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TEXAS LEGISLATORS RECOGNIZED FOR PROTECTING SCENIC ENVIRONMENT

Scenic Texas Gives Select State Lawmakers Inaugural Awards

Scenic Texas, the state’s only non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation and enhancement of the state’s visual environment, particularly as seen by the traveling public, announced that it will be recognizing six outstanding state legislators with inaugural awards.

“These Texas Legislators that we are honoring have been instrumental in supporting good legislation, like last session’s passage of SB 357 limiting the height of billboards, and killing bad legislation that takes away from citizens’ ability to safeguard the scenic qualities of Texas roadways, countryside, and communities,” said Scenic Texas Executive Director Sarah Tober.

Scenic Texas is recognizing six State Legislators who have shown support through the years and in the 86th Legislative Session that took place this year. The inaugural awards established for Scenic Texas include:

  • The Scenic Friend award, given to notable legislators who have helped the Scenic Texas mission and the cause, and may be a future Scenic Star or Hero.
  • As the second highest honor, the Scenic Star award is given to multiple legislators/supporters/board members who have done extraordinary work for Scenic Texas.
  • The Scenic Hero award is the highest honor given by Scenic Texas to one person whose outstanding work at the Texas Legislature made a significant impact on the Scenic mission for the State of Texas.

Scenic Hero

Robert Nichols (R-Jacksonville) – Sen. Nichols, Chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee, authored SB 357 — limiting billboard height — and successfully guided it through the Senate where it was unanimously passed. In a previous legislative session, Sen. Nichols authored a bill that led to better enforcement of illegal signs erected across the Lone Star State.

Scenic Star

Geanie Morrison (R-Victoria) – Rep. Morrison, Chairwoman of Local and Consent Calendars, introduced HB 3368, relating to the height of billboards and was instrumental in bringing awareness to this issue. In 2017, she was the House author of SB 2006 that reinstated the State Highway Beautification Act regulating outdoor signage. 

Kirk Watson (D-Austin) – Sen. Watson has been a major supporter of Scenic Texas’ mission for many years. In 2019, he joint-authored SB 357, and in 2017, he authored SB 2006 that reinstated the Texas Highway Beautification Act regulating outdoor signage. 

Terry Canales (D-Edinburg) – Rep. Canales, Chairman of the House Transportation Committee, authored SB 357 and worked diligently to pass the bill in the House.

Scenic Friend

Erin Zwiener (D-Driftwood) – Rep. Zwiener has been a strong advocate for Scenic Texas’ mission, successfully passing HB 4148, legislation limiting outdoor lighting in order to preserve dark sky communities. She also introduced HB 1303, a law that would have limited billboards on certain roads in her district.

Sarah Davis (R-Houston) – Rep. Davis, Chairwoman of House Appropriations Subcommittee on Article II, introduced HB 789, the initial bill relating to the height of billboards and was instrumental in bringing awareness to this issue. 

Senator Nichols received his award on Monday, December 9 at a Scenic Texas reception in Houston at Frost Bank Corporate Board Room, Uptown, 1700 Post Oak at 1 p.m. before the annual board meeting. 

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Scenic Texas, Inc., is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to preserving and enhancing the visual character of Texas. We are the only state nonprofit that helps citizens safeguard the scenic qualities of Texas roadways, countryside, and communities. 

Scenic Texas is an affiliate of Scenic America.

In addition to advocacy related to protecting scenic highways, Scenic Texas is committed to education and planning. Through the Scenic City Certification Program, Scenic Texas provides educational resources to Texas cities that are establishing or revising ordinances that impact the streetscapes. Scenic Texas also supports urban forestry projects, tree planting and preservation initiatives, the creation of scenic roads and districts, the establishment and funding of parks and green space, the forestation of our highways, and the preservation of historic areas.

 

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