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Crookston Times - Crookston, MN
  • Editorial: When it comes to beautification, we have it pretty good

  • At last week’s Crookston City Council Ways & Means Committee meeting, one of the agenda items had to do with “beautification” in the community. Mayor Dave Genereux introduced the topic by saying Dana Johnson, the ward two representative on the council who also sits on the Chamber of Commerce’s Beautification Committee, wanted it on the agenda.
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  •     At last week’s Crookston City Council Ways & Means Committee meeting, one of the agenda items had to do with “beautification” in the community. Mayor Dave Genereux introduced the topic by saying Dana Johnson, the ward two representative on the council who also sits on the Chamber of Commerce’s Beautification Committee, wanted it on the agenda.   
        Considering everything that’s happening on the beautification front in Crookston – and it is a lot, to even a casual observer – it seemed as though Johnson would be saying something positive about the topic, or maybe singling out someone in particular for his or her volunteer efforts in the community when it comes to making things look beautiful.   
        Johnson did say some positive things, but she had the item put on the agenda because she was concerned about a couple neglected and high-profile spots in town, where the grass was unmowed and the weeds were high. The weeds were also growing through the rocks at the “Welcome to Crookston” signs, she said.   
        All of which morphed into a wide-ranging discussion on everything from dog owners letting their dogs defecate on grave sites in Oakdale Cemetery and not cleaning it up, to three-foot weeds growing on the new levees in the community instead of grass.   
        It was a good discussion, and some people seated around the conference room table appeared to learn a thing or two that maybe they weren’t aware of beforehand. (That was especially the case when it comes to the weedy dikes. Growing a cover crop of predominantly weeds is apparently part of the process of stabilizing the soil, but it was so dry this past growing season the grass trying to sprout up barely had a chance. Word is it’s all going to be torn up and re-seeded with dormant grass side.)   
        If there’s another result of the discussion, it’s that Crookston residents need to realize that they live in a community in which a lot of people – both paid city staff and lots of volunteers – put in a lot of time and effort keeping things looking not just nice, but beautiful. Sure, it’s easy to see some overgrown weeds here and there and some grass that could sure use a mow. But make sure you notice the positive as well...hanging flower baskets, cornstalks, “adopted” corner planters, flowers and plants thriving and weed-free in corner courtyards. It goes on and on.   
    Page 2 of 2 -     It all just doesn’t magically occur. People like Nell DeBoer, chair of the Beautification Committee, finish a long day’s work, pop in at home to change clothes, and then go weeding around town because they care about how their community looks...in the eyes of those who live here and those who are just passing through.   
        The efforts are worthy of mention here, as well as a well-deserved thank you.

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