Follow the Eco Bus

Bus Stop One:  Brownsville: March 30 to April 2

The first stop on the Lone Star Eco-Bus Tour was Brownsville. The bus camped out in front of Walmart store #5493 located on Padre Island Hwy March 30th to April 1st. Shoppers stopped by to see the Eco-Bus –a mobil lab for sustainability, which runs on used vegetable oil and is powered by the sun!

Laguna Atascosa NWR, Brownsville Children’s Museum, Brownsville Farmers Market, and Idea Academy joined the bus with information about the projects they were doing. Idea Academy is building a greenhouse out of plastic bottles. The Farmers Market had shrimp kebobs, an example in healthy eating. The shrimps were a contribution from the Shrimp Outlet. And Walmart displayed the many green products you can find in their stores.


April 2nd at Lincoln Park was fun for everyone. Walmart associates from store #5493 came to work in the garden, and were joined by UTB volunteers. The Texas flag garden, the herb garden, fruit trees and berry bushes were planted, and the water features of Lincoln Park’s Learning Garden were completed.   Stop by and see their work.




While the many volunteers were busy working in the garden, eight kids teams were cooking up a storm in the Healthy Kids Cook-Off Jam! All teams did a great job creating healthy dishes. The judging was very close and the winning teams were St. Joes in third place with a $400 gift certificate for their school from Walmart, Hudson in second place with a $600 gift certificate, and the winning school was Idea Academy who received a $1,000 gift certificate for their school. The day was full of activites, food and fun.





Corpus Christi -Bus Stop Two, May 2-7

Joe Boswell, RBWI’s Outreach Director, and a crew of three Earth Ambassadors left for Corpus Christi Monday afternoon on the Eco-Bus.  Corpus Christi is the second bus stop on the Lone Star 2011 Tour.  The bus hummed along the highway fueled by used vegetable oil and they pulled into their destination that evening.

RBWI’s Earth Ambassadors worked with Wamart Store #470 to complete a garden project for the Boys and Girls Greenwood Club.  In a week a barren area at the Boys and Girls Club transformed into Debra’s Garden with a patchwork quilt design vegetable garden, a turtle pond and and an art garden.

A core group of Boys and Girls Club members met everyday after school to help design and implement the design, and Walmart Associates joined volunteers from the Boys and Girls Club, the Earth Ambassadors and the kids to put the plants in the ground provided by Walmart store #470 and add the finishing touches on Saturday.

The participating kids at the Boys and Girls Club formed teams and developed enterprise plans for the garden. The winning ideas were awarded $1,000 gift certifcates from Walmart, which will be used for the garden and their enterprise plan.

The winning girls team will use the strawberry and herb garden beds to make jams and teas.  The boys would like to acquire a goat to keep the grass mowed, and use the goats milk to make cheese and favor it with the herbs grown in the garden.

The garden was dedicated to a much admired Boys and Girls Club volunteer who recently passed away.  Her children and family were very touched by the honor.

The next stop is Houston  in July, where the Stewardship project is a green house constructed from plastic bottles.  The Earth Ambassdors will work with Urban Harvest.


Bus Stop Three: Houston July 18 – 27

The Earth Ambassadors worked with Urban Harvest to construct a greenhouse from plastic bottles.  The bus arrived loaded with bottles, recycled wood and bamboo on a hot July day at beautiful garden in Ward 5. A beautiful greenhouse was constructed from the plastic bottles strung on bamboo that will allow the gardeners to start seedlings and protect them from inclement weather before transferring the plants to the garden.  A celebration featuring delicious dishes from the garden was enjoyed by all when the greenhouse was finished.  Next stop Austin!


Bus Stop Four: Austin  September 6 – 14

The Bastrop Fire started just before the Eco-Bus Austin Stop was scheduled so Earth Ambassadors collected donations for fire victims and left to deliver them in Bastrop, where they spent the day making sandwiches for the firefighters.  They then went on to Austin to help with maintenance chores at several community and school gardens.  The bus crew constructed raised beds, put seeds in the ground, pulled weeds working with community members and students.  Wal-Mart employee volunteers from several of the Austin stores joined the Earth Ambassadors in the gardens and provided refreshments at the end of each work day.  On to Laredo where the crew will join a local conservation organization for river clean up on the Rio Grande.


Bus Stop Four:  Laredo October 4-9

The Eco-Bus pulled into Laredo with kayaks ready to join in a river clean-up with the Big River Foundation.  kayakers removed tires  and other trash from the river placing them at pick up spots along the shoreline. The Big River Foundation set up camps along the section of the river kayakers worked over a four day period.   The kayak crews were provided with food and drinks, and tents outfitted with cots at the camps.  Guitars came out at night and song filled the air under the starry Texas night sky.


Bus Top Five: