EDINBURG The University of Texas-Pan American's Mother Daughter Program received praise and another award from McAllen's beautification group.

On Aug. 19, Keep McAllen Beautiful presented members of the Mother Daughter Program plaques made from recycled glass honoring them for having the most volunteer participation at this year's Great American Cleanup. The cleanup is an annual nationwide event from March to May dedicated to removing litter from the streets.

This is the third year in a row the Mother Daughter Program has received this award, said Barbara J. Garza, outreach director of UTPA's College Access and Support Programs,which oversees the program.

"This award means so much to us as a group, for it shows that the work of these individuals doesn't go unnoticed," Garza said.

Established in 1990, the Mother Daughter Program's goal is to develop good communication and relationships between mothers and daughters through community service projects they can work on together.

The program formed a partnership three years ago with Keep McAllen Beautiful to work on city-sponsored community improvement projects, Garza said.

Garza stressed the importance of the University's association with Keep McAllen Beautiful and other community events.

"It's significant for the University to get young people involved in projects such as these so they can have a sense of pride in giving back to their communities and feel good that they've experienced such positive accomplishments," she said.

For more than 30 years, Keep McAllen Beautiful has strived to develop and expand the awareness of McAllen's proper waste reduction practices and litter prevention and looks for people in the community to volunteer in service activities. The organization has year-round beautification, litter pick up and education programs that help instill environmental awareness.

"Our organization is about keeping the City of McAllen beautiful, and our community's involvement is such an important asset to us," said Hilda DeShazo, a board member of Keep McAllen Beautiful.