Trash on the beach is never pretty. But thanks to a local art project, the island’s beachside trash receptacles will become a lot more pleasing to look at.

“Beautify the Bucket” is a program spearheaded by local conservation organization Artist Boat with support from the park board. The project turns beach trash buckets into art canvases while school groups, organizations, families and individual artists compete for various prizes. Much of the art includes conservation images and messages.

“We hope that people take notice of the art and then take action to make sure their trash doesn’t end up in the Gulf where it could harm wildlife,” said Kendall Guidroz, Artist Boat education coordinator.

Themes for “Beautify the Bucket” include ocean organisms, marine debris, coastal and marine ecosystems and Galveston recreational activities. Once complete and turned in to Artist Boat, the buckets will be judged with winners to be announced in each category at the Adopt-A-Beach Coast-Wide cleanup event Sept. 23.

This is the third round for the project. To date, 115 buckets have been decorated and placed on the beach. Students from school districts throughout the region, including Galveston, Houston, Clear Creek and Santa Fe, have participated in the project. In addition, entities like the Port of Galveston and the Baytown Junior Art Club, plus many families and individuals, have loaned their artistic flair to beautify the buckets.

The park board and Artist Boat have collaborated on this and many other projects designed to enhance the health and beauty of the beach, including implementing recycling stations along the beach and refurbishing seawall benches. The two organizations have also partnered to bring educational outreach to beachgoers through the Bucket Brigade beach tour program.

All of these projects help the park board to fulfill the organization’s mission to be good stewards of the coastal environment.

“Residents and visitors expect — and deserve — a clean beach environment,” said Kelly de Schaun, executive director of the park board.

Anyone interested in beautifying a bucket or seeking more information about the project should visit Entries will be taken through Sept. 1.

Mary Beth Bassett is the public relations coordinator for the Galveston Island Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Park Board of Trustees.

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