Since its beginning in 1967, the Kilgore Improvement and Beautification Association has been an integral part of Kilgore’s beautification efforts, leading the way when other individuals
and groups chose not to get involved. Led by the early pioneers, the late Nelda Lewis, the late Charles Devall and Foster T. Bean, KIBA met on March 12, 1968 and received itscharter on April 6th of that same year.
The oil boom attributed to the formation of KIBA. The year was 1967 and many oil wells were being capped. Even though the derricks were removed, the enormous concrete corner blocks remained and many of the rig sites were trashy.
KIBA was formed to step up the clean-up efforts. And, for 34 years, this organization has proudly carried the cleanup banner for the City of Kilgore, winning state and national acclaim along the way.
The Kilgore Improvement and Beautification Association has begun and maintained approximately 30 beautification projects since its beginning. They include the following:
— Obtained key derrick and land at World’s Richest Acre.
— Landscaped the World’s Richest Acre.
— Planted seven acres of wildflowers along roadsides with FFA students.
— Relandscaped the entire city park and pool area.
— Landscaped Brook Drive Boulevard.
— Merry Christmas sign and eight-foot star placed on key derrick at World’s Richest Acre.
— Bridges were built on Kay Street creek.
— Landscaped new wing at Roy H. Laird Hospital with plants.
— World’s Richest Acre redone into replica of World’s Richest Acre using 8 1/2-foot derricks,
complete with picture and tape recording.
— Small stars and cross placed on the small derricks at World’s Richest Acre.
— After four years of effort, KIBA purchased the old Missouri and Pacific Railroad Station
and remodeled it. Now the home of the White Elephant Bazaar each Tuesday.
— Mural painted on the side of building in celebration of 50th birthday of Kilgore.
— Obtained historical marker and placed it at the Depot.
— Donated funds for Sesquicentennial marker.
— Seeded 10 miles of roadway with flowers with FFA students.
— Made donation to assist with Sesquicentennial reflector pool.
— Landscaped Shell pumps in City Park.
— Historical marker signs on all city limit signs.
— Planted large azalea bed on City Hall grounds.
— Replaced all rockwork in City Park.
— Purchased merry-go-round for City Park.
— Installed Six Flags Over Texas at City Hall and currently maintain the flags.
— Joined Trees for Texas Program and planted trees in Kilgore each year.
— Remove old plants and relandscaped Kilgore Public Library.
— Relandscaped Memorial Park Island spelling “Kilgore” in plants and continue to maintain
— Did research and obtained historical building marker for Kilgore Public Library.
— Planted crepe myrtles on Commerce Street on each side of Depot.
— Relandscaped and continue to maintain Star Island.
— Researched, landscaped and continue to maintain Shakespeare Garden at Kilgore College.
Placed Bust of Shakespeare in garden along with sun dial and cement benches.
— Adopted Commerce Street to clean and keep it beautified according to the Mayor’s
master plan for a cleaner Kilgore.
— Replanted planters downtown and maintain and water those in the downtown area.
— Sponsor of the Make A Difference Day by beautifying Commerce Strret.
— Replaced sign at the World’s Richest Acre with replica of original.
— Longtime sponsor of Second Saturday Recycling Program.
— Raised money and completed the Amphitheater in City Park.