West Columbia Beautification Foundation an investment in quality of life

The West Columbia Beautification Foundation has makes a lasting impact.

The group’s work adds to the quality of life and attractiveness of West Columbia as a place to live and do business.

Feature photo: West Columbia City Council recognizes the WCBF with a resolution

Welcome sign on Meeting Street

“Every tree that is planted by the foundation today is an investment in a better tomorrow for West Columbia,” said West Columbia Mayor Tem Miles. “I am so excited to watch as the results of the foundation take root in the coming years. I thank every member, past and present, for their efforts to improve our city.”

On Thursday, the WCBF elected Kathy Whetzel as its new chairwoman. She takes over for Melissa Sprouse-Browne, who served for more than five years.

From the trees planted along Sunset Boulevard and its Yard-of-the-Month Award to the flowers on US 1 and the shrubbery at the Meeting Street Welcome sign, the work of the WCBF is apparent.

Some WCBF projects include 31 trees and 172 plants and shrubs planted along Sunset Boulevard, in April.

The new plantings can be found in front of locations including: By His Design, Our Savior Lutheran Church, East Point Academy, Liz Portee State Farm Insurance, and Capital Electric. The foundation used the money raised at recent fundraisers to fund the plantings.

Last fall, the WCBF planted approximately 150 trees along Augusta Road from Meeting Street to Watling Road with funds raised from the Fall Tribute for Trees event. The WCBF also works with House of Raeford on beautification efforts.

Greg Martin of Primal Gourmet at Taste on the River

Other projects include: the screening for the West Columbia Riverside Treatment Plant, the Art on State wall and dumpster beautification efforts behind Terra’s Restaurant, memorial bricks for the Carraway Children’s Park Entryway Plaza, and hanging baskets along State Street.

“We all love West Columbia, and making it look better is a labor of love,” said Bill Mooneyhan, vice chairman of the WCBF Board.

To fund the many projects that add beauty to West Columbia, the WCBF is a 501(c)3 organization. It holds the Tribute for Trees annually and Taste on the River. The September 2019 Trees Tribute raised $50,000. The last Taste on the River event, held in February, brought in $11,000.

“When people see the results of the beautification foundation, they support us,” said Mooneyhan. “It’s a very positive effort by everyone involved.”

Initially, the idea for the West Columbia Beautification Foundation came from former West Columbia Fire Department Chief and City Councilman Tommy Parler and former Councilman Dale Harley, who passed away in 2017.

Magnolias planted on Sunset Blvd.

Parler said what is now the WCBF started in 2008 as a city grant-funded effort to spruce up Jarvis Klapman Boulevard and finish the landscaping at the City Hall Complex.

In 2019, West Columbia City Council approved a resolution recognizing the West Columbia Beautification Foundation for their Valuable Contributions to the City of West Columbia.

The resolution stated: “the members of the West Columbia Beautification Foundation are invested in the mission of making the City of West Columbia a clean and safe place to live, work, and play.”

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