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No matter how many attractions or opportunities a city may offer, a dirty city is an unhappy city.04-17-13-fayetteville-beautiful.gif Fayetteville is a rapidly growing city and is budding with opportunities in business and the arts alike. Every citizen of Fayetteville has a right to be proud for all the city has to offer, but it can be hard to see the greatness of the place if the aesthetics do not match. As Bobby Hurst, the chairman of Fayetteville Beautiful says, “A clean city attracts new business, increases property values and even creates a safer city.”

The beauty of Fayetteville is something that every citizen can be involved in. The 100 percent volunteer-based organization, Fayetteville Beautiful, has been improving the city for years. “Fayetteville Beautiful began on September 6, 2006 — the birthday of General Marquis de Lafayette, the man for which this city was named. We started with a logo, tag line and a small core group of volunteers and now have expanded to a volunteer base of over one thousand citizens. Fayetteville Beautiful has played an active role in creating new ordinances and strengthened current ones related to litter abatement and waste reduction for the City of Fayetteville. We have assisted in the development of the recycling program, initiated Fayetteville’s fi rst electronic waste drive, worked with the Cumberland County Schools in educating our children in the value of recycling and preserving our environment. We revitalized the downtown black pots with plants and flowers and that is an ongoing project. We have taken the lead in beautification projects that included tree plantings at Ben E. Martin Elementary School devastated by the 2011 tornado to beautification projects on public properties scattered throughout the city. Each year we participate in cleaning along the banks of several of our lakes as well as cleaning out Cross Creek,” Hurst said.

Fayetteville Beautiful has been recognized for its tremendous contributions to the city as well. The organization became a Keep America Beautiful Affiliate in 2010. There are only 32 similar organizations in North Carolina, and Fayetteville Beautiful is the only 100 percent volunteer based affiliate.

Unfortunately, despite all of the work accomplished by volunteers, there is still a long way to go. On the official KAB Litter Assessment Tool Fayetteville rated a 2.94 in August 2006 — this is one of the worst ratings in the state. The current score is better at a 1.94, but there is still progress to be made. This progress can only be made by the participation and support of the community.

This opportunity to join in the effort to create a better Fayetteville is readily available to any and all who wish to help.“The Citywide Cleanup is held the third Saturday during the month of April and offers people the opportunity to participate in a community effort to remove litter along our roadsides and in parks and streams. There are no requirements and registration is very simple. Sign up online at www.FayettevilleBeautiful.com and complete the Volunteer Form, then automatically your location will be pin pointed on a city map. This will make it easy for police to view where patrol coverage should be alongside youth groups and for the Parks and Recreation staff to know where the orange bags will be placed for pickup early that afternoon. If you do not have computer access then contact Lynn Hughes at 433-1587 and she will assist you,” Hurst says.

Participating in a Fayetteville Beautiful rally is a great way to support, protect and connect with the community. Hurst said, however, that the best part is “... joining others who genuinely love their hometown, take pride in their community and desire to make a beautiful difference. I know that the more people get involved in our effort, the more ownership they will have in protecting the natural beauty of our community.

Photo: Fayetteville Beautiful volunteers rally to clean up local roadways.

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