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Crawford chamber launches beautification project

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Photo by Kami Collins This beautiful planter box is the first of many to come. The planters are the first step in a downtown beautification project the Crawford Area Chamber of Commerce has embarked on to make downtown more lively and walkable for both vi

The Crawford Area Chamber of Commerce has set out to beautify downtown and make the business sector more welcoming and inviting to travelers by launching a beautification project they hope to wrap up within the year.

The first phase is to install planter boxes at businesses in town; the board hopes to have six boxes constructed, placed and filled with flowers before Pioneer Days on June 8. A prototype has been placed in front of Wild Country Keepsakes. The chamber board hopes to encourage drive-through traffic to stop and patronize local businesses, as well as make downtown more attractive for current residents. They hope the planter boxes are the first step in making the whole town more walkable for visitors. "Our community's businesses can't make this positive change happen on their own," said Collenette Vervloet, a board member. "That's where the chamber would like to step in and assist the community as a whole."

The project is being funded in part from some leftover funds from the chamber's website redesign project. The web designer, Lasca Hix, donated 100 percent of her time for the redesign, freeing up the funds, a portion of which has been dedicated to the beautification project.

The chamber has purchased some of the materials for the boxes, but is also asking for the community's assistance in purchasing material and in constructing the planters. "We want to encourage the people of Crawford to act on the pride they have for their community and get involved on any level they can to improve the face of Crawford," Vervloet said. The chamber plans to seek assistance in the planter box project, and other projects, in the way of donated time and labor, materials and supplies or monetary donations. "The community really can't rely on just one group to make this project successful," she said.

For now, the goal is to get the planter boxes built and placed downtown -- especially with the quickly approaching deadline before Pioneer Days. If you can help in constructing the boxes, please call Tony Vervloet at 433-6225. If you can monetarily sponsor a box, or donate flowers, please call Nicole Reasoner at 921-4446. Sponsors will be acknowledged on a plaque that will be installed on each planter box.

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