|Michelle Green, Karen Caldwell, and Dana Greer preparing plantings for a planter box at Main and Grand Avenue in Frederick. The 1970s era concrete planter box will be "reskinned" with cedar and attractive bench seating will be added.|
News Release sent to The Frederick Press-Leader and KYBE Radio, June 4, 2012
500 Club Project Will Enhance Frederick
The streets in Frederick’s downtown area are becoming more attractive thanks to a project of the Frederick Chamber of Commerce 500 Club.
The project, called “Positively Frederick”, is a long-range effort that will seek to enhance the appearance and quality of life for visitors and local residents alike by making the town’s central area more attractive and “user-friendly”.
|Volunteers Michelle Wood, Dana Greer, Michelle Green, and Karen Caldwell survey their work.|
The first phase of “Positively Frederick” has included installation of planter boxes and benches at the four corners of Main and Grand. As funds allow, the enhancements will continue to other street corners through downtown Frederick. Other long-term goals are to beautify the Tillman County Courthouse parking area and to paint or enhance light poles in the area.
All funding for “Positively Frederick” is from private donations to the Frederick Chamber’s 500 Club – individuals who donate $5 per month (or 500 cents) to be used for projects that promote or enhance life in Frederick. No public funds or Chamber operational funds are used for “Positively Frederick” or other 500 Club projects.
The idea for “Positively Frederick” as a use for 500 Club donations was developed by a Chamber 500 Club Committee and approved by the Frederick Chamber’s Board of Directors.
The 500 Club committee members who developed the plan were Joe Wynn, Jim Ard, Sandi Martin, Jeff Patterson, and Karen Caldwell.
“The 500 Club committee discussed factors that set communities apart from one another,” said Joe Wynn, who chaired the committee. “When passing through towns while traveling, some towns look attractive and inviting, while others do not. Our committee felt that a good project for 500 Club would be to focus on projects that will visually enhance our central Frederick area, with first priority given to the area along Highway 183.”
“Positively Frederick” committee members who have worked on planning, planting, and implementing the downtown projects include Karen Caldwell, Michelle Green, Michelle Wood, and Dana Greer.
At Main and Grand, existing white concrete planter boxes from the 1970s have been “re-skinned” with cedar covers, filled with fresh soil, and planted with hardy heat-resistant plants such as lantana, dwarf nandina, salvia, and potato vine plants.
New tall cedar boxes feature small evergreen plants.
The planters and covers were built by Jimmy Espinosa, director of the Pioneer Townsite Museum, with assistance from Department of Corrections Frederick Work-Release Center inmates. Cedar materials for the boxes were purchased from local merchants. Plantings for the boxes were also purchased from area businesses.
Comfortable, long-lasting benches at the intersection will provide comfortable, attractive places for pedestrians, shoppers, and visitors to sit.
Business and property owners throughout the downtown area are encouraged to plant and spruce up their properties to complement the ongoing “Positively Frederick” 500 Club efforts.
Numerous property owners have recently set out new plants at their own expense or painted to make their facilities more attractive.
For example, the Crawford Collection on North Main has purchased similar cedar planters and metal benches for the front of their facility. The Crawford Collection improvements were purchased privately. No 500 Club funds were used for the Crawford Collection project.
The Frederick Chamber’s 500 Club has been in existence for about 10 years. During those years the contributors to 500 Club have funded business and economic development projects, as well as business paint grants and store-front improvement grants. Several years ago Frederick voters passed a hotel-motel tax which now provides funding for some of the projects that were previously borne by 500 Club donations. “Positively Frederick” provides a new focus for the group.
“Positively Frederick” will expand as funding allows. All projects of the 500 Club or “Positively Frederick” must be approved by the Frederick Chamber’s board or executive board.
Joining 500 Club
For Frederick citizens who are not currently member of the 500 Club but would like to sign up for membership, they may do so at the Frederick Chamber of Commerce, 100 South Main. They may also call the Chamber at 580-335-2126 or request sign-up materials by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Monthly $5 contributions to the 500 Club can be made by bank draft, or $60 paid annually by cash or check.
It is not necessary that 500 Club members be members of the Frederick Chamber.