The City of Columbus, Keep Columbus Beautiful is a recipient of a national Keep America Beautiful/Lowes Community Improvement Grant. In conjunction with the Parsons Avenue Merchants Association, the Neighborhood Design Center and the South Side Neighborhood Pride Center, this spotlight grant award is targeted for assistance to small businesses and property owners along Parson Avenue as an expansion of the “Plant Pride on Parsons” community beautification partnership initiated by Keep Columbus Beautiful in 2010.
The project is working to improve the front of merchant properties that show a need on a 2 mile stretch of Parsons Avenue. The Neighborhood Design Center is offering tasteful suggestions of paint colors and simple design ideas to enhance and freshen up the façade of the businesses. The paint and painting supplies are paid for through the grant and all labor will be completed by supervised volunteers.
“The City of Columbus is incredibly grateful to Keep America Beautiful and Lowe’s for this timely grant,” said Mayor Michael B. Coleman. “As we continue to improve conditions on the South Side of Columbus, this grant will allow small businesses and property owners to take part in the transformation.”
The facelift will take place in two phases. On Wednesday, August 15, two-hundred Lowes Heroes will handle “prep work” -- sanding, scraping, priming and replacing wood on those properties who signed off to be a project participant. On Saturday, August 25, 600 volunteers from Vineyard Columbus, a key partner in the 2012 Columbus Volunteer Challenge, will paint storefronts, trash containers, pull weeds and pick up litter on Parsons Avenue, its parallel alleys and side streets. The volunteer events are organized by Keep Columbus Beautiful.
The grant will also target litter cleanup. Despite bi-annual cleanups, litter remains a problem along this 2 mile stretch of Parsons. Grant dollars will purchase litter abatement equipment and motivational supplies that will urge both daily and monthly efforts towards eliminating accumulating trash and debris between Livingston and Hosack.
A clean and green business district sends a strong message that there is pride in the corridor and in the adjacent neighborhoods. The grant is a first step in helping existing or vacant businesses along the Avenue enhance their property, attract new customers, sell or lease empty buildings and reduce crime.
On Saturday, September 8 and the first ever “National Planting Day,” members of the surrounding Parsons Avenue neighborhoods and Nationwide Children’s Hospital are invited to help transition 126 hand-painted planters from summer blooms to fresh fall native foliage. To participate in this event, contact Keep Columbus Beautiful at 614-645-2421 or www.keepcolumbusbeautiful.org.
The Columbus Volunteer Challenge is a city-wide volunteer event focused on lifting up and highlighting the importance of service to others. Led in partnership by the City of Columbus and United Way of Central Ohio, the Columbus Volunteer Challenge will kick off on Saturday, August 25 and run through September 11, the National Day of Service. Find more information about the challenge at columbusvolunteerchallenge.org.