Civic pride is always a pleasure to see

Published 1:28pm Thursday, June 20, 2013

As we continue our summer of baseball driven by my son’s summer travel team, we visited Bowling Green, Ky. this past week.
I wrote a few weeks ago about a town we visited that was really struggling and I wanted to show the other side of the coin this week.
I was really impressed with Bowling Green. It is the third-largest city in Kentucky with a population of just over 60,000.
Keep in mind, I may not be impressed by the same things that impress most people. The first thing I noticed was the thriving business and retail environment. There is a balance of national retail chains along with an abundance of mom-and-pop establishments. All thriving and doing very well.
What stood out the most, however, were the beautifully landscaped medians and entrance corridors into the community. The medians were covered in flowering bushes, trees, and shrubs. Every 10 feet or more was landscaped differently and adorned with a tasteful sign naming a business or family in town. The landscaping was organized by a group of citizens, Operation P.R.I.D.E., a non-profit organization formed with the priorities of beautifying the city’s seven entrance corridors and educating the public on the importance of providing a proud, progressive and professional image of their community. Area businesses and citizens were offered the opportunity to sponsor a portion of the project and their sponsored portion is labeled with an attractive sign. It is impressive.
Operation P.R.I.D.E works to instill in every citizen a sense of responsibility for their community’s appearance and educate them on the advantages and benefits of taking pride in their community.
While they are still ironing out details and devising a strong plan for maintenance efforts, this organization is completely driven by volunteers who take pride in their community and want to show it.
In a city of 60,000, I couldn’t find a single piece of litter — not a single bottle cap or fast food bag anywhere. You can start the same movement. Start with your home, your neighborhood, then your community. Bowling Green, Ky., and their Operation P.R.I.D.E. has certainly accomplished a portion of their mission. I was thoroughly impressed. I can’t wait to visit again.

To comment, email shannon.elliott@thewetumpkaherald.com.

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