(Photo above: La Pine high school volunteers | by David Clewett)
As part of La Pine’s Economic Vitality Roadmap initiative a group of volunteers have formed a Beautification Action Team to help make the city more aesthetically appealing. The group uses the slogan “Put a Shine on La Pine” and in the past year they have collected over 6,000 pounds of invasive knapweed and trash.
The Beautification Team has begun their 2016 efforts and will be working in a continued effort to eradicate the spotted knapweed which is an invasive and destructive weed. The team of volunteers works to pull weeds while educating the public about its dangers.
The team has identified three priorities including general beautification, unifying La Pine’s landscape and making downtown look more business oriented.
This year the group will continue the effort to pull knapweed and will incorporate a new focus of cleaning up the business areas of La Pine.
Dennis Scott is leading the Beautification Team and says volunteers are discovered mostly by word of mouth and the groups’ Facebook page. They are asking anyone interested to get involved by volunteering.
“We have projects coming up and we need more help. Knapweed is a very invasive weed and it takes over and kills all the natural habitat. It started spreading in the city and we wanted to get word out and start a project. It was a thing to get ‘Put a Shine on La Pine’ out there. We passed out flyers and started the pull to bring everything together. Everybody that comes to town now says it looks so much better than last year,” Scott said.
The team has also challenged businesses and property owners to present their land in a way that shows La Pine at its best. There is a contest being held to encourage property owners to clean their land and buildings. It is a contest to positively reinforce community businesses and agencies to keep their land beautified.
“We gave out awards last fall for the nicest looking businesses. We are going to pick it up again this year. Basically it is taking a pledge to make your place look nice and neat. We signed up 50 businesses last year and hope to sign up 50 more this year. We want more businesses to take a pledge to keep their spaces looking nice. We have a list of local people who will help and encourage businesses to hire locally,” Scott said.
Businesses are being asked to contribute to a positive and attractive image for La Pine by signing a pledge to utilize existing resources, encourage their neighbors to keep land clean and contribute to maintaining and expanding the current beautification efforts.
“The movement to ‘Put the Shine on La Pine’ has brought business owners, homeowners and many churches together to achieve a unified goal of making La Pine a town that shows it has community pride and a love for the town they call home,” said Linda Stephenson, La Pine business owner and volunteer.
The goal is to clean up the town and show local townspeople and visitors that La Pine is a growing and vibrant community.
“We are ahead of our goals so far. Our ultimate goal is we want people to stop on their way through town and we want people to come here and live. If you make a place look attractive people will want to live here,” Scott said.
Put a Shine on La Pine is an example of a few people leading by example and creating a movement. It is a measure in accountability and in a city like La Pine it seems to be working.
Dennis Scott can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Those interested in volunteering can visit the groups Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/741744255947845/?fref=nf
The Beautification Pledge can be found at this link: http://www.lapine.org/EV-Roadmap/ShineOnLaPinePledge.pages.pdf