Pride of Marysville Neighborhood Improvement Awards to be announced | GUEST OPINION

In the coming weeks, the winners will be announced in our 2013 Pride of Marysville Neighborhood Improvement Award program.

We presented the first-ever awards last year to an exceptional home and two businesses that clearly take pride in their property in ways that enhance the appearance of their neighborhood and community, just based on the sweat equity, landscaping and improvements they incorporated into their places.

Based on the nominations the city received this year by the July 1 deadline, the Award Selection Committee has another impressive batch of homes and businesses to choose from, all worthy of recognition. Committee members will be driving by these homes and businesses soon to gain a better first impression of the features that put them in the nominees circle.

The awards are a fun and easy, cost-effective way to recognize neighbors and businesses who take pride in their property in ways that enhance the appearance of the community. The awards are intended to inspire other neighbors to improve their homes and landscapes. Business owners are recognized for the “curb appeal” of their business facade and location.

As you may recall, the four awards available are Best Home/Pride of the Neighborhood, Best Block or Neighborhood, Best Business and lastly, the Mayor’s Choice —  James Comeford Award that goes to a most-improved home or business in the downtown-waterfront district. Winners are formally publicized and recognized at a City Council meeting, and presented with quality engraved markers for them to display in their winning yard, home, neighborhood entrance or business for others to see.

The idea of a more attractive and livable community has long been a topic of discussion in government meetings, coffee klatches, community meetings and input from lifelong residents and others who are sincere about the need for something to be done about the city’s general lack of cleanliness.

The way in which we improve and maintain our homes, landscaping, businesses, buildings, and gardens communicates an image of Marysville, one that we hope will promote community and neighborhood pride.

Marysville put forward its own concerted beautification effort with the community-wide Clean Sweep Week last April, a massive spring cleaning effort of some 300 volunteers from local churches, nonprofits, service clubs and citizens, in partnership with city employees and several business sponsors. Working together throughout the week, the groups helped neighborhoods clean up where vandalism, graffiti and structural challenges leave visible impacts. A key piece in the initiative was targeted neighborhood-wide cleanups in the Timberbrook/Heather Glen neighborhoods, Kellogg Meadows and a section of downtown that assisted homeowners at no charge with removing tons of trash, wood, broken concrete, refuse and large miscellaneous items that had built up over time. Residents praised and appreciated the effort, it inspired them and others to take more pride in their neighborhood, and we look forward to working with new neighborhoods next year.

While we’re on the subject of cleanup, I have to commend Grove Church for their incredible cleaning up job after the Marysville Strawberry Festival Grand Parade downtown last month. State Avenue can look pretty shabby after the city’s most attended and watched event gets over, but thanks to volunteer church members, by next morning you wouldn’t have known there even was a parade.

First impressions count, whether it’s the entryway to your home or business, neighborhood or the gateway into our community. The city recently installed hanging flower baskets along the new SR 529 Bridge as a colorful way to create a welcoming first impression for visitors, and to demonstrate that civic pride begins right at the entrances into Marysville. Attractive gateway signage at Fourth Street and I-5, as well as the Lakewood neighborhood at 172nd and I-5, achieve the same purpose. Expect to see more artful gateways in the future.

A well-kept home, neighborhood or business is beneficial for our quality of life regardless of the time of year. With that in mind, an attractive neighborhood or business begins with you. Here are a few simple things you can do:

  • Look at your property objectively. Walk out to the curb and view your property as a neighbor or passerby would.
  • Check for peeling paint on home, garage or business building facade.
  • Check gutters and downspouts for rust or sags.
  • Check fences and retaining walls for any needed repairs.
  • Check landscaping. Trim evergreens, shrubbery and trees; and plant flowers. Creative and well-maintained landscaping enhances any property.

A well-kept home, neighborhood and business says that residents take pride in their community. With pride comes value, beauty and a great image for our city.

Mayor Jon Nehring can be reached at mayor@marysvillewa.gov or 360-363-8091.


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