By: Leigh Patterson
When strolling through downtown Athens, you may have admired the beautiful flowering pots on the sidewalks around the Square. Or, as you are driving on Highway 72 and exiting onto Clinton Street, you may have noticed the festive fall display at the triangle. These spots of beauty are cared for and maintained by the Athens-Limestone Beautification Board, a division of Keep Athens-Limestone Beautiful.
The Beautification Board does a lot of good work around town on a very small budget. This board has been in existence for more than 40 years and has made numerous improvements to our county by adding spots of beauty and green space. All board members are hard-working volunteers who choose to work toward a better quality of life for themselves and their neighbors. They have many ongoing projects throughout the year, some of which are listed below.
“Welcome to Athens” Signs
As you enter the city of Athens from all four directions, you will notice the “Welcome to Athens” signs. These signs have been cared for and maintained by this board for many years. They show hospitality to our visitors and provide a warm welcome for those of us returning home.
The Beautification Board works hard to plant and maintain the large concrete pots that are located on the sidewalks around the Square and surrounding streets. These pots are well-cared for and it shows, as they are especially beautiful this year. The board is also responsible for purchasing and maintaining the hanging baskets that are on the courthouse grounds. Be on the lookout for hanging baskets of colorful mums to make an appearance in the next few weeks.
The triangle green space area located at the intersection of Clinton Street and Highway 72 is another board project. Several years ago, large stone pots were purchased by the board to dress up the space, and they have done an outstanding job keeping this spot looking beautiful, and it’s currently dressed for fall.
Roselawn Cemetery, located on Highway 31, is a labor of love that the board has taken on. They work with the Athens Parks and Recreation Department and continue to make improvements to the entrances and landscaping of the cemetery. They plant flowers and trees and keep the mulch looking fresh year round, along with planting and maintaining the large stone pots purchased by the board located at the Highway 31 entrance.
Old Town Cemetery
One of the projects that the board has completed over the last several years has been the addition of the wrought iron fencing, landscaping, and headstone repair at the Old Town Cemetery. They are also responsible for decorating this cemetery during the holiday season with wreaths, drawing attention to the historic sight holding some of Athens’ first citizens.
Beautification Award Judging
The Beautification Award program encourages local businesses, industries, churches, and government buildings to take pride in their properties. This program has currently been put on hold during the pandemic, but the board is not sitting idly by. The signs are in the process of being painted and refurbished so that they will be ready to place when the program is able to continue. Previous award winners were allowed to keep their signs during this time until judging resumes.
As was mentioned earlier, all of these projects are done by volunteers. If you are interested in volunteering for the Athens-Limestone Beautification Board, please call the KALB office at 256-233-8000. And if you happen to see someone working at the triangle, or perhaps tending a pot on the square, please smile and wave to thank them for all of their hard work and for making our town a more beautiful place to live, work, and play!
By: Leigh Patterson
Executive Coordinator – Keep Athens-Limestone Beautiful