Launch Slideshow

A public works employee demonstrates to middle school students how street light components function when riding a vehicle.

Pharr, Texas, celebrates its public works department

Pharr, Texas, celebrates its public works department

  • A public works employee demonstrates to middle school students how street light components function when riding a vehicle.

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    A public works employee demonstrates to middle school students how street light components function when riding a vehicle.

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    Ray Garcia

    A public works employee demonstrates to middle school students how street light components function when riding a vehicle.
  • During the first National Public Works Festival in Pharr, Texas, Kennedy Middle School students had the opportunity to help design a street sign.

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    During the first National Public Works Festival in Pharr, Texas, Kennedy Middle School students had the opportunity to help design a street sign.

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    Ray Garcia

    During the first National Public Works Festival in Pharr, Texas, Kennedy Middle School students had the opportunity to help design a street sign.
  • Students had the opportunity to get a free ride on a front end loader during the Pharr Public Works Festival.

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    Students had the opportunity to get a free ride on a front end loader during the Pharr Public Works Festival.

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    Ray Garcia

    Students had the opportunity to get a free ride on a front end loader during the Pharr Public Works Festival.
  • A Traffic Division employee demonstrates  how a street sign is designed to a group of curious students.

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    A Traffic Division employee demonstrates how a street sign is designed to a group of curious students.

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    Ray Garcia

    A Traffic Division employee demonstrates how a street sign is designed to a group of curious students.
  • An animal control supervisor explains the use of a dart gun in order to capture an animal.

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    An animal control supervisor explains the use of a dart gun in order to capture an animal.

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    Ray Garcia

    An animal control supervisor explains the use of a dart gun in order to capture an animal.
  • Students had fun and learned a lot about public works while  being transported from division to division.

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    Students had fun and learned a lot about public works while being transported from division to division.

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    Ray Garcia

    Students had fun and learned a lot about public works while being transported from division to division.
  • This mini stormwater model demonstrates how water pollution occurs.

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    This mini stormwater model demonstrates how water pollution occurs.

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    Ray Garcia

    This mini stormwater model demonstrates how water pollution occurs.

Pharr, Texas, public works employees and residents dedicate the last Saturday of each month to Operation Clean Sweep, a volunteer effort designed to teach other residents and businesses how to become self-sustaining.

For the first time, this year the public works department gave all 70,000 residents the chance for a first-hand look at what employees do—and recruit more Operation Clean Sweep volunteers—by hosting its first National Public Works Week event. At least 200 students and residents took in special demonstrations, guided tours, educational display booths, and interactive games with employees of the department’s seven divisions.

All activities were geared toward showing how each division benefits the community.

“Public works contributes a lot to our daily lives,” says environmental education coordinator Grace Segovia. “We have clean water, safe streets and neighborhoods, efficient traffic, and safe, clean communities because of Pharr Public Works.”

Held back by economic constraints in the past, this year the department enlisted local sponsorship support including equipment and supply vendors.

The department employees 53 men and women who are responsible for transportation, traffic operations, drainage, stormwater management, recycling services, fleet services, and animal control services. "We take pride in helping Pharr stay green, clean, and beautiful," says Segovia. To see how the festival worked, visit here.