Beauty blossoms in the eye of Greenfield group
Beautification Committee celebrates 20 years of helping green up Greenfield
Greenfield — Anybody who wants to know what the Greenfield Beautification Committee has been doing for the last 20 years only has to look around.
The list is quite long.
Drivers along Layton Avenue or Highway 100 pass trees in the boulevards that give leafy relief to the glare of concrete.
Children playing at Konkel Park, 5151 W. Layton Ave., play in the shadow of trees that toss their boughs in the wind and they walk landscaped trails that wind through woods.
Public spaces are beautiful with flowers and trees.
And home and business owners are inspired to pretty up their properties because of the committee's Landscape Awards.
Those examples barely scratch the surface. Those who want another glimpse can see the flourished efforts as part of an open house from noon to 1:30 p.m. Saturday at the Greenfield Public Library, 5310 W. Layton Ave., marking the Beautification Committee's 20th anniversary.
The library conference room will be filled with photos of flowers and graceful landscapes along with photos of volunteers from all corners of the community planting and making the beautification of Greenfield happen over these 20 years.
Source of inspiration
The event will be followed by a ceremony honoring this year's Landscape Award winners.
Inspiring residents to take a hand in making their community beautiful is a huge part of the committee's work, said Joan Stevens, committee founder.
It does so every Arbor Day when roughly 100 volunteers come out and plant trees along streets, in parks, at schools or around other buildings. Many have already "adopted" a tree and then they get to plant it.
When people pull together, they feel closer to each other and the community, Stevens said.
"We have a community by having people work together," she said. "They can say to their children, 'I planted that tree.' They realize they're part of this."
In its Arbor Day efforts as well as its other activities, the committee works with community organizations, schools and the city, which has done much of the heavy lifting in creating beautiful parks and public spaces, Stevens said.
She also consults with city and school officials as to what is needed, and the city forester develops landscaping plans.
The city appreciates the committee's helping hand.
"The Beautification Committee has been a great thing for the city of Greenfield," said Dan Ewert, public works director. "It has brought the city along and made citizens care about what the community looks like, not only public buildings but in the medians and parks."
Ewert said he has seen how the Landscape Awards have inspired homeowners.
"People have stepped up and made their properties nice," Ewert said.
More than that, through their efforts the committee members have drawn the community together, he added.
"They build camaraderie," Ewert said. "They represent community pride."
Savoring the sights
Stevens remembers how Greenfield looked before, and that makes the celebration of the committee's 20th year all the sweeter.
"Greenfield High School looked like Alcatraz on a hill, not a tree in sight," she said. "And all the way down Layton — nothing. That's how it was with every boulevard."
The parks were barely developed at that point. Since then, the committee headed beautification efforts at seven parks.
In addition, the committee has headed beautification efforts at four schools and along miles of boulevards. Every year, the committee plants 50 flats of flowers to make the City Hall alive with color, it heads a cleanup litter effort in which thousands of people Clean Up and Green Up, it gives Landscape Awards and it conducts garden tours.
"It was a wonderful thing to be in on the beginning of beautifying Greenfield," said Stevens.
Perhaps the most rewarding is how the Konkel Park/Greenfield Library area has become a place of beauty with flowers, a fountain, streetscaping and even miniature golf, she said.
"It had to start somewhere,"
AT A GLANCE
This year's Greenfield Beautification Committee Landscape Award winners are:
Jerry & Pat Bub, 3425 S. 44th St.
David & Cindy Novara, 3721 W. Bottsford Ave.
Sue Keane, 4735 S. 82nd St.
Donald Lewandowski, 4915 S. 79th St.
Linda Froelich, 12175 Black Oak Drive
Lynn & Ken Lagoski, 10521 W. St. Francis St.
Diane & Lcky Binelas, 5772 W. Upham Ave.
Kim & Jim Papelbon, 4441 S. 61st. St.
Ted & Darlene Adler, 5535 S. 42nd. St.
Don & Marie Robinette, 2921 W. Vogel Ave.
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