The Heartland Association of Realtors has received a $2,000 Placemaking micro-grant from the National Association of Realtors to help make the Goldthwaite community a better place to live and work by transforming unused public spaces into vibrant community places.
The grant is intended to help Realtor Associations partner with others to plan, organize, implement and maintain placemaking activities in their communities
The Texas Botanical Gardens & Native American Interpretive Center project will use the funds to complete the landscaping in the town green. This includes: planting 12 thirty gallon, 16 fifteen gallon, 20 five gallon trees (elm, live oak, possum haw, redbud, cedar ,sumac, and pecan)and twenty five gallon and 40 one gallon plants (consisting of an array of native plants and grasses). Topsoil, compost, mulch, irrigation modification, all labor, and materials are included. Mrs. Laura Bush is donating a 7-8 inch caliper live oak tree from their Prairie Chapel Ranch in Crawford, Texas. The Texas Botanical Gardens project serves a six county area: Mills, Brown, San Saba, Lampasas, Hamilton, and Comanche counties. The Gardens represent an area in Central Texas along the Colorado River highlighting the life ways of the first people to walk across Texas – the hunters & gatherers. Exhibits showcase this early time period along with the plants that were used several thousand years ago to sustain life. This area is rich in ‘embedded’ archaeological sites (examples are burned rock middens and bed rock mortars) which are not available for public viewing since most are on private land. Through classes the Native American groups that followed these first peoples in Texas are highlighted. Classes are free for students age 17 and under.
The Gardens are partnering with Mrs. Laura Bush’s foundation Taking Care of Texas who are gifting a tree and Pecans.com who will be providing major funding for the project.
“Realtors live, work, and volunteer in their communities and take immense pride in working to improve them,” said Stan Crawford, President of the Heartland Association. “Placemaking can help foster healthier, more social and economically viable communities. It creates places where people feel a strong stake in their neighborhoods and are committed to making things better. This grant will allow us to address areas in our community that are in need of improvement or redevelopment and create a place where friends and neighbors can come together.”
Placemaking grants are awarded to local and state Realtor associations to help them and their members initiate placemaking projects in the community, like turning a parking lot into a farmer’s market or a vacant lot into a playground. Realtor associations and their Realtor members are actively engaged in the community and know the neighborhoods and the properties that would benefit most from these improvement efforts.
“As the Goldthwaite area becomes more attractive and welcoming, nearby properties may also increase in value” Crawford said.
For more information on The Texas Botanical Gardens & Native American Interpretive Center project visit www.legacyplaza.org. To find out more about National Association of Realtors placemaking grants visit, realtoractioncenter.org/Placemaking.
Republished with permission of the Goldthwaite Eagle.