Bringing Together the Community and the Environment to Create a Great Place

When you drive into Cedar Hill, you are surrounded by the welcoming and warm small-town atmosphere where families enjoy outdoor concert festivals and taking part in activities at Cedar Hill State Park. Yet the city isn't just about recreational opportunities. Cedar Hill also fosters a strong economic atmosphere as it also provides big opportunities by offering robust development initiatives to businesses.

So how does a city like this maintain its family-friendly outdoor recreations along with its economic prosperity to provide a higher quality of life for all of its residences? It's due to the incredible environmental work provided by Duy Vu and the Environmental Services Department in Cedar Hill.

Enhancing the environment with beautification programs

Duy Vu is the Environmental Manager at the Environmental Services Department, and he has been in the environmental business for over 10 years. Vu also serves as staff liaison to the Beautification, Environment and Sustainability Board. With help from Environmental Specialist Gregg Kidd, they aim to maintain and enhance the environment in Cedar Hill to make it a safe and healthy place to live.

With a passion for beautification and environmental protection, Vu is passionate about his responsibilities by managing programs geared toward developing ordinances and regulations that keeps Cedar Hill in compliance with environmental protection and beautification laws.

"This may sound like the Lion King.  We aim to protect everything the light touches: the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the green space we all cherish," Vu stated. "Many of our programs are a direct response to environmental regulations to ensure that the City complies to the law.  Such programs include but are not limited to storm water protection, air quality, industrial pretreatment, onsite sewer and liquid waste, and backflow protection. I am most proud of our award-winning public education and outreach program."

These programs are designed to help promote a healthy community that is focused on the well-being of all the residents. Programs adopted by the Environmental Services Department include:

  • Environmental Collection Day
  • Adopt Cedar Hill
  • Bitter for Litter
  • Green Awards
  • Award-winning Growing Green program

It takes a community to protect the environment

Protecting the environment shouldn't just be left to the services that Vu and Kidd provide at the Environmental Services Department. To create a safe and healthy environment, the public should also be empowered to lend a hand.

Public outreach is another focus that Vu pursues. He teaches residents about the importance of beautifying the city so they can take ownership of the environment and their community. It's also one of the reasons on why he doesn't really have a regular day at the job.

"I do not have a typical work day, which is an aspect of the job that I love," Vu said. "Often, I could be found in the office doing administrative work such as writing the City’s new Stormwater Management Plan, answering emails and phone calls from concerned businesses and residents, or researching how new legislative changes to environmental law could impact the City.  Other days, I could be found at a public outreach event or helping Gregg investigate an illicit discharge.  Some days, you will find me on a weekend coordinating Environmental Collection Day in the Cedar Hill High School parking lot."

It is obvious that Vu loves everything about his job and working in Cedar Hill, as he knows that his work directly impacts the quality of life for all Cedar Hill residents and businesses. A great part of his day is when he can answer the phone to address a resident's concerns or find the right person who can so that everyone can flourish in a safe and clean environment.

"I love working for Cedar Hill! The City of Cedar Hill’s culture of servant leadership is found directly from the top of leadership from the Mayor and City Council to the City Manager and Assistant City Manager to all staff downwards,” Vu said. “The City’s leadership serves and empowers staff to perform to the best of our ability. I cannot see myself being anywhere else."