When Sally Smith drives by the “victory garden” on West Victory Way, full of flowers and shrubs she helped plant, she can’t help but smile.
“Every time I drive by … the Finley-Victory garden, I get a sense of personal satisfaction of seeing something that was absolutely an eyesore that is now an addition,” she said.
Getting rid of “eyesores” in Craig is what the Craig Beautification Committee was designed for and hopes to do more of in the future.
Smith, who is the treasurer of the Beautification Committee, said making Craig look more aesthetically pleasing through gardening is one way the city can help boost tourism.
The Beautification Committee met Tuesday — the group’s first meeting of the year — to brainstorm ideas for this year’s main beautification project.
But the volunteer and donation-based group needs more members.
Since it was founded in 2005, membership has reduced from about 12 members to four members, making it tough on the committee to make an impact across Craig.
“You can’t have a project if you don’t have people who are willing to help with it, to get out and garden with us,” she said.
During its five-year existence, the committee has had two main projects.
The first project was installing hanging planters downtown; the planters are now managed by the city’s parks and recreation department.
Last year, the “victory garden” was the committee’s main project, and maintenance of the flowers and shrubs is ongoing.
But the committee doesn’t want to stop with just that project, Smith said.
“One of the things that would help tourism is if Craig were a little more attractive, a little cleaner and a little more fixed up with more flowers,” she said.
Smith said the best way to make Craig more attractive is to clean up the city, but the committee can only work within its means.
“It is not possible for us to get all the gravel and dirt off the streets and get businesses to sweep off their sidewalks and clean them off,” she said.
“You can’t take four women and expect us to basically clean up the city.”
The committee hopes, however, that by doing its main goal — planting and gardening across the city — residents “will be more inspired to take better care of their properties,” Smith said.
Chairwoman Rose Counts agrees.
We’re “striving to get the best end result that we can get,” Counts said. “The more that we do and clean up and weed and do beautification projects with the flowers … I think what we are trying to do is get other business owners, land owners and homeowners to follow suit.”
The Beautification Committee meets once a week for its work meeting and once a month for its business meeting.
For more information, call Smith at 826-0632.
Brian Smith can be reached at 875-1794 or firstname.lastname@example.org.