….. And The Winner IS …..
By LEIGH C. MERRIFIELD
News & Journal Editor
Shinnston’s Economic Development Coordinator Kayleigh Kyle initiated a “Curb Enthusiasm” contest at the beginning of summer in partnership with Vincent Lumber Company. The purpose was to encourage residents to spruce up their curb appeal. Several entrants sent in their “before” photos by the entry deadline and then had plenty of time through the summer to complete their projects before submitting their “after” photos.
Judging took place on September 4th and the winner was determined and announced prior to the conclusion of that evening’s Wind Down Wednesday event. The vote unanimously favored a residence on Columbia Road, the home of Butch and Tammy Carpenter.
Last week, Mrs. Carpenter was presented with her check for $500 at the City Administrative Offices. Economic Development Coordinator Kayleigh Kyle congratulated Tammy on her creativity in producing such a visible change to their property’s landscaping. She also thanked all of those who participated and said she hopes it will generate even more participation next year.
Mrs. Carpenter said that when she and her husband purchased the house several years ago, nothing had been done to it since the 1960’s so it was overdue for some long-awaited updates!
“We took out all of the old hedges but didn’t go any further with the landscaping. We concentrated on updating the interior – the space we actually lived in and utilized every day,” she said. “We also did a few things to the home’s exterior, and then I was ready to move on to the landscaping. I heard about the contest and thought I might as well enter since I was planning to make these outdoor changes that would be noticed. After the work was completed and I sent in my ‘after’ shots, I kind of forgot about it until I received the call that I had won the contest!”
Tammy said that she gathered design ideas online from Pinterest and narrowed down what she liked. After printing off photos of her “likes”, she went to Mt. Zion Nursery and showed them the transformation she had in mind. She even spray painted an outline of the areas in the yard designated for these changes and told them of the colors she preferred and they took it from there.
Their work made a huge difference, but the Carpenters didn’t stop there. They contacted a Mannington business called Pro Edge and had them come and do stamped concrete edging along perimeter borders and around a couple of islands in the front yard where trees were planted. This was a great complement to the work that had already been done and created a spectacular centerpiece to the enhanced curb appeal of their home.
“I am not a landscape architect and don’t have a hint of a green thumb, but I knew from the examples I saw what I wanted the outcome to look like. The professionals did the work and gave us suggestions for easy care plantings. We’re very pleased to have all these updates completed and have had numerous compliments from neighbors. Winning the contest money was icing on the cake,” she said. “Landscaping really made a big difference, and we’d like to thank both the City and Vincent Lumber that shared in awarding the contest winnings.”
Shinnston City Manager Chad Edwards said he would like to see this contest become an annual event and see it grow with more participating contestants.
Both Edwards and Ms. Kyle had talked about the City’s contest at a meeting of the Municipal League of WV and a great deal of interest was shown.
“They would like to perhaps use our contest as an example of what other communities might do to spear interest in beautification projects of their own. The Municipal League of WV may possibly have a workshop on this in the future so that other communities can learn from it. We would be delighted to share our experience with them. It is a great opportunity to get residents involved and encourage community and neighborhood pride by making property improvements,” he concluded.
Be sure to check the city’s website for information on the continuance of this contest next summer.