Branson committed to preserving environment

As the selected destination for more than seven million visitors per year, the city of Branson is keenly aware of its need to provide the entertainment needs for today’s vacationer and for future generations of visitors as well. Whether it be the condition of the city streets or the quality of the water in the pristine lakes, rivers and streams, Branson is working hard to ensure that area businesses, residents and government offices are aware of and committed to preserving the environment.

Branson is one of the most progressive communities in the state thanks to its Environmental Excellence Challenge. The City of Branson began the program in 1996, reflecting the area’s commitment to preserving the natural resources of the Ozarks. The program is a partnership between the City of Branson and the Branson/Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce & Convention and Visitors Bureau and works to advocate environmentally friendly practices within area businesses.

Those who show an outstanding commitment to protecting the environment are rewarded with the opportunity to display the program’s official logo. The Environmental Excellence Challenge gives businesses, churches and schools and opportunity to earn points for such items as recycling, water conservation and beautification.

The Branson area is also tremendously committed to preserving the water in Table Rock Lake and neighboring rivers and streams. To this end, the James River Basin Partnership was instituted to monitor and enhance the area’s water quality. Fifty years ago the James River was a pristine stream meandering through the wondrous Ozark landscape.

Today, sections of the river are threatened by years of misuse. The James River Basin Partnership is working against the clock to protect the river from further pollution and enhance the water for fish, wildlife and future generations of residents and visitors. The ultimate goal is to protect and improve the water quality in area streams, lakes and rivers including Crane Creek, Spring Creek, Flat Creek, Wilson Creek, James River, Finley River, Lake Springfield and Table Rock Lake.

Every resident and business in Branson can participate in the city’s recycling program. The City of Branson operates a drop-off recycling center that accepts paper, yard waste, metals, plastic and glass. A recycling guide is available from the City that outlines the recyclable materials accepted.

Branson also recognizes trees as an important natural resource and, since 1994, has had one of the strictest landscape ordinances in the state. In fact, Branson considers tree management so important that the City’s landscape administrator has worked with the engineering department to inventory all trees on city property utilizing a computerized global positioning mapping system. Because of Branson’s efforts, it has been named a Tree City USA by the National Arbor Day Foundation for three years in a row and has received the Governor’s Town Treescape Award for improving the community through tree planting.

Environmentally friendly practices throughout the Branson/Lakes area are in place to encourage residents and visitors to retain the Branson area’s natural resources – a leading reason why vacationers have been traveling to the community for many decades.

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