Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV


June 2, 2013

Beautification — We can all play a part in sprucing up area

From Mercer Street in Princeton to downtown Richlands, Va., beautification projects are underway in the two Virginias. Within the last week, dozens of volunteers have planted flowers, cleaned up roadways and restored landscapes.

In Bluefield, traditional hanging baskets are filled with color, a reminder of the upcoming days of summer. Local supporters are working to do the same in Bluewell. So far, 16 hanging baskets line the popular stretch of Route 52. A two-fold project, the Renaissance Project, will bring beautification and community revitalization to the Princeton area, specifically Mercer Street. And we can’t overlook the efforts in Tazewell County. Plans are to restore two murals in the Richlands area.

All of these summer projects — some familiar, others new — bring beauty to our area. They make commutes to work and home, school and play, much more enjoyable. We appreciate the bright spots of red, purple, white and green along our roadways. And, more importantly, we acknowledge all the hard work by volunteers. Without them, summertime in the two Virginias would not be as bright. The arrival of hanging baskets and landscape projects are really an unofficial start to summer.

However, we can not expect volunteers to turn every neighborhood, street, intersection or downtown into an oasis of flowers. Or expect them to keep popular roadways clean and neat, without trash and debris. All beautification projects need more than a flat of flowers and a spoonful of soil. To keep the beauty alive, our towns and cities need support from residents.

“We would love to see more citizens involved not so much on a work basis, but for them to take the initiative and clean up their own property,” Gail Satterfield, a member of the Bluefield Beautification Committee, said. “You can clean up your own neighborhood, pick up trash, keep the yard mowed and just do general maintenance. We would love to see our citizens pitch in and help.”

We encourage all residents to realize beautification starts in their backyards. Not everyone is an avid gardener, but all appreciate a community that strives to create a welcoming pace of life. Plant a flower, dig in the soil, mow the grass and pick up trash — all efforts are recognized by residents and visitors. You can help change the landscape of our area with a little time and effort. By spreading these projects into our streets and neighborhoods, we prove that beauty can exceed any town limit.

 “We know how wonderful our community is, but we have to roll up our sleeves and make it that way,” Richlands Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Ginger Branton said.

It takes work — time under the sun, a few hours here and there — to create an attractive, welcoming community. Take a moment and appreciate projects across the Two Virginias, then find a way to spread the seed of beauty.


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