Surveys & Opinions


Contest Judged by


We will feature a full page on The Steel Rails Advocate website showing the 3 best alley gardens in Topeka. Contest ends October 31, 2012.

About Keep America Beautiful-Topeka/Shawnee County is a not-for-profit organization funded by Shawnee County and the City of Topeka. Since 1977, their mission is to provide programs to promote and encourage volunteerism in the core focus areas of litter reduction, recycling, beautification and graffiti abatement.

Through the years, our local KAB affiliate has been the recipient of more than 47 national awards. The local KAB affiliate was recognized for the third time in five years with a First Place designation for affiliates with cities populations of 50,000-200,000.

Popular programs include: Beautification in Ted Ensley Gardens and Gage Park; Topeka Cemetery cleanups; KAB Extreme Team and Trash Troopers; Earth Day Celebrations; Advantage Metals bonus program; and the Return of Operation Noah’s Ark.

Some of our newest programs include: “The Butt Stops Here”--Cigarette litter prevention at bus stops. A sensory garden for Gage Park; An educational program “No Children Left Inside”; the Lend a Bin recycle bin lending program for civic groups and events.

For more information contact: Philicia at [email protected] or 785.224.0446.





Offer Adventurous


People Places


The last to blossom out, but Topeka's alley's are predestined to flower to the state of an art form for other cities to admire.

Streetcar art is in order, and of itself, a prognostication of a restored Topeka-- out rivaling itself in it's very hayday. But it is predictable that the artistic environment of this unique city will "fill in the holes" left by some of the outstanding landscaping embellishment projects that it has finished thus far. Those holes are our alleys. Alleys are the nitty-gritty of who we are when viewed from their vantage point. We are able to peer into the average American's dream--their own private "garden of Eden" in the form of the back yard. Away from where front yard formality meets the street and where vegetables gardens, flowerbeds, playgrounds for children and pets are mingled with the icing on the cake--lawn furniture, barbeque grills and maybe a swimming pool. From an alley cat's viewpoint, if an alley cat could appreciate art and American ideals, a sight to behold. In some neighborhoods, walking down a Topeka alley is like walking down a story-book fantasy town. And this where neighbors talk over the fence and merge socializing events among themselves--unviewed from the front yard and street vantage point. In some cities, gates are closed at the alley entrance from a specified time for private neighborhood events. Back yard gates are opened as well and it is festivity time. It might be interesting to Goggle "alley gardens"--a hot buzz word in America as of recent times.

It will behoove one to be prepared for severe competition and impressive awards for "Best Alley Garden" in Topeka or "Best Alleyscapes" for NIA's and NA's. Photography contests will run rampant. City contests, commercial enterprise contests, and other specific contests including photo contests by this newspaper--The Steel Rails Advocate.

Along with streetcars embellishing Topeka and elevating this city to an art form even beyond it's former glory in the decades between the 1920's and 1930's--alleyscapes will become a biker's and pedestrian's joy as one creates his own daily adventures by routing a walkway or bikeway in the style of spontaneous improvisation. We will in time be able to say to all tourists, "check us out to the very nitty-gritty--see what this town is all about beyond the facades and formal fronts." And they may just come here to explore the bike trails as they become organized via the -- then familiar--quaint alley ways of Topeka. Our final advice to tourists will be "don't forget your camera--our photo contests are good for you too!"


Mission Statement

Click Photos to Enlarge


May Claim Topeka, USA as Headquarters





















Donate Prize Money

A welcome resting place.





Close the alley gates and have a block party or fiesta.


Name your block's alley!



Park your bike and rest. Feel safe too. Businesses enjoy pedestrian and biker traffic comming in from the back door.

The Steel Rails Advocate contributes $100.00 in it's own separate PHOTO contest of photos sent in of the alley gardens.

Need name of the "alley garden artist", location of the alley garden, phone number and/or e-mail address.

Send photo to "editor", Steel Rails Advocate, 2200 NW Polk, Bldg. C12, Topeka, KS 66608.

E-mail at "".

Suggested categories:

1. State Capital Dome from Topeka Alleys.

2. Cityscapes from Alleys.

3. Alleys Specific--City at Large.

4. Alley Gardens, Individual

5. Alley Patios, Individual

6. Alley Hospitality Stations. (mini park places created as rest stops for pedestrians and bikers).

7. NIA / NA Alley Themes (Alleys could have designated names with creative signs welcoming hikers and bikers to their "block."

I, editor of this publication, would like to encourage everyone to donate to Keep America Beautiful, local chapter, so that KAB can participate in the Alley Garden Contests. They need donations specifically for the alley garden project so they can officially add the alley garden contest to their agenda. Please help this very influential organization by sending in a donation specifically for the Alley Garden Contest. Getting thousands of Topekans to beautify their alleys is an important part of Topeka beautification and crime prevention. And one lot of fun. Please help them by sending a donation to:

Donate to KAB