Columbiana Beautification Board looks back on progress

Published 9:33 am Friday, September 16, 2022

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By SASHA JOHNS | Special to the Reporter

COLUMBIANA – The Columbiana Beautification Board has had a stand-out fiscal year.

A volunteer board of nine people approved by the City Council came under the new leadership of Lisa Strickland Davis one year ago, who has helped the board reach several new goals.

“This season is always a busy season for the board,” Davis said. “We have traditions that are important to our small town, but we also tried to go above and beyond with some new ideas throughout the year, and they were well-received once we executed them.”

Part of Columbiana’s charm is the seasonal decorations. The board started last fall with locally grown stacked pumpkins and corn stalks from local R&S Farms and then moved right into Christmas with new plantings, velvet ribbons, swags on the railing and a Christmas tree in the town gazebo.

“We just wanted locals and visitors alike to have that Hallmark movie feeling when they visited downtown,” Davis said.

In February, downtown was turned into a street ready for a high noon showdown, as the town prepared for the annual Cowboy Day celebration. The board added lassos and bandanas to railings and small cowboy boots to the planters. At the corner of College and Main Street, a photo booth was added on one corner with a giant pair of cowboy boots and hay bales.

“People were taking pictures and tagging us, and it was so much fun,” she said.

As spring arrived the board added fourteen planters to the Main Street area that complemented the hanging baskets that the Columbiana Main Street organization installed around the same time. Main Street came alive with plantings this summer between the two organizations.

The board also addressed the need for city benches by adding four of them around the area as well as one picnic table near the pocket park at the traffic circle. Additionally, each month one business and one yard are chosen to give accolades to as “The Best.”

“It’s not always just the prettiest,” Davis said. “Often it’s the most improved or consistent.”

In addition to striving to make Columbiana a more beautiful place, the board hosted fundraisers like the Easter Bunny Tea Party, a Tour of Homes during the holiday season, two clean-up days and in October, the Midnight Café, a delightfully spooky event for children at the Grande Hall.

The Beautification Board is already planning to continue its work in the coming year. One big project they would like to tackle is to replace the aged “Welcome to Columbiana” signs at each of the city’s entrances.

“I’m so proud of our board members,” Board member and Council Woman Kim King said. “They work tirelessly to keep our community beautiful. Our Main Street is second to none. I’m very proud of what has been done and will be done for our great city.”

“We couldn’t do anything without the volunteers that help us,” Davis said. “We are always looking for help.”

The Beautification Board meets on the first Monday of each month in the conference room at the Columbiana Police Station on the backside of City Hall. Visitors are invited to come and offer suggestions. Follow the Columbiana Beautification Board to find out more about its projects and how to help.