New face for familiar place

City crews work to install a millstone among the new plants and landscaping at the College Street Park, a project possible through a $5,000 donation from the Downtown Dash Committee to the City of Clinton.

New trees and plants were put in the ground as part of the landscaping project at the ‘Milling Around’ art piece in downtown Clinton.

Another local partnership — and some elbow grease — has served to transform yet another section of Clinton’s downtown.

On Friday, a landscaping project at the “Milling Around” art piece that was months in the making culminated with the finishing touches placed at the site. In all, the endeavor saw the greenspace overhauled and revamped, with numerous new trees, plants and shrubs placed amid new mulch — and the capper, a millstone put in the shadow of the artwork that drives that historical motif home, a nod to the city’s past.

The Downtown Dash Committee sponsored the landscaping project and assisted Clinton Public Works Department staff with the plantings, while Boy Scout Troop 80 of Clinton offered additional assistance.

“The Clinton Main Street Program is very appreciative of the $5,000 contribution made by the Downtown Dash to fund this landscape project,” said Clinton-Sampson Planning director Mary Rose, who is the Clinton Main Street manager. “Partnerships make great things happen in Downtown Clinton.”

Earlier this year, Downtown Dash presented a $5,000 check to City of Clinton following another success race event held in October, in conjunction with the annual Court Square Street Fair. Previous years’ events have purchased benches, tables and various amenities for the area around the City Market.

Dash committee members said the goal is to continue to put proceeds to use in the downtown, where the race begins and ends each year. Members offered their thanks to the sponsors and participants, saying that they made such a great project possible.

That space, at the peak of College Street, is the second heavily-trafficked area in the downtown recently to benefit from a landscaping endeavor.

Last month, a city-county partnership between the Sampson County Public Works Department and Clinton Main Street Program Design Committee served to revamp the former fountain in the heart of downtown, between the Sampson County Courthouse and the courthouse extension. It is now being utilized as a planter in that courtyard and the partnership, formed in short order, resulted in a successful beautification within 48 hours.

Rose said the Design Committee’s goal is “to create an inviting downtown atmosphere with the objective of encouraging business and residential development while maintaining the historic character within Downtown Clinton.”

Projects such as the one with Sampson Public Works, as well as the one with Clinton Public Works and Downtown Dash, help accomplish great things and fulfill one of the city’s key goals — keeping Clinton clean and beautiful, Rose noted.

The design group is expected to undertake the Downtown Recycle Art Walk along Ferrell and John streets as one of its upcoming projects.