MADISONVILLE, KY – Changes are beginning to take place at exit 42 of the Pennyrile Parkway. The area is undergoing a jointly sponsored beautification project which is all part of the America in Bloom initiative.
When tourism director Tricia Noel agreed to take on the role of chairperson of the America in Bloom Overall Impression committee, her passion was to find a way to clean up and beautify the parkway exits. “First Impressions are lasting”, says Noel, “and that’s why my committee’s focus has been on finding sustainable and financially feasible ways to create attractive spaces near our parkway exits.” “Based on the professional advice of AIB Judge Bill Hahn and Hopkins County Extension Agent Andy Rideout, 1,400 Fragrant Sumac plants will be added to two of the four slopes at exit 42. Our hope is to expand the project next year to the remaining two slopes and eventually to exit 44.”
Work began Monday, November 4th and is expected to continue over the next few weeks as long as the weather conditions are favorable. If successful, the plants will completely cover the slopes, providing a beautiful ground cover and eliminating the need for weed-eating.
Several organizations are involved with the project including the City of Madisonville, Madisonville-Hopkins County Tourist and Convention Commission, Hopkins County Jail, Hopkins County Extension Office, Blue Boy Lawn and Landscapes, and the KY Department of Transportation. Funding to purchase the plants has been provided by the Tourism Commission and labor supplied by the Hopkins County Jail and City of Madisonville.
Pointing to the joint effort, Mayor David Jackson said “This is an occasion where government, residents and local businesses contributed resources for a common goal – the beautification of the community.”