In February, Opelika Main Street Director Ken Ward approached me about his organization partnering with Keep Opelika Beautiful on some renovations to the breezeway.
If you aren’t familiar with downtown Opelika, the breezeway is between Courthouse Square and 8th Street. The well-loved Breezeway restaurant is next door.
Over the past month, Ken and I have met with key city employees to make sure we had all our bases covered. Keep Opelika Beautiful’s contribution to the project was redoing much of the existing landscape.
My guess is the trellises, vines, crepe myrtles and shrubs were installed 20 years ago. They have been maintained, but needed some attention. This past Saturday, KOB volunteers and a hardworking group of Girl Scouts installed 28 King Solomon azaleas, 11 Yaupon Hollies, cleaned the white arch, spray painted eight metal benches and spread lots (and lots) of mulch.
The azaleas are already starting to bloom. We decided to keep the same design with trellises and vines. Unfortunately, the existing trellises were rotten. Opelika Main Street purchased black metal trellises that will be hung. KOB will be planting yellow jessamine to grow along the trellises.
Opelika Power Services is gracious to remove the eight light poles in the breezeway. ESG Operations will be installing café lights between the buildings, above the landscape. The final addition will be café seating.
I am so excited about the redesigned look of the breezeway. I know this area will be appreciated, especially in the summer months.
Besides landscaping projects at the breezeway, Keep Opelika Beautiful hosted the Citywide Cleanup on Saturday. Throughout the morning, we had 277 volunteers cleaning 21 locations.
Litter was picked up on roadsides such as Waverly Parkway, 6th Avenue, Veterans Parkway, Auburn Street and Pepperell Parkway. We had a group at Carver Primary and a group at Morris Avenue Intermediate doing beautification projects. These groups were made up of students, siblings and parents.
I love that these parents were spending time with their children while helping our community. Like the Girl Scouts helping at the breezeway, these students will always recognize the area they worked on.
The largest group to help with Citywide Cleanup was the creek cleanup. We partnered with Rocky and Shealy Langley of Creekline to host a cleanup at the corner of Waverly Parkway and Highway 280. The group of 55 volunteers brought in tires, water bottles, plastic bags and other trash from the creek.
To see before and after pictures of this area, check out Creekline’s album on Facebook. One volunteer commented to me that since he couldn’t see the trash from Waverly Parkway, he didn’t realize there was so much. I bet that is true for all of us.
This was another great program where children and their parents worked together to make our city more beautiful.
Tipi Colley Miller is the director of Keep Opelika Beautiful Inc. and writes a weekly column. Contact her at email@example.com.