The landscaping work is part of the township's plan to beautify the community.
By PEGGY SINKOVICH
VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF
LIBERTY -- They've planted the seeds. Now watch them bloom.
Hundreds of trees and flowers will soon be sprouting in various locations on Belmont Avenue, including the grassy area next to the Interstate 80 on ramp.
Township officials paid $30,000 to have a landscaping architect design a plan that would beautify the area and be in compliance with Ohio Department of Transportation rules.
The planting started Thursday and will continue over the next few days, said Pat Ungaro, township administrator.
The landscaping work is part of the township's plan to beautify the community and help it grow, said Ungaro and Trustee Jodi Stoyak.
"We want to attract business to this area," Ungaro said. "We need to look good. If you are looking for a job, you can't get it if you don't shave and get cleaned up. That's what we are doing."
Officials also are hoping to do landscaping work on grass by the exit ramp of I-80, which pours onto Liberty Street.
"Right now it doesn't look really good when you get off that ramp," Ungaro said. "We are the gateway to YSU and the second busiest area in Trumbull County. We want to make this area attractive."
The township is getting help with its landscaping project from Liberty Bloom, a volunteer organization, started three years ago by Stoyak, Bessie Anderson and June Smallwood.
The organization is responsible for the flowers near the I-80 ramp and the township's welcome signs.
"We have about 12 people in the group, and we get donations from several landscaping companies," Stoyak said. "It's all part of our revitalization effort."
The township is trying to attract Wal-Mart and other businesses to locate to the community.
Ungaro said he would like to create an industrial park near Gypsy Lane and an entertainment zone on Belmont Avenue.
He noted that the Ohio Department of Transportation is working on a $2 million road project on Belmont Avenue. He said the improvements will help the overall appearance of the area and, hopefully, attract more business.