CUMBERLAND — More than 15 years ago, a group of area volunteers formed an organization with a single goal — making Cumberland a more beautiful place to live, work and visit. While circumstances and faces may have changed, the goal of the Let’s Beautify Cumberland! group is remains the same, beautifying the Queen City.
Since 1996, Let’s Beautify Cumberland! has initiated and completed many projects throughout the community, including “Beauty Spots” at the entrances of neighborhoods and gardens and parklets through the area.
The organization was founded by Butch Hendershot and Paul Yockus, both of whom led the organization for many years. Their important work and dedication has inspired three area volunteers to continue those efforts. Virginia Decker, Ed Mullaney and Nicole Wagoner have agreed to serve as the new chairpeople of the LBC. Decker and Mullaney said they consider themselves stewards of the work started by Hendershot and Yockus.
“Nicole will be serving as the liaison between the city and Let’s Beautify Cumberland! and we are looking for new members to help us continue our work,” Decker said. “We have many projects planned and we need as much help as possible.”
During their most recent meetings, LBC has welcomed many familiar faces and introduced new friends to the mission of the organization. Mullaney said volunteers are the heart of the LBC and their enthusiasm and dedication has been “contagious.”
“Since this organization has started, we have seen people begin similar projects at their homes and businesses. It’s truly growing with each year,” Decker added.
The efforts of Let’s Beautify Cumberland! would not be possible without a strong corps of volunteers. These same volunteers work throughout the spring and summer months to maintain the projects, watering when needed and, of course, pulling weeds.
Decker said volunteers have many options and projects to choose from, depending on their interests, skills and individual abilities.
In the coming weeks, residents and visitors alike will not be able to miss the beautification projects planned. Work will continue on projects near the Welcome to Cumberland signs, along Queen City Drive, Valley Street Bridge and the Gulf War Memorial. Let’s Beautify Cumberland! will once again be lending support to the 16th annual Cumberland Day of Caring and Sharing on May 17.
Successful partnerships are key to the success of any program and LBC is no different. Working closely with the mayor and city council, LBC also partners with the County United Way, Friends Aware, the Garden Club of Cumberland, civic organizations and area schools.
In conjunction with its 2013 plans, Let’s Beautify Cumberland! will be hosting the 17th annual Downtown Plant Sale, Thursday through Saturday, from 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.
The plant sale will feature plant varieties from more than 20 participating local orchards, farms, greenhouses and businesses.
Plants offered will include azaleas, pines, shrubs, annuals, perennials, vegetables and hanging baskets. The work of students in the masonry program Center for Career and Technical Education will be available for purchase.
Vendors will also be offering outdoor decor and patio furniture and Southern States will be selling bagged mulch. Arts and crafts vendors will also be invited to set up tables offering their creations. Volunteers will be on site to assist customers transport their purchases to their vehicles.
The downtown mall will be in full bloom beginning in May, with similar plant sales held each Thursday in May, from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday After Five activities will begin on May 10 and the annual Farmer’s Market will resume on June 6.
The Let’s Beautify Cumberland! committee meets at 7 p.m. on the first Thursday of each month at City Hall.
Contact Angie Brant at firstname.lastname@example.org.