Mt. Sterling: Arbor Day celebration and spring clean-up weekend

(Posted April 11, 2023)

Members of Mount Sterling’s new beautification and tree committee will hold their first Arbor Day and Earth Day celebration at 10 a.m. April 21 at Mason Park, 16095 State Rte. 207.

The event at the park is open to the public. A flag-raising will signal the start of the ceremony which also will include dedication of two newly planted trees near the ball diamonds. The village chose to plant Sterling silver lindens not only for the play on words related to the village’s name but also because the variety is resistant to drought, heat, and certain pests. Third-grade students from Madison-Plains Local Schools will spread mulch around the trees.

After the ceremony, the students will be treated to lunch at the Mount Sterling Community Center and a showing of Dr. Seuss’s “The Lorax,” a tale that promotes respect for nature and natural resources.

The celebration is the beautification and tree committee’s first event. The group has started the process to achieve a Tree City USA designation for the village. An Arbor Day celebration is one of the requirements. Additionally, the group has been working with a Madison County master gardener to create a plan for sprucing up the gardens at Veterans Park and the flowerbeds at village hall. The plan is to add perennials and splashes of color with annuals, said village council member Becky Martin.

Spring Clean-up Weekend
Council member Joyce Phillips announced that a spring cleanup will take place in the village April 28-30. Once again, the village has teamed up with Mount Sterling Church of the Nazarene for this project. Teams of volunteers will be picking up yard waste and trash and performing other clean-up and beautification tasks.

American Legion Post 417 is donating flowers again this year. Council member Andy Drake said he appreciates all that the Legion and others do to make a difference.

“It’s small stuff like that that makes such a huge difference in the village,” he said. “It makes it feel like home. It makes it feel like spring has happened. It makes it feel like people want to stay here and people want to come here and be a part of the village.”

Anyone who would like to volunteer or learn more about the clean-up can call village hall, (740) 869-2040. More details will be announced soon.

“We’re hoping that this is going to be another successful event,” Phillips said.

Nuisance and Abatement
The nuisance and abatement committee is another facet of Mount Sterling’s efforts to clean up and spruce up the village. The committee works to address code violations such as tall grass, accumulated trash in yards, furniture on front porches, and campers parked on the street.

When a resident is found to be in violation, a Madison County sheriff’s deputy hangs a yellow tag on the resident’s door. The tag explains the violation and lists how much time the resident has to fix it. A second tag is issued if the problem is not fixed by the deadline. Violations that go unaddressed can result in fees assessed against a resident’s taxes.

Phillips reported that most of the recent violations have been resolved. She said the village also calls residents about violations. She sat in on some of those calls recently.

“I was a little surprised but very pleased at the willingness that people have to work with us,” she said. “We’re moving in the right direction.”

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