Parks and Recreation seeks volunteers for community revitalization

Landry Putman paints one of the flower planters that line Main Street in Crossett as part of the Revitalize Main Street and Beyond project. (VAL GAUGHT/News Observer)

The Crossett Parks and Recreation Department is asking residents to join with them on projects such as the new community garden and the Revitalize Main Street and Beyond project.

Assistant Parks and Recreation Director Sarah Hollimon said she has had a very good response, but is always in need of volunteers.

The Revitalize Main Street and Beyond project is something that will be on ongoing for some time. Currently project participants are painting planters and making plans for a large mural at the Main Mall, but there are other projects being discussed. 

Hollimon said the project got started when she discussed the state of the town with other residents. 

“It started with Dianna Martinie and I discussing ways to better the view from her office window— which is Centennial Park,” Hollimon said. “Then it just blossomed into people from the community coming forward to point me toward things they had noticed that needed attention.” 

Recently Hollimon worked with Martinie and Steve’s Body and Frame to paint trash cans to put along the street to help discourage littering. 

Hollimon said that painting the trash cans and planters that are located up and down the street and on some of the neighboring blocks was what really got the project started. 

Hollimon and volunteers are working regularly to get the planters repainted and Hollimon said that anyone who is able can contact her to volunteer.

Hollimon said participants  are also working to clear the overgrown clump of vines and litter at the corner of Main and Highway 82 and they are picking up trash several times a week in an attempt to combat the out-of-control litter.

The mural at the corner of Main Street and the Highway will go up this week on the side of the Crossett Mercantile building, which was formerly the Main Mall. 

Hollimon said the mural is a continuation of the Paint the Town event that she hosted last year during which volunteers painted gutters around town. 

 Hollimon said she also has a volunteer working on a way to get planter baskets hung on the light poles up and down Main Street.

“It has been really cool to watch people step up to take care of our town,” Hollimon said. 

“It has really been a community effort, not just one person.”

Hollimon said if someone is willing to help paint — even if they only have time for one planter— every little bit helps.

As an extension of the project, Hollimon is also inviting people to help with the community garden that is growing at the Crossett Farmer’s Market. 

Hollimon said that Cosby’s Green house and Happy Place Plants have both donated to the cause. 

Cosbys donated fruit trees, blueberry and blackberry bushes and many other items that volunteers recently planted. Happy Place Plants donated pepper plants and tomato plants. 

Hollimon said several volunteers have been at the market to plant a tree including Mary Kate Armstrong, Titus Warren, Landry Putman and Jamie Carr and her family. Hollimon said anyone who wants to volunteer or who has something to plant may contact her. 

Hollimon also said that Cosby’s Greenhouse has committed to donate lumber if she can find someone to build raised garden beds for those who have trouble bending low to pick or plant.

Hollimon said the rejuvenate Main Street project doesn’t have to stop with new trash cans and a community garden and that she is open to any ideas that the community may have.  

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