I’ve lived in Athens for 17 years, and it was most difficult for me to adjust to the hot, humid summers. I had to learn a whole new way of gardening after just about everything I planted failed to survive my Southern brown thumb.

Over the years, my position has brought me into contact with people and websites that shed a great deal of light on where I was going wrong. I remained in my Northeast Ohio garden mode in my thinking and that didn’t work here. Summers in Cleveland are not so hot and humidity levels are lower. There is not nearly the amount of clay in the soils of Northeast Ohio as we find here. So I had to do some research to learn what would and would not grow in my new home city.

I have written articles on the importance of choosing native plants for landscaping, much of which I have applied with great success. Recently, I was introduced to another type of landscaping that takes into consideration the amount of water available, or lack of water. It is called xeriscaping.

Xeriscaping is a method of using landscaping and horticultural strategies that minimize water use. This method can help property owners reduce their water use by one-third, which is very helpful in drought-prone areas such as the Tennessee Valley!

According to the Alabama Cooperative Extension System, plant selection in a xeriscaped garden may vary from area to area, but there are 7 basic principles that can be applied anywhere:

  • Group plants by similar water use, as well as appearance.
  • If sites are dry, choose as many plants with low water requirements as possible, such as some of the ornamental grasses, barberries, Chinese hollies, and junipers.
  • Reduce the amount of turf grass (lawn) area. Turf grass is the largest water user in landscaping. Use it only where necessary or consider some of the newer, drought-resistant types.
  • Use plenty of organic material (peat moss, pine bark, compost) in preparing the soil.
  • Use about 4 inches (no more) of mulch (wood chips, shredded bark). Mulch reduces water use by slowing evaporation and it adds organic matter to the soil and helps prevent erosion.
  • Use efficient watering systems. For example, use a sprinkler that will target the areas that require water and do not overspray onto rocky or paved areas.)
  • Prune, fertilize, and divide plants regularly.

Before you begin, you will want to assess your garden site. By looking at the property, you may find ways of using water-saving landscape techniques. Look for dry or rocky areas as well as areas where water might pool. You also want to note the amount of sun each area receives.

Once you have assessed the area, select plants and shrubs that do well in those conditions and group them together. Plant selection will be one of the most important factors in whether your garden will survive long term. Here are tips:

  • Use only plant varieties that are well adapted to your locality and soil conditions. The wrong variety of plant may require greater amounts of fertilizer and water just to stay alive. Check with your local nursery, garden department, or Extension Service for suggestions. You can also research native plant varieties online.
  • Group plants with similar water needs together. For example, group the vegetables requiring more water together in the garden to make the most of your watering.
  • Choose moisture-loving plants for wet, poorly drained sites and drought-tolerant plants for dry, sunny areas.
  • Select and plant drought-tolerant varieties that require minimal amounts of water.

Trees
Trees are also vulnerable to our weather conditions. When selecting trees, be sure to select species that do well in this area. Some good selections would include oaks, ginkgo, hackberry, Southern magnolia, Chinese pistache, American holly, golden-rain tree, and pines.

Turf Grass
In most of our neighborhoods, the lawn (turf grass) is the most prominent vegetation. A beautifully manicured, green lawn can be the pride and joy of any homeowner. Turf grass will withstand a rough and tumble game of football, absorb heat, and control erosion.

Turf grass will also quickly suffer under drought conditions, and will consume more water than most all other plants. Therefore, the question that should be asked is, “Do I have too much grass?” Look at your property critically. Are there shady areas where grass is not doing well? Do you have grass growing among and around your shrubs? Do you have large patches of grass just because you can’t think of anything else to do with your property?

Consider replacing turf grass in areas difficult to maintain with organic mulch or ground cover. This will reduce the work involved in trying to maintain those areas and will reduce the need for heavy watering.

Be sure to properly care for the turf grass you do have. Check with your local Extension Office for information on proper fertilizer and lime application.

Rain Barrels

Adding rain barrels to your landscaping will also help conserve water. Our friend, Rhonda Britton, from Water Wheels is an expert on this topic. Look for a more in-depth article on this topic in a future issue.
Happy Xeriscaping!
By: Lynne Hart

I have recently been reflecting back over the last year at Athens-Limestone Recycling Center (ALRC) and I am so excited about where we are today.

Did you know that one year ago the future of Athens-Limestone Recycling Center did not look so promising? Cuts had been made to the point that there was nowhere else to cut. Commodity prices had fallen; not for just one or two commodities (as is common) but ALL commodities prices had fallen as the experts had predicted. (Eighteen months before, experts warned to buckle your seatbelts and hold on, it is going to be a bumpy ride.)

I am so grateful to our residents that utilize our many drop-off services – whether it is our drop-off bins at Lucas Ferry or one of our 14 community collection centers throughout the county. I THANK YOU!!

To Mark Yarbrough and the County Commissioners that are always there to offer support, I THANK YOU!

To Mayor Marks, the Athens City Council, the staff of the Streets and Sanitation Department who are also always there to support us, I THANK YOU ALL!

To our more than 300 businesses that utilize our services, I THANK YOU!

I would also like to thank the Alabama Department of Environmental Management (ADEM). If not for them and their financial support in the form of a Recycling Grant, we would not have been able to purchase a much needed forklift. Our old ones had outlived their useful life. A fully functioning forklift is vital to our operation.

ALRC was also able to purchase a much needed box truck and lift gate from the generous grant funding of ADEM. We had one of our trucks that had over 300,000 miles on it go down, and it was not worth fixing. Without this new addition, servicing our schools and businesses would have been a real challenge.

Another purchase that we were able to make only through the generosity of this grant from ADEM was a new canopy at our Lucas Ferry Road location. This will allow us to keep our baled material under cover while it awaits shipment. It will also offer shelter from the sun and rain to our employees while they are sorting recyclable material.

This ADEM Grant was for just over $70,000.00. To ADEM I THANK YOU!

THANK YOU ALL for realizing what a vital role Athens-Limestone Recycling Center plays in this community – a community I am glad to call home and to serve.
By: Ruby McCartney, Plant Manager Athens-Limestone Recycling Center

Our children are all precious. They start out innocent and have clear minds just ready to absorb everything in the world they see and hear.

We know that is true. How many of us have heard our children repeat something we never dreamed they heard us say!

So who is responsible for what information is absorbed? We are all responsible. Children watch their parents and other adults around them. They will repeat what they hear, take on the attitudes they witness, and care about things that the adults in their lives consider important. If they grow up witnessing kindness, they will learn to be kind. If they witness anger and bitterness, they will learn to be dissatisfied with life.

Children will learn about their environment in the same way. Someone must show them and teach them to appreciate the miracles of life and beauty that surround us. Often, children and adults alike are so busy or glued to electronic gadgets that beautiful sunsets, a sky full of stars, the intricacies of the flowers that bloom, or a pair of hawks soaring above are missed completely.

We forget to stop and listen to the water trickling over the rocks in a stream or the wind blowing through the leaves on the trees. Have you ever stopped to watch hard-working ants or a bird going back and forth gathering materials to build a nest? These things happen in our own back yards, yet we often ignore them because we are so busy.

In the same way, we can also become blind to the damage we may be doing to that same beautiful world. The ugliness and danger of litter on the roadsides, the garbage piled up in a slough on the river, or the household garbage that someone is burning down the road are often overlooked. If children are raised to believe all these things are normal, they may never develop a sense of responsibility for the natural wonders around them.

Children must be shown, and we must take the time to show them. In doing so, we ourselves may be reminded to appreciate the miracles and beauties of the world around us.

When I lived in West Limestone, I would drive along the river daily. If my granddaughters were with me, they knew to be quiet once we reached the river and look for wildlife. They would scan the water, grass, and sky to spot turtles, hawks, and other critters. It took just a few minutes, but it helped them to become conscious of what was living and sharing this planet with them. I now live in the city and I, too, must make a conscious effort to stop and share a beautiful sky or the smell of rain in the air with my other grandchildren who have come along.

Pick a day, turn off the cell phone, disconnect from the electronics, and take a walk in the woods or along a riverbank. Take time to look for turtles, fish, and birds along the way. Lay on your backs and watch the clouds go by, picking out familiar shapes. Use your imagination. Breathe the fresh air.

Appreciate the gift of the natural world. It is amazing and just waiting to be noticed.
By: Lynne Hart

In April 2017, Keep Athens-Limestone Beautiful celebrated 40 years as a Keep America Beautiful affiliate!

KALB celebrated that milestone with the public at our 9th annual Earth Day & Outdoor EXPO held at Friendship Church on April 29. It was a wonderful day!

If you would like to enjoy the many photos taken, please visit the Keep Athens-Limestone Beautiful Facebook page.

Our History
KALB became an affiliate of Keep America Beautiful in April of 1977. Our program was one of the very first to become a KAB affiliate. At that time, the organization was known as Athens-Limestone Clean Community. In 2002, the name changed to reflect our affiliation with Keep America Beautiful.

Education is the key to changing attitudes, and we continue to reach thousands of students and adults with our message of environmental stewardship.

The following is a list of Executive Coordinators who have led this organization:
77-80 Barbara Anderson
81-82 Doris Cox
82-96 Joyce Counter
96-98 Kim Gentry
98-99 Lynn Randolph
99-Present Lynne Hart

The coordinators before me have worked hard to change mindsets about litter and recycling. It is an honor to have my name included. Although I am not an Alabama native, I consider this my home, and I take great pride in Athens and Limestone County. I know that each of us would agree we could accomplish nothing without the thousands of wonderful volunteers who take up our challenge.

In 1977, a science club from Athens High School began a recycling fundraiser to raise money for out-of-town travel. The program was a huge success and became too large for the students to manage. Eventually, the Athens-Limestone Clean Community Commission (now KALB) was asked to take over the effort. The Commission agreed and organized the A-L Recycling Board to oversee the program. Recycling continued to grow making it necessary to move the center to its current location on Lucas Ferry Road in 2004. The center currently processes about 2,000 tons of materials per year.

I tip my hat to Mrs. Joann Christopher who was involved with KALB since its inception. When the Recycling Board was established, Joann took on the responsibility of board chair and kept that position for many years. The recycling program was her baby and she made sure it was a success and received community support. Thank you, Joann Christopher. We have all benefited from your hard work and dedication.

Also in the early 1980’s, the Athens-Limestone Beautification Board was formed to manage beautification programs. Over the years, there have been many improvements to our city cemeteries. One that stands out for me is Roselawn Cemetery. When I moved to Athens in 1999, the trees that line Hwy 31 and the landscaped entrances were not there. The Beautification Board acquired a grant to landscape the cemetery and continued to work on beautifying this and other city cemeteries throughout the years.

This board is also responsible for the triangle at Hwy. 72 and Clinton Street as well as the flowerpots and benches that adorn downtown Athens. At Christmas, this board places wreaths on the graves at the Old City Cemetery on Washington Street. Many early settlers to Athens are buried there.

Everyone involved with Keep Athens-Limestone Beautiful should be very proud of the accomplishments seen over the past 40 years. I am referring to anyone who has volunteered, stopped littering, started recycling, became conscious of water and air quality, or has made any improvement in attitude toward the environment. Earth is the only planet we have. It behooves us all to take care of our “home.”
By: Lynne Hart

You may have noticed that something has changed around town. Something is missing and you just can’t put your finger on it.

It might just be that you are missing the Beautification Awards that graced properties of well-kept businesses, churches, and government buildings in Athens and Limestone County. They have vanished! So where have they gone?

Never fear! They have been removed so that those in need of cleaning and repair can get a bit of a facelift. The Athens-Limestone Beautification Board, a part of the KALB organization, also wanted to establish new guidelines for the award process. A committee met and discussed some of the needed changes, and has developed guidelines which should serve the community well.

Beginning now, YOU can be part of the award process! Here is how you can get in on the action to reward a lovely local business, church, or government facility.

New Guidelines for Beautification Awards
In an effort to recognize exemplary efforts to enhance the beauty of Athens and Limestone County, and to promote the increase and importance of green space, the Athens-Limestone Beautification Board will place Award signs on properties using the following process:

• The public, including business owners, will have the opportunity to nominate businesses, industries, churches, and government buildings located within Limestone County to be included in the judging process.
• Nominations will be accepted through May 15th this year. Nominations may be made online at www.KALBCares.com/beautification-awards or a form can be picked up at the KALB office. The Beautification Board will also have forms available at their booth at the Earth Day & Outdoor EXPO on April 29th at Friendship Church. The form is simple to complete; just be sure to have the address of the business available.
• Nominated businesses shall receive notification along with a copy of the judging criteria and time frame for judging.
• Volunteers will be recruited from outside of Limestone County to act as impartial judges.
• The top 20 properties with the highest scores will receive a Beautification Award sign to display on their property for one year.

Guidelines for Retention of Signs
• Signs are awarded for one year; however, if a business does not keep the property up to the standards of the award criteria, the board will notify that business giving them 14 days to correct stated problems. If the problems are not remedied in a timely manner, the board reserves the right to remove the Beautification Award sign prior to the end of one year.

• At the end of one year, this process will begin again and all businesses wishing to be judged must be nominated, including businesses that have previously received award signs.

So what are you waiting for? When you see a beautiful business, industry, church, school, or government building, jot down the information and nominate them. You may nominate as many as you like!

For more information on the Beautification Awards process, contact KALB.
By: Lynne Hart

We’re all familiar with Earth Day, but not all of us know its history.

Senator Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin was witness to the devastating effects of the 1969 massive oil spill in Santa Barbara, California, and was inspired to organize a “teach-in” to educate the public about the environment. The first official Earth Day was celebrated on April 22, 1970.

According to “History of Earth Day” by the Earth Day Network, “groups that had been fighting against oil spills, polluting factories and power plants, raw sewage, toxic dumps, pesticides, freeways, the loss of wilderness, and the extinction of wildlife suddenly realized they shared common values.”

Earth Day continues to be an event to celebrate and reflect and raise public awareness about pollution and how we can become part of the solution. This annual celebration, which has been ongoing for 47 years, has contributed the support needed to create the Environmental Protection Agency, passage of the Clean Air Act, the Water Quality Improvement Act, the Endangered Species Act and several other environmental laws. Many have opinions regarding these agencies and their possible overreach; however, it remains imperative that we have effective laws in place that will prevent unscrupulous people from poisoning the planet for their own gain.

In an article for the EPA Journal reflecting on the 10th anniversary of Earth Day, Senator Nelson wrote, “It was on that day that Americans made it clear that they understood and were deeply concerned over the deterioration of our environment and the mindless dissipation of our resources.”

KALB’S CELEBRATION

Since 2009, KALB has been honoring Earth Day with a celebration for all to enjoy. We have worked hard to keep the event free of charge so everyone can come to see, learn, play, and enjoy.

Is this event just for kids? Absolutely NOT! While the children love the event, we have had many adults comment on how much they have learned and how much they look forward to future celebrations.

Come and learn about the importance of pollinators or why rain barrels are helpful and how you can build one. Get answers to gardening questions from local Master Gardeners, paint with an artist from Athens Arts League, get a free plant from the Athens-Limestone Beautification Board (while they last), and learn about Wheeler Wildlife Nature Preserve or hiking at Bankhead National Forest.

Check out Perfectly Posh naturally-based and cruelty-free bath and body products, Remembrances of Yours recycled jewelry and glassworks, Hinge Gifts & Home Accessories, or Sweet Home Soaps handcrafted soap and skincare items.
There will be plenty of live animals, including raptors from Wings to Soar, as well as crafts, games and hands-on activities.

Admission is free and there will be complimentary hot dogs and Pepsi, treats, and door prizes. Donations will be gladly accepted, of course!

KALB thanks our sponsors for supporting the Earth Day & Outdoor EXPO. Sponsors include Custom Polymers PET, Bank Independent, Clem Tire, Redstone Federal Credit Union, Crews Inc., Top Job Roofing, First National Bank, and the Mayor’s Youth Commission. These sponsors make this event possible.

We hope to see you there!
By: Lynne Hart

We in the KALB office often hear words of thanks for all that is accomplished through our organization each year. We really don’t deserve the thanks. It is our volunteers that answer our calls.

We recently called for volunteers to come out and help with our Elk River Cleanup on March 4th. As always, our call was answered and great work was accomplished. Fifty-seven volunteers braved the cold morning, which turned into a beautiful, sunny day, to pick up other people’s trash.

Throughout the year, we have dedicated groups and individuals who participate in the Adopt-A-Spot program by cleaning up a stretch of roadway in the city or county on a routine basis. You don’t always see these volunteers, but they are out there quietly working to make our communities better.

There are also people living in our communities who only think of themselves by asking these questions: Can I save the few dollars it would cost to take my trash to the transfer station by just tossing it down a ravine? Can I pocket the money I charged the homeowner to properly dispose of old roofing shingles if I just dump them under the bridge? It’s just too far to go to take my tires to the Limestone County district tool shed to be properly recycled; so should I just roll them down this hill into the river? Why shouldn’t I leave all these beer bottles in the woods after I’ve partied with my friends? Why would I want to properly dispose of all that tangled fishing line when I can just leave it on the river bank? Why should I trash my car when I can just toss this fast food bag and drink bottle out the window?

If any of the people who ask those questions had someone to answer them, they may or may not have changed their mind about how to proceed.

It is the duty of those of us who do know the answers to these questions to speak up. If you see someone dumping trash, report it. If you see someone litter from their vehicle, report it to us. We work with the Athens Police Department and the Limestone County Sheriff Department to help track down offenders.

The volunteers who came out to help clean up the Elk River removed 7,380 lbs. of trash and debris from the river and surrounding land areas. A portion was loose trash that washed up from the water. Most of it consisted of things like TV sets, tires, mattresses, carpet, bags of trash, dead animals and much more. These items ended up at the river as a result of someone’s laziness, ignorance, or just lack of pride.

On behalf of the KALB Commission, I thank those of you who came out to help with the river cleanup this year, and those who have adopted an area of their community to clean. Athens and Limestone County are filled with good people willing to do the dirty work of cleaning up after others. We thank you.

Be a voice. If you see something, say something. You can report littering and illegal dumping by using our online reporting, by email, or by phone. Visit our website at http://kalbcares.com to find the online report under the Litter Control tab.
Take a stand against a littered community. It truly matters.
By: Lynne Hart

As we begin the month of March, the KALB organization kicks off a very busy season. There are a few things taking place during this month. Read on to learn more about classroom presentations, free seedlings, volunteer opportunities, free dump day and recycling information. We invite you to march right up and participate in something that is of interest to you.

4-H Presentations

In November, we presented a program on recycling to more than 40 Limestone County 4th and 5th grade 4-H clubs/classes. Several more county classes will be visited in March as well as all 5th and 6th grade classes in the Athens City Schools. We are following Chloe Wilson, Foundation Regional Extension Agent with 4-H, and will present the same program using a competitive Jeopardy game. When all is said and done, we will have reached over 1,500 students with our message. It is a rigorous schedule, and I tip my hat to the 4-H agents who do this month after month during the school year. We appreciate the opportunity to join forces with the 4-H team.

Elk River Cleanup
This annual event will be held on Saturday, March 4th. We welcome volunteers to join us in our efforts. No particular skill or ability level is required. All you need is a desire to give back and protect the river which provides our drinking water and recreational opportunities.

Volunteers will meet at the Hatchery Rd. boat launch area at 8:00 a.m. Lunch will be provided at noon, as well as a drawing for lots of prizes. Contact us for information.

Free Tree Seedlings

KALB is grateful to have received 800 tree seedlings from the Alabama Forestry Commission to be given away to Limestone County residents. Members of KALB have first choice of trees and may reserve them via email or phone. All remaining trees will be given away at the Limestone County Home and Garden Show on March 10th and 11th taking place at the Event Center in Athens.

The following is a list of seedlings that will be available: bald cypress, crepe myrtle, river birch, black gum, redbud and Shumard oak.

Free Dump Day
Each year, Limestone County residents have an opportunity to take a pickup truck or trailer load of trash to the transfer station free of charge. On Saturday, March 25th from 7 a.m. until noon, residents will once again have the chance to dump their junk at no cost. Gates close promptly at noon. The transfer station is located at 16100 BFI Lane off Hwy. 72 just before 7-Mile Post Rd. (heading west).

RESTRICTIONS: Refrigerators, freezers, and air conditioners must have compressors removed, or be accompanied by a receipt showing that the Freon has been professionally removed. No hazardous chemicals or medical waste. Limit of 4 automobile tires per load (please recycle – see below). You may be asked to show proof of residency; so be prepared with a utility bill. No contractors will be permitted to dump free.

Although the transfer station will accept up to 4 tires per household, we ask that you take all tires to the county shed in your district where they will be recycled. Sheds are located as follows:

  • District 1: 22555 Elkton Road (7 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.)
  • District 2: 24795 Pepper Road (7 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.)
  • District 3: 14119 Ripley Road (6 a.m. – 2 p.m.)
  • District 4: 22155 Section Line Road (7 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.)

Please also remember that books of all kinds, metals, paper, cardboard, plastic and glass bottles and jars, and electronics can be recycled at our Athens-Limestone Recycling Center on Lucas Ferry Rd. in Athens. If you are unsure whether something is recyclable, please call 256-233-8746 or 256-233-8000 for assistance.

Let’s make our communities better together.
By: Lynne Hart

Every morning I get out of bed and take water for granted. I flush, shower, brush, make coffee, and wash my breakfast dishes. Water. It’s just there.

Where does all the water that flows through our pipes and into our homes come from? Whether you live in the City of Athens or elsewhere in Limestone County, that water comes from the Elk River. Over 14 million gallons per day is drawn from the Elk River, purified, and sent to our homes and businesses.

That alone is a good reason for us to want to keep our river clean; however, there are many other reasons. The Elk River also provides opportunities for recreation, as our cleanup logo reflects. Picnics, fishing, boating, hiking, enjoying nature, canoeing, kayaking, camping, and bird watching are just a few of the activities that take place on or near the Elk River. It is a tremendous resource to Athens and Limestone County.


Volunteer Opportunities

We are looking for volunteers of all ages to join others in an effort to remove trash and debris from the Elk River. KALB’s annual Elk River Cleanup will take place on Saturday, March 4th at 8 a.m. All volunteers will meet at the Hatchery Rd. boat launch in West Limestone for supplies and instructions. KALB and TVA will provide trash bags, gloves, and litter grabbers. Volunteers are welcome to bring additional tools such as rakes, chains, etc. Boats, canoes and kayaks are also welcomed. Be aware of water levels and have all safety gear necessary. After a group photo is taken, volunteers will be disbursed to areas along the river.

No Trash Weighing! Everyone Can Win!
This year, there will be no team competitions. That means no hauling of trash back to the starting point! Instead of team prizes, all volunteers that work from 8 a.m. to noon will have their name entered into a drawing for several prizes. This gives all volunteers a chance to win.

A complimentary lunch will also be served at noon. Email or call to let us know you are coming so we can reserve your lunch. It helps us prepare if we have an idea of how many volunteers to expect. We will have extra food for those who decide to join at the last minute.

Everyone Is Responsible

We are all accountable for the condition of our river, and we should examine our behaviors that relate to either helping to keep the river healthy or polluting this precious water source. Here are some things we need to ask ourselves:

  • Am I careful about the type and amount of fertilizers I use?
  • Do I make the best choices when purchasing household chemicals?
  • Do I quickly repair oil and other fluid leaks? Do I recycle motor oil and transmission fluids? The Athens-Limestone Recycling Center accepts motor oil. Some transmission repair businesses will accept transmission fluid.
  • If applicable, do I inspect my septic system every 3 years and pump the tank as necessary? This will help prevent bacteria and viruses from leaking into storm water or ground water.
  • Do I dispose of household hazardous waste in sinks and toilets or flush old medicines without looking for alternative methods of disposal?
  • Do I toss loose trash in the bed of my truck? Do I cover loads to prevent unintentional littering?
  • Do I place all trash in a garbage bag before placing it in my trash can? Loose items in a trash can will easily become litter when the cans are dumped. Remember, litter from miles away can make its way to the river by way of wind, water, and wildlife.

Let’s take personal responsibility for our part in keeping our river healthy. Participating in the Elk River Cleanup will be an eye-opening experience. Please join us.
By: Lynne Hart

Keep Athens-Limestone Beautiful is so proud to be a part of the Scout House project in Athens.

Through a $20,000 grant provided by Lowe’s through Keep America Beautiful, KALB has helped kick start the renovations needed to turn the Scout House, also known as the Little Red Schoolhouse, into a place that will bring musical arts in a variety of formats.

The Scout House, located on the corner of Washington and East Streets, was built in 1938 as a place for Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts to meet and have recreation. The building has since been used for other purposes, including housing the Athens City Schools administrative office. Over the years, the Scout House has seen deterioration and is now vacant; however, it is listed on the National Register of Historic Places Inventory – Nomination Form and is significant to Athens and Limestone County.
KALB’s grant money was used to complete Phase 1 of the project. This included complete repair and repainting of the front façade, and the addition of xeriscaping to the front of the property.

Xeriscape is a type of landscape that uses plants that will easily tolerate the water conditions in the location chosen. It was also important that the plants used be native and reflect the period in which the Scout House was built. When working with our landscaper, Distinctive Landscaping, Inc., we also asked for plants that would attract pollinators, including butterflies.

Plants selected include wintergreen boxwoods and, low and behold, butterfly bushes, which are varieties that will remain small. Also included are azaleas, endless summer hydrangeas, and a variety of spring bulbs. It should be beautiful once the plants are established.

We at KALB are so grateful to Keep America Beautiful and Lowe’s for providing the grant opportunity, and Scott Brannan of Distinctive Landscaping, Inc. for donating a portion of services to this project.

It has been so exciting to see the work being done and seeing the difference being made. Friends of the Scout House are working to secure additional grants and donations to complete the remaining work on the exterior, as well as improvements to the interior of the building.

KALB is in the business of promoting pride. People who take pride in their country, their state, and their community are more likely to take ownership and work toward a clean, healthy, more beautiful and culturally-rich city and county. We look forward to the day when this building will bring our musical history and opportunities to engage in many forms of music to all who wish to partake.

For information and ongoing progress of this project, visit the Friends of the Scout House Facebook page.
By: Lynne Hart