a sack full of loot.


Downtown Marketplace and then to the Native Plants and Prairies Day

Jane and I left about 10:30AM and headed for downtown Garland for the twice a month MarketPlace.  From there we left the boundaries of our great municipality and headed over to the White Rock Lake area where the historic Bath House Cultural Center is located.  This is where the fifth annual North Texas Master Naturalist Native Plants and Prairies Day was being held.  The event is supported by the Texas A& AgriLife Extension, the Texas Parks and Wildlife, and the North Texas chapter of Texas Master Naturalists.  The most interesting booth for me was a collection of native snakes (all behind glass).  I was able to see a large copperhead up close and safe.



Public Farmers Market at Firewheel Town Center

Jane and I ended our community gad-about by returning to the Firewheel Center here in Garland where they were holding a produce market on the northeast side of Macy’s.  We bought beets, delicious tomatoes and Brussels sprouts.

Firewheel Town Center is excited to be hosting a Farmer's Market kicking off on Saturday, May 6. 

Interested in setting up? 

Visit for more details.

The Public Market will run from May 6th - July 30th in the grass lot behind Macy's next to the apartments.
Saturdays and Sundays


Monday Update:  PRODUCE VENDORS TAKE NOTE--Vendor made more Money at this Firewheel Town Center market than he did at the Dallas Farmer's Market

On Sunday Jane and her husband who live in Firewheel returned for more good produce.  One of the vendors told Jane that on the first day of this new market that he made more money than he made selling his produce at the Dallas Farmer's Market.  I attribute this to the fact that Firewheel Center is located nearby Garland's most upscale residential area--a perfect location as it is very convenient to customers who are interested in and who can best afford quality produce.  Instead of having to drive twenty minutes to half an hour to get to a Whole Foods, they can just hop in their car and get the very freshest produce in five minutes.


But, if you want the freshest and  the most affordable produce:  grow your own!

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