EYEWITNESS LOCAL NEWSJudges Evaluating Huntington Beautification Efforts
from Eyewitness News Online
Reported by: Darrah Wilcox
Web Producer: Heath Harrison
Reported: Jul. 10, 2013 8:36 PM EDT
Updated: Jul. 12, 2013 3:39 AM EDT
Huntington , Cabell County , West Virginia
Karen Shook with Crumpets and Tea and her fellow business owners at the Antique Mall in downtown Huntington have put in a lot of effort to kick up their curb appeal.
"The display in the window is what we've had a lot of pleasure in doing, because it's supposed to be houses in Huntington since it's been incorporated," Shook said.
Her family and colleagues worked together to craft several special doll houses and furniture, along with a military display, and red, white and blue flower pots and planters out front of the business along Fourth Avenue.
Shook has been a part of beautification efforts for awhile in the city, so she fully embraced the Huntington in Bloom campaign.
"It doesn't matter if we win, it only matters that we came together as a community." she said. The campaign is part of a larger America In Bloom competition, meant to create a sense of community through beautification efforts across the country.
Judge Bruce Riggs is one of two people in town to evaluate the hard work. He said they help paint a picture of the overall efforts in six categories.
"You can recognize whats you've seen happen, what has been accomplished so far, and you also learn what could be accomplished even more," he said.
Committee members said the visit serves as a yearly benchmark to show their progress.
"The goal wasn't to clean up for the judges, forget about it for the next 364 days, and then clean up for the judges again next time," Aaron-Michael Fox said. "We intend to get it clean, we have got it clean, and then this will be the starting point for next year."
Shook agreed that this is just one step in a movement to beautify the city.
"This is just our toe in the water. because we want people to be proud of Huntington, and where we live," she said.
The judges visited several areas around town, including Heritage Station, Pullman Square, Ritter Park, The Keith Albee, the Huntington Museum of Art and many others. They will be in town through Saturday morning.
It's down to the wire for many Huntington businesses who have competed in a beautification project across the city.
Two judges will evaluate the volunteer efforts to improve and beautify the city Thursday.
Volunteers at the Mountain State Center for Independent Living spent Wednesday morning making a last ditch effort to impress the judges and make Huntington beautiful.
“They're really excited,” Nina Webb, of the center, said. “They started this morning, picking up trash and cigarette butts and then came back and started cleaning the graffiti off of the back of our building."
Businesses, churches, and groups have been working on the project for several months by cleaning and landscaping.
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