Beautification – A Labor Of Love

By: Lynne Hart

As you travel through Athens, take note of some of the plantings and flower pots you see. Many may be the work of the Athens-Limestone Beautification Board, a division of Keep Athens-Limestone Beautiful, whose volunteers have been improving Athens for nearly 40 years. Members are passionate and love the work they do.

Major projects taken on by this board include Roselawn Cemetery, the Clinton St. triangle, the Old Town Cemetery located on East Washington, downtown flower pots, beautification awards, and facilitation of the memorial benches found around town.

The flower pots located around the square were purchased through the board by merchants and families several years ago and are maintained by the Beautification Board. As the project was developing, Donna Cole, owner of Smarty Plants, and husband John Cole were consulted in the design and selection of appropriate plants for the seasons. John and Donna Cole are the son and daughter-in-law of former Beautification Board member and city councilman Jimmy Cole. Smarty Plants continues to offer beautiful, healthy plants at a fair price for board projects.

Roselawn Cemetery entrances at Forrest Street and Highway 31 were redesigned in 2006 with the assistance of Athens Parks and Recreation Director, Ben Wiley, and John Cole. The board provided the funds for the landscaping, and have since added 40 trees throughout the cemetery.

A more recent project has been the addition of a new wrought iron fence, landscaping, and headstone repair at the Old Town Cemetery on Washington Street. This cemetery is located next to the Scout House, which is undergoing renovations to become a part of the High Cotton Arts project. Additional landscaping will be done when the renovation of the west side of the Scout House is complete. The Beautification Board decorates this cemetery during the holiday season with wreaths to bring attention to the historic sight which holds some of Athens’ first citizens.

The triangle located at Clinton St. and Hwy. 72 has been maintained by this board for many years. Several years ago, it was redone to include stone pots with stunning plants that catch your eye. We receive more compliments on this addition, and have recently added similar pots to the Hwy. 31 entrance at Roselawn Cemetery.

Not only does this board manage these spots of beauty, but they encourage local businesses, industries, churches, and government buildings to take pride in their properties. Annually, in April and May, the board accepts nominations of properties to be judged in hopes of receiving a Beautification Award sign to proudly display. Properties receiving a score of 90 or above will be provided a sign. The following properties were recently judged and have received scores of 90 or above, with the highest score of 99 received by Steelcase. Winners are listed below in order of score received:

  • Steelcase – 99
  • Town and Country Animal Hospital – 98.5
  • American Leakless Company – 98
  • Athens City Hall – 98
  • Holiday Inn & Suites – 98
  • Clayton Homes – 98
  • Limestone Health Facility – 97.5
  • Calhoun Community College – 97.5
  • Bojangles – 95.5
  • Check-Fil-A – 95
  • Lindsay Center – 95
  • Athens State University – 94.5
  • First Baptist Church – 94
  • Garner Auction – 93
  • Athens-Limestone Hospital – 93
  • First National Bank – 92
  • Hampton Inn – 92
  • Alabama Welcome Center – Elkmont – 91.5
  • Soule Packaging – 91

If you would like more information on the Athens-Limestone Beautification Board, or would like to make a donation specific to their projects, please call the KALB office. We are proud of the work they do and would be happy to answer any questions.

By: Lynne Hart
Executive Coordinator – Keep Athens-Limestone Beautiful