Columbiana Beautification Board working hard so far this year

Published 5:40 pm Thursday, May 4, 2023

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By SASHA JOHNS | Special to the Reporter

COLUMBIANA – The Columbiana Beautification Board has been looking for new ways to excite the community about creating a more beautiful place to live, and this spring, they put into action many of their ideas.

Starting in early March, they partnered with the Forestry Commission to give away 200 trees to the public. This was a first-time event for the Beautification Board and part of the qualifications to become a member of Tree City USA.

Not sure of the response they would get, the board, as well as Katie Wiswall of the Forestry Commission, were blown away by the line of people that showed up to take advantage of the free saplings.

By the time they opened up their tent on March 4 for the giveaway, a long line had formed in Old Mill Square, and every single sapling found a home. Along with the saplings, they were able to provide handouts for each species, all of which were chosen for their ability to thrive in our climate.

The turnout has bolstered the efforts of the board to push forward in their efforts to create beautiful green spaces for the community.

Beautification Board president Lisa Strickland Davis said that trees have been one of the best ways to build excitement and community in their endeavors.

They have currently met all the requirements to make Columbiana a member of Tree City USA through the Arbor Day Foundation. This is a program that seeks to help cities across America create green spaces that cut energy costs, boost the property values in the area, and build pride in their cities among other things.

Once this achievement is official, they will be qualified to receive grants and other assistance to further their work in Columbiana.

“This is something we’ve worked really hard for because we know that when Columbiana gets this recognition, it’s one that will bring visitors to town,” Davis said. “Tree Cities are destination cities for many travelers across the USA.”

The board has also recently planted the planters they installed on Main Street last year, while adding a few new planter boxes in Old Mill Square. All of the boxes were planted with a mix of gorgeous plants that people traveling Main Street won’t be able to miss.

Their Easter Bunny Tea Party fundraiser also sold out again this year, providing the children of the community with a fun and beautiful event that supports their work.

On Earth Day in April,  the board also hosted a Community Clean Up Day. Residents from across Columbiana, including the youth group from Focus church in Shelby, showed up for this semiannual service project where volunteers meet up in the center of town and canvas the city on foot in all directions to rid the streets and public areas of all trash.

In preparation for the town’s biggest party, Liberty Day, the board will host another cleanup day in June just before the big event.

The Board has also added four new benches in town to create inviting spots for visitors and citizens alike to take advantage of as they walk around town and take a moment of respite in beautifully curated spaces.

As they continue to make improvements citywide, this hard-working, volunteer board of eight women have high hopes for what they can accomplish going forward.

If you would like to volunteer with the Board for some of their projects just reach out to board member Kim King at