City beautification is important to all of us

May has finally arrived and along with it a fun month of design and getting all of our annuals into the ground and into containers. Not only is it great to be back out in the gardens, but the trees, shrubs and spring plants burst forth with their incredible blooms to break in the new month. It is like a natural opening celebration to the new growing season. I don’t think any other season is more beautiful than this one with the beautiful colors, soothing sounds, and pleasant scents that fill the air.
Everything we do in the yard and garden adds an element of beautification to our area in which we live. It may not be our initial goal, but it does have a positive impact on those around us. If you live in a neighborhood like I do, it almost becomes contagious to see what your neighbor is doing and what new things they are trying out for the season.
But it is not just our own spaces that need to be beautified, but our city as a whole. If you view things like I do, our city is not really the most attractive place to be when it comes to beautification, in fact, it is downright dull in many aspects. I know many people are cringing at that comment about now, but the fact remains that it is quite true. If you take the test and walk, or even drive, through this town, few things will stand out for you. Oftentimes you will find yourself wanting to take a companion along to occupy your time along the journey. When you finally do come across something beautiful, it immediately stands out and grabs your attention! Now, imagine if every place you went in town did that to you ... think about that for a while, as it sounds like a dream ... but it doesn’t have to be.
City beautification is not just the responsibility of city government and various committees, but it is also the responsibility of each and every resident to play their part in making their environment a little better. If you had beauty that surrounded you each and every day, your stress levels would go down and your appreciation for things around you would increase. Your attitude naturally becomes more positive, which in return makes more positive things happen. It is a contagious entity which takes over and moves forward faster and faster as people get involved. The same thing happens when areas become run down and derelict. People become depressed, they do not want to make changes, they feel stressed, they are not as healthy, and they breed depression and tiredness to a new level. This outcome has no positive effects and can affect an entire town.
As a community we have to look at things as a whole and determine what we want to contribute to make our city a better place to live. We can start early in the spring, alone or in groups, to take a long walk and pick up the garbage that blew into town over the winter. This act alone makes a big difference on a large scale. Another thing we can do is make sure that we maintain a neat and orderly yard for a clean appearance. Make sure things are not lying around or that you have not become a pack rat where things start to overflow from your house onto the front lawn. I’m not saying that you have to have extensive landscaping all around or anything, just make sure that what you do have is neat and trimmed throughout the season for a more pleasant curb appeal. If you add gardens and landscaping, that just happens to be an added bonus for you and many others to enjoy.
Various city entities are also doing their part more and more to make our daily experience just a little better. The City Beautification Committee organizes the addition of the hanging baskets throughout our downtown area. With the onset of this new program, each year more and more baskets are added to beautify an otherwise cold and hard landscape. You can donate to keep these baskets looking good each year or adopt-a-pole for the year for an annual $150. For people who don’t have a yard to maintain or areas to add a little beauty to our community, this is the perfect way to be able to contribute.
If you are looking for something a little more permanent, try adding trees to your boulevard where others may have been removed due to old or dying trees. There are many boulevards in town that are bare and quite frankly, boring. The City Forestry Department has the Partners in Planting program where you can plant new trees in the boulevard from a large list of options and be reimbursed for a portion of the cost. Our forestry department has many knowledgeable staff who can assist you with any questions you might have on the program and maintenance items in general.
Taking advantage of these programs we have in place allow some of these tasks to be a bit easier for each resident to participate in some way. The Arts Center will be starting on the Arts Park this year to add a permanent green space in the downtown area to bring people together for various activities. All of these things will begin to make a greater difference in the image of our city as a whole.
If the only thing you do for this year is keep a neat and clean yard and plant one planter full of flowers to place in front of your house, it would be a huge addition to the neighborhood. Now, once again, imagine if every homeowner planted one container to place in front of their house throughout the town, how wonderful the city would begin to look. In time, people would begin competing with who could create the nicest or most unique container garden for their yard ... seriously, this stuff becomes contagious! Just make one improvement this year in your immediate yard and in the years to come, you will see a complete change occur for all to enjoy. Yes, this my friends, is how you beautify a community!!

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