#366. Let’s Paint the Town Follow-up

Posted on | The Agurban

Let’s Paint the Town Follow-up

Our Agurban last week, “Let’s Paint the Town, Twin Cities!” Premieres” generated some great feedback that we want to share. Read on…

Love your articles and as I have told you in the past often share them with our other volunteers and board members.  Newkirk volunteers have been painting our historic downtowns since 1992.  In about 2004 Keep Oklahoma Beautiful teamed up with H.I.S. paints and through a grant application donates 20 gallons of free paint to communities throughout the state as well as a $75 stipend to purchase supplies.  Newkirk has taken advantage of these grants and the paint.  During the course of time we have painted seven facades and a couple of alley facades as well with the paint.

Your last week article talked about working with seniors in high school.  Each year Newkirk Main Street has a “Come Home to Newkirk” dinner for approximately 20 graduating seniors to encourage them to go on to higher education but then come back home when they are finished.

Karen DyeNewkirk, OK 74647

I always enjoy receiving the Agurban News and reading the stories that you highlight.  Today’s story about Fulton and South Fulton was great and hit close to home here in. 
The first is something we have called “Plant the Town Red.”  Lincoln is not that dissimilar from Fulton and South Fulton in that manufacturing losses, the closure of our largest county employer (the Lincoln Developmental Center in 2002), and a struggling economy have caught us in the middle of not so positive forces.  As a way to kind of kick-start some community pride, the City began a program in the fall of 2010 entitled “Plant the Town Red.”  The idea was to have businesses and residents buy and plant red tulips in public spaces that would provide a fresh splash of color in the spring.  The local high school’s colors are red and green, so red tulips seemed like a natural choice.
In that first fall businesses, organizations, and private citizens bought and planted over 15,000 tulips.  For  community of less than 15,000 people, that was a great ratio!  Because of those numbers we bought out virtually every red tulip bulb that could be found in Central Illinois!  And we loved seeing the results in spring 2011. 
Last fall we had round two.  By the end of sales in this second year, we had sold another 13,000 tulips that went into the ground.  Each year there have been neat stories of groups and families joining together to plant tulips.  Here is a link to a story about a community night we had at a neighborhood park where we planted tulips. 
Feel free to come through Lincoln next spring to see what 28,000 tulip bulbs can do! 
The Plant the Town Red project is coordinated by a local volunteer group called “From the Ground Up.”  This group has coordinated not only planting projects, but painting projects, clean-up projects, park, projects, and even our 1st ever Sidewalk Chalk Art Event just prior to our annual Art & Balloon Festival. 
Thanks for all you do to promote small communities “doing it ourselves.”  With a few more projects under our belts, perhaps one day people will be making documentaries about Lincoln!
Keith Snyder, Mayor, City of Lincoln, IL
Boise, Idaho has been doing Paint the Town for at least 20 years, and it didn’t start here.  Ours is quite well organized, with large employers organizing one or more teams of employees and have a good-natured competition.  We don’t focus on downtown, but rather the rundown homes of the elderly and disabled. 

Dick Gardner, 
Bootstrap Solutions

We love to hear about the great things going on in small communities. Please share your stories anytime!