Lexington Looking for Economic and Social Gains Through Beautification
Lexington is working to put its best 'bloom' forward. This week, the bluegrass community is participating in the national "America in Bloom" program.
America in Bloom is a national non-profit which promotes community beautification programs through the use of flowers, plants, and trees.
Ann Garrity heads a group of local citizens interested in the effort. "It's not just flowers, but it is flowers, because flowers draw your eye to the environment. It's trees. It's landscapes. It's environmental sustainability. What's the quality of your water. It's cultural heritage. Think of all of our stone walls. Our bourbon trail," said Garrity.
Garrity believes the beauty of a city can be an economic draw when it comes to attracting new businesses and conventions. "We often look at our schools and our safety and security, but if we also include the beauty of our city, this becomes an economic draw," said Garrity. "It helps tourism. It helps draw conventions. It helps people make decisions about living here."
America in Bloom judges are in Lexington this week assessing current beautification projects. Participants in other cities report the evaluation process can lead to increased community involvement, civic pride and decreased vandalism.