Arts and Crafts Festival nets $9,500 for beautification

The Ninth Annual Sweet Home Arts and Crafts Festival will inject an estimated $9,500 into three major beautification efforts this year.

Proceeds from the event are transferred annually from Sweet Home Economic Development Group to the President’s Club for use in the ongoing beautification effort led by the Sweet Home Beautification Committee, an ad hoc city of Sweet Home committee.

The goal of the beautification committee is to move beyond making improvements throughout the community and provide ongoing maintenance, perhaps even assisting private property owners with their areas, said City Manager Craig Martin.

“That’s been historically what the festival has been meant to do as well as complementing the Jamboree,” Martin said.

The Arts and Crafts Festival provides vendor space for artists and crafters in front of the high school during the Oregon Jamboree, a three-day country music and camping festival operated at the beginning of August by SHEDG to raise funds for economic development in Sweet Home. The fair has grown annually since 2004 when gross revenue was $2,800.

“It’s up to SHEDG to approve and ultimately sign over those proceeds to the beautification effort,” Martin said.

The Beautification Committee has identified three significant projects for completion this year, Martin said.

First, the committee plans to extend the Highway 228 gateway project from the city limits at Fern Ridge Drive east to Gilbert Lane, he said.

On Sept. 19, the Community Chapel will put down 1,800 retaining bricks, like those at the city limits, Martin said. Next spring, the committee will get rid of the weeds and plant flowers.

Second, the committee is planning to complete the 60th Avenue median project, he said. The median and the light post are installed in a partnership including LND Construction, Edgewater RV and Marina, the city and the Sweet Home Community Foundation. The Tree Commission has planted a tree in the median.

The committee will plant shrubs and flowers similar to the Main Street median from 13th to 18th avenues, Martin said, and it still needs to install the watering system.

Third, the committee is planning to complete the Shea Point gateway sign, Martin said. It will include the installation of a watering system, new plantings and plans to maintain the plants on a year-round basis.

The proceeds generated by the festival are a secondary benefit of the Oregon Jamboree, Martin said, just like local clubs, athletic programs and businesses that benefit from having some15,000 extra people in town.

The Beautification Committee takes care of the median strip and assists the Garden Club and city Parks Division at Clover Memorial Park. The committee also maintains the beauty strips along Highway 20 except the stretch in front of Hoy’s with the veterans’ memorial, which is taken care of by Corky Lowen.

The committee also works with Sunshine Industries on planters placed around town.

Projects on the horizon include possible landscaping at the intersection of Highway 20 and Pleasant Valley, Martin said. For several years, the committee has been trying to get another project, “Husky Hill,” off the ground between First and Fourth avenues.

The committee is planning to work with the high school to put up an ornamental sign that says, “Sweet Home Huskies.”

The committee relies on several funding sources, including the Arts and Crafts Festival, the Community Foundation and individual donations, Martin said.

The Beautification Committee has about 20 members, Martin said. To volunteer or get involved, people may contact Alice Grovom at (541) 367-5231 or the city manager’s office at (541) 367-8969.