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Beauty in a barrel

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Leadership group begins new beautification project

By Molly Haines

The 2008 Leadership Owen County group is sprucing up the downtown area with a spring theme in hopes of leaving a lasting impression on its citizens and those visiting the area.

The group took yearlong classes in leadership and the importance of community and graduated November of last year. Upon graduating, each group decides upon a project. The 2008 group chose Downtown Beautification.

Throughout 2009, the Leadership group will be choosing a different theme for each season. The group recently placed whiskey barrel planters donated by Buffalo Trace Distillery in front of downtown businesses.

Casey Ellis, co-chair of the 2008 Leadership group, said the barrels will be filled with flowers donated from Pat Beverly of the Sunshine Grow Shop.

“Since we’ve placed the barrels in front of businesses throughout the downtown area, everyone at those businesses has agreed to maintain them,” Ellis said. “We have 20 barrels out so far.”

Ellis said the group chose a theme that would improve the downtown area’s appearance.

“We wanted to do something that would have an immediate impact on the area,” Ellis said. “We want to try and preserve the area as much as possible.”

Ellis said the Leadership group was also in charge of the 2008 Winter theme, “There’s No People Like Snow People.”

“With that theme we put up snowmen around different businesses and left them up throughout the winter,” Ellis said. “We had a lot of encouragement and support from the public and we’re hoping to get that same reaction with the spring theme.”

Ellis said the community has been very supportive of Leadership’s efforts.

“We’ve had a lot of people ask what our future plans are,” Ellis said. “Everyone we’ve talked to thinks it’s a wonderful project and have offered their encouragement to us.”

Ellis said he hopes those visiting in June for the U.S. Open Sporting Clay Championship will find the downtown area attractive.

“There’s going to be a lot of traffic downtown during that time,” Ellis said. “We wanted something that would be eye-catching to them. We want our downtown area to be something we can all be proud of and we’re hoping to accomplish that with our different themes.”

Those who have comments or questions on the downtown beautification project may contact Ellis at (502) 514-1252.