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Community comes together to Keep Kokomo Beautiful

03/31/2017

The Greater Kokomo Downtown Association invites residents, businesses and community organizations to lend a hand and keep our community looking beautiful through its third annual Keep Kokomo Beautiful campaign.

In 2017, the initiative will feature seven events that include flower planting, garden maintenance, and clean-up projects to enhance the beauty of Kokomo and Howard County.

“Here in Kokomo we are blessed with picturesque waterways, peaceful trails and a beautiful downtown,” said Susan Alexander, Manager of Downtown Initiatives for the Greater Kokomo Economic Development Alliance. “And it’s up to the community to keep it that way. That’s what the Keep Kokomo Beautiful initiative is all about. We hope to inspire residents and businesses to take ownership and pride in their community.”

In 2016, the initiative engaged 400 volunteers, planted 1,122 flower baskets and 104 garden areas, and removed 1.5 tons of debris from the Wildcat Creek and the community’s walking trails.

The 2017 campaign kicks off Thursday, April 6, with flower basket planting at a new location this year. From 9 to 11 a.m. and 4 to 6 p.m., volunteers will gather at Lybrook Landscaping/The Garden, 4476 S. 00 East-West, Kokomo. Thanks to this effort, for the 12th straight year, downtown will be in full bloom this summer with hundreds of hanging flower baskets on display along city center streets. At each event that day, volunteers will be served a free meal from Hawg Heaven.

On Saturday, April 22, the focus will turn to trail and waterway clean-up. Volunteers will start their morning at 8 a.m. at the Senior Citizens Center, 721 W. Superior St., and work along the trail and waterway until noon.

The planting will resume in May as volunteers will gather for two work days. First up will be planting at the City Hall Gazebo, 100 S. Union St., from 8 to 11 a.m. Saturday, May 20. Then, from 1 to 4 p.m. Wednesday, May 24, volunteers will plant the downtown container and alley gardens, meeting on the Courthouse Square at the corner of Main and Sycamore streets.

There will be three Garden & Trail Days as part of the 2017 campaign: Saturdays, June 17, July 15 and Aug. 19. On those days, volunteers will work from 8 to 10 a.m. and will start the morning at the City Hall Gazebo, 100 S. Union St.

Keep Kokomo Beautiful looks to bring together all aspects of the community, not just a core group of concerned citizens, Alexander said.

“We want area advocacy groups, teams from businesses and organizations, and families and individuals to come up and make this effort a success,” Alexander said. “This is a great way to put your love of Kokomo into tangible action.”

All seven events are free and open to the public. Participants are encouraged to bring along work gloves, knee pads and their favorite gardening tools to each event. To register for Keep Kokomo Beautiful events, visit www.GreaterKokomo.com. Participants are encouraged to share pictures of their efforts during Keep Kokomo Beautiful events with the community via #KokomoBeautiful on social media.

The Keep Kokomo Beautiful campaign is made possible through partnerships with the Greater Kokomo Downtown Association, City of Kokomo, Howard County, Wildcat Guardians, Howard County Stormwater District, Hawg Heaven, Mark and Julie Hilligoss, Discover Howard County Trails, and Lybrook Landscaping/The Garden.

For more information, call Susan Alexander at 765-457-5301.