On Saturday August 13th, the Lowe’s Home Improvement Store located on Shank Farm Road in Hagerstown partnered with Neighborhoods 1st of the City of Hagerstown and the Bester Community of Hope to beautify neighborhood spaces on a six block corridor of Locust Street. The story of the day was oppressive heat, with temperatures soaring in the high 90’s, a group of almost 40 volunteers worked throughout the day as the heat index climbed over 110. At least it didn’t rain! The story of the day wasn’t simply Lowe’s and their substantial investment of resources and volunteers, but it was also neighborhood residents and organizations such as Lifehouse Church, who found ways big and small to join the effort.
A couple ladies were so impressed that the volunteers kept working through the heat that they started grilling hamburgers and handing out drinks. When asked why, they responded, “I may not be able to physically help, but you guys are doing this for us so I’m doing this for you.” When it came to physical help, some of the younger guys helped load heavy bags of soil, and they even let us use the water supply from their homes for hard to reach power washing. People came out of their homes and helped organize planters and sweep up the street, it was a team effort.
The signature portion of the project that you can now see each time you drive down Locust Street are blue paw prints in newly painted crosswalks signifying the journey Bester Elementary students (Bears) travel on their way to school. It’s important as we drive through these communities that we remember kids and families live and play here, and as a walking school district everything we can do to support a great environment for those families to travel through will improve their daily life experience.
Other highlights included: Every home in the six block range of Locust Point to Antietam Street received high quality planters with soil and flowers for the front of their homes, pressure washing some highly visibly walls and a new coat of green paint on a long wall from the Locust point market past the storage facility, repairing a noticeably damaged fence, new lighting for the interior and exterior of Locust Point Market as well as planting trees behind the market for shade and additional plant life, trash pick up along the entire corridor, and significant enhancements to the Bester Elementary courtyard including furniture and painting. One other addition will come this coming Saturday as Lowe’s returns to paint a couple of areas with green bear paw prints on some sidewalks as well as a hopscotch.
Our sincere thanks to the Bester Communities First Neighborhoods 1st group, Lowe’s of Shank Farm Road in Hagerstown, the City of Hagerstown, and all of those residents who helped to bring this vision to a reality.