Gorgeous Griffin program to highlight city’s beauty

SHEILA MARSHALL :::

Much effort is being made to address substandard and blighted housing in the city of Griffin, but officials want to do more than focus on the negative; they also want to celebrate what is good in the community. The Gorgeous Griffin initiative, which will run from May through October, seeks to do just that by celebrating and honoring residents and business owners who strive to beautify their community.

“When I started here, that was one of the things that City Manager Kenny Smith had set as one of my goals,” said Griffin Planning and Development Director Taurus Freeman. “He wanted a beautification program.”

Developed by Freeman and Solid Waste Assistant Director Kevin Barkley, the collaboration draws on much experience.

“With his background in recycling and beautification, he knows what it takes to make a community beautiful, and I wanted to piggyback off of his expertise to make the program successful,” Freeman said of Barkley, who also has experience as head of Keep Griffin-Spalding County Beautiful, an affiliate of Keep Georgia Beautiful. “The Solid Waste Department gives Griffin citizens the resources to improve their community. This will just piggyback on what they have already achieved.”

Barkley said that organization has contributed to projects to beautify the city, but has never recognized individual efforts that keep the city clean and beautiful.

“We’re not looking for a large investment, necessarily, just clean, well-kept properties that show the nicer side of Griffin,” Barkley said. “We’re just looking to set up a beautification award for things that are already out there today. We know that there are several garden clubs in town and many people who enjoy yard work as a hobby, and I think it will be great to recognize their efforts.”

Freeman added, “We want to recognize beautiful areas instead of always focusing on the slum and blight of the city.”

In addition, Gorgeous Griffin, which is comprised of volunteers and city staff that will serve in an advisory capacity to Smith, will also be responsible for researching, developing and proposing plans for improving the health, sanitation, safety and cleanliness of the city by beautifying the entryways, streets, alleys, lots, yards and other similar projects.

Gorgeous Griffin will honor both residents and businesses selected monthly by placing a sign on their property that says, “Beautification Award – Gorgeous Griffin.” In addition, winners will also be presented with a certificate at that month’s Board of Commissioner’s meeting.

“By acknowledging those individuals and businesses that contribute to making Griffin a more gorgeous place, it will hopefully encourage surrounding property owners to do the same,” Freeman said.
Those interested in serving on the Gorgeous Griffin committee may be added by contacting the Planning and Development Department or a current committee member.

To nominate a resident or business owner for the Gorgeous Griffin Beautification Award, statements or photos may be submitted to Planning and Development Services Department c/o Gorgeous Griffin, 100 S. Hill St. Post Office Box T, Griffin, GA 30224. Nomination forms may be found at http://www.cityofgriffin.com. Ω

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