BELPRE - Volunteers from throughout Belpre began and finished two more "Done in a Day" Belpre in Bloom projects on Saturday.
While a small group planted a quilt square of flowers in the bed around the fountain between Putnam Howe Drive and Washington Boulevard, another group - including Boy Scouts - put down mulch around plantings in Civitan Park.
"It's starting to get contagious," said Jon Neff with Bob's Market and Greenhouse in Belpre. "More and more people are getting into the Belpre in Bloom project and I'm seeing more flowers out this year than in a long time."
Jacob Sprigg, 18, of Belpre, waters freshly planted flowers around the fountain between Putnam Howe Drive and Washington Boulevard Saturday morning as he volunteers for the Belpre in Bloom project. (Photo by Jolene Craig)
Belpre in Bloom is a program that encourages beatification and clean-up projects throughout the city. Since March, the program has started a series of plantings, clean-ups and other activities to make the city more visually appealing through use of color.
"People in neighborhoods are getting involved and it's really exciting," said organizer and city auditor Leslie Pittenger. "Belpre in Bloom is becoming infectious."
Neff said people are "taking off" with the idea of Belpre in Bloom and helping to make the city look more colorful and inviting.
"It's catching on a lot faster than I thought it would," Neff added.
Along with the park and plantings throughout the city, there is also a community garden and beautification of all five entrances into the city.
"Our banners will go up around the city before June 1 and flower baskets are up at Civitan Park," Pittenger said. "A lot is going on."
The program has also received a Gateway grant and the city will be ready for judging on June 18.
As part of the America in Bloom program, two judges, who are master gardeners that donate their time and expertise, will judge the beatification and other projects done by the program this summer and will be looking at community involvement and other aspects to decide the city's rating.
"Good things are happening in Belpre," Pittenger said.