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franklin county times

Student project gives travelers a nicer view of Meridian

By By Steve Gillespie/The Meridian Star
May 16, 2001
Last year, a group of local students embarked on a mission to clean up a strip of land near Union Station in downtown Meridian. Their efforts now realized, they celebrated Tuesday with parents, educators, sponsors and community leaders.
Kathy Brookshire's Poplar Springs Elementary Gifted Students and Susan Hester's Crestwood Elementary Gifted Students began their beautification project in September. The students transformed an overgrown area below the 22nd Avenue overpass, between the railroad tracks and the back of Hulett Furniture Store, into a nicely landscaped attraction.
Funding came through a $7,000 grant from Milken Family Foundation Festival for Youth, a national program benefiting young people in community projects. The Meridian/Lauderdale County chapter of Keep America Beautiful also contributed $800 to the project. Mississippi Power Company donated lighting for the area.
Students improved conditions on the site by picking up trash, planting flowers and shrubs, making a pathway of stepping stones, supplying bird feeders and painting a mural on a bridge abutment of a nearby overpass.
The students and invited guests toured the site and had lunch together as part of their "Celebration Day."
Steve Gillespie is a staff writer for The Meridian Star. Call him at 693-1551, ext. 3233, or e-mail him at sgillespie@themeridianstar.com.