While driving around downtown Cherokee you may have noticed the decorative landscaped areas at the corners of downtown Main Street intersections (called nodes). Some dedicated citizens and organizations have stepped forward to replant and maintain the nodes, an alternative to an easy-way-out suggestion of paving over the nodes.
The Association for Beautification of Cherokee (ABC) last year adopted the north and south nodes on the east side of Fourth Street. This year they have turned their attention to the north and south nodes on the corners of Main Street and Fifth Street.
Using revenue acquired from sign rental at the real estate business property of Robert and Joanne Lundquist on North Second Street, and contributions from labor of ABC volunteers, flowers were planted at the adopted nodes this week.
Many area businesses have also volunteered their time and equipment to help the ABC committee meet their goals, including Bomgaars who recently donated a watering hose, and Mogensen Construction for use of a dump truck.
The flowers were from Rhoadside Blooming house. Owners John and Donna Beier brought their expertise to the landscaping project as they did to the landscaping at the northwest corner of the intersection of Second Street and Bluff Street in previous years. That is next to the location of the Lundquists' business, where there is a sign that provides announcements of community events. The sign is rented out and the revenue goes through the city to the ABC committee.
There are 16 nodes included in the 2003 Main Street renovation, originally thought to be low-maintenance landscaping. The ivy-covered areas turned out to be higher maintenance than expected.
In the past, inmate labor was used to keep the nodes weeded and mulched but the availability of Rockwell City minimum-security inmates was ended when the work release program was stopped three years ago.
The ABC committee is involved in many projects around the community but could not keep up with all of the nodes. The members decided to concentrate on the nodes that they can, and encourage other individuals and organizations to adopt other nodes around the community. Currently they attended to nine nodes and hope to work on the rest in the future, and are looking for donations to complete the project sooner.
The Cherokee Street Department will maintain the nodes on the four corners at the intersection of Highway 59 and Main Street, keeping the original ivy cover, but other nodes will have flowers and mulch cover, smaller versions of the landscaped area at the intersection of Bluff Street and Highway 59.
The contact person between the city and the ABC committee is Greg Stieneke. The ABC committee members have been volunteering their time since 1999.
"We just want to make Cherokee look beautiful," said committee member Dwight Varce.