The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

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Opinion

July 19, 2012

Reader: Owners are pulling together to spruce up Clinton’s downtown district

CLINTON — Have you noticed the changes in the downtown?  

Six weeks ago it looked like no one cared. Today, thanks to the efforts of downtown business and property owners, our downtown is ready for company.  

Six weeks ago, the eight planters along South Third Street sported last year’s dead growth.  Today, even with a late start, sweet potato vines, geraniums and other easy-to-care-for plants fill the planters.  Six weeks ago, the eight fountains on downtown corners were dry — today, at least five of them have been repaired, filled with water and are fully functioning.

Only a few weeks ago, the parking lot on Sixth Avenue South and South Second Street was full of overgrown weeds, giving this key downtown corner an abandoned, slum-like appearance.  Today it has been cleaned up and planted.  

The seed-pods from trees and cigarette butts from nearby bar patrons that filled the street corners and lined the curbs have been cleaned up.  Mulch now covers most of the bare places in plantings on Sixth Avenue South, and this weekend, from 7-9 a.m., volunteers will cover the Fifth Avenue South plantings with donated mulch.  

A number of business owners have placed smaller planters with flowers and small bushes by their doors to dress them up.

What made this change?  People who care about the downtown —people who know the downtown has not only a past but a future — people who understand that future we perceive will not occur unless someone begins to take charge.  People like Tim Clark and Dave Rose and Deb Wiese, and property owners and business owners and volunteers.  Like a snowball rolling downhill, small changes have led to larger ones.

There is more to be done.  I have every expectation that it will be done!  

Carol Machael,

Clinton

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