Polk County honors locals with Appearance Awards

Published 12:45 pm Thursday, January 18, 2024

Citizens recognized for contributions to beautifying the community 


COLUMBUS—At the Polk County Board of Commissioners meeting held on Tuesday, January 17, the Polk County Appearance Commission recognized several citizens who played major parts in the aesthetic improvement of the community. 

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The Appearance Commission is an all-volunteer board appointed by the Board of Commissioners, whose goal is to “initiate and promote beautification projects throughout Polk County.” The commission began the tradition of awarding citizens for their contributions in 2011.

The awards were given out for “improvement projects that enhance and improve our communities in ways that the public can see and appreciate,” said Joe Cooper, Chairman of the Polk Appearance Commission. 

Cooper said the Appearance Commission aims to make the community more appealing to visitors who may end up making Polk County their future home.

The first of the awards went to the Kudzu Warriors for their work in removing invasive plants, specifically freeing up miles of trails in Norman Wilder Forest, Vaughn Creek, FENCE and  Woodland Park.

The second award acknowledged Polk Parks and Recreation, as well as the fifth-grade class at Polk Central Elementary, for their work on the planting of new trees and a new fishing dock at Laughter Pond.

Also recognized was the Tryon Theater for the mural on the south side of the building, facing toward Landrum. The mural features Morris the Horse, a film strip and a mountain facade.

The final award was dedicated to the pollinator garden planted at Polk Central Elementary School. Sponsored by Champions for Wildlife, science teacher Andrea Walter and her fifth-grade students built the garden together. 

“Thank you for your time and commitment to making our area clean, beautiful and inviting,” Cooper told the recipients.