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Jonesborough officials urge residents to take part in beauty spot program

BEN INGRAM • Feb 17, 2007 at 9:48 AM

JONESBOROUGH - Jonesborough is a town that thrives on its aesthetic beauty.

Through an initiative called the beauty spot program, town leaders are hoping its residents will assist in its upkeep.

"The concept is to work with neighborhoods, the Kiwanis Club, etc. in order to help create and maintain landscaped areas throughout town," said Town Administrator Bob Browning.

Some of the landscaped areas include the children's garden site at the library, the East Main Street bulb out, Dogwood Lane park, the entrance to Reece Estates, the children's park at Mill Spring Park and the flower barrels on Boone Street.

"From the town standpoint, the participating organization would purchase the plant material and be responsible for the upkeep," Browning said. "The town would go in and do the soil preparation and work to develop a plan for the beauty spot area, which is a major issue on the front end.

"We also provide any mulch and things necessary for weed control."

The Tree and Townscape Board has oversight of the program, according to Browning, who said any group or individual wishing to participate should just stop by Town Hall and talk to him or anyone in administration.

"The biggest issue we've had with this program is publicity," he said. "It's one of the things under the urban forester's duties."

Although the urban forester's position was recently combined with that of the athletic coordinator, Browning said he would be helping to implement the program along with new Parks and Open Spaces Coordinator Patrick McCammon.

"This can be an entryway into a subdivision ... It's not just relegated to downtown," he said.

On Friday, Browning met with an individual who wanted to donate plant material to landscaped areas along Boones Creek Road.

Slowly, residents have become aware of the program.

"Willis Jones, a member of the Tree and Townscape Board, was involved in an area next to the Christian Church which he did a good job with," Browning said. "People have noticed.

"The planter on East Main Street, or bulb out, was taken on by residents of that neighborhood. We just need to put up some kind of signage that reads: Beauty Spot, maintained by what group or organization's name - that's one of the things we as a town need to be doing a better job on, which is why it's part of the (Board of Mayor and Aldermen's) two-year plan."

Browning said one of the bigger projects the beauty spot program could address would be landscaping along U.S. Highway 11E.

"We'd like to work with businesses and residents in order to keep (U.S. 11E) up," he said.

"There needs to be an overall plan with businesses, but we have had people say they'd like to participate.

"This is also where most of the new development is happening and the unofficial entrance from Johnson City into town."

Browning said he just wants to emphasize that a beauty spot can be carried out anywhere in town.

"Neighborhoods, public right-of-ways, anywhere," he said.

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