Our Opinion: Awards inspire community beautification, restoration

News Tribune editorial

A community cannot hide its appearance.

Whenever you visit or drive through a community or neighborhood, you invariably form an impression based on what you see.

What impressions do people — both residents and visitors — have of Jefferson City and its neighborhoods?

The answers will vary, but one thing is certain. A number of groups — public, private and public-private partnerships — have developed community awards designed to encourage community beautification, preservation and restoration.

The programs include:

• Landmark awards presented by Jefferson City’s Historic Preservation Commission.

The commission presents a number of Landmark Awards each May. The award is designed “to reward preservation efforts among our citizens and to promote appreciation by the general public of its historic architecture.”

Nomination forms are available on city’s website, www.jeffcitymo. org. Click on Historic Preservation Commission and scroll down to landmark awards.

• Golden Hammer awards are presented by Historic City of Jefferson.

Each year, the group presents six monthly awards, from June through October.

The group’s mission is to “preserve our historic resources and create an environment that makes preservation a viable focus for the future of Jefferson City.”

Nomination guidelines are available on website, www.historiccityofjefferson.org. Click on Golden Hammer Award.

• Yard of the Month honors are sponsored by Bittersweet Garden Club and Central Missouri Master Gardeners, in partnership with the News Tribune.

Nominees must be within six miles of the Jefferson City limits and must be maintained by owner. Winners are named monthly from May through September or October.

Nominations are available at the News Tribune and at area garden centers.

• The Christmas Home Decorating Contest is sponsored each December by Jefferson City Area Chamber of Commerce, Jefferson City Parks and Recreation Department, the News Tribune and Cottonstone Gallery and Frame Shop.

Although this award honors a temporary adornment, the contest enhances the spirit of the season and provides people with a convenient map of residential decor.

Awards presented in five categories in each of city’s five wards, plus an overall Mayor’s award.

A virtue of these programs is they largely are private, with nominal costs to the public.

In addition, these programs encourage beautification, which hopefully will decrease the need for more costly government inspections and sanctions.

Community betterment is both an individual and a shared effort. Every improvement project contributes.

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