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Company sponsors landscaping of roundabout as part of Covington's beautification efforts

David West and Stephen McClain,  employees with Great Estates Landscaping,  prepare the soil for new planting  in the center of the roundabout at  Turner Lake Road and Clark Street. The company is donating their services to install new trees and plants and to maintain them. - Staff photo by Sue Ann Kuhn-Smith

David West and Stephen McClain, employees with Great Estates Landscaping, prepare the soil for new planting in the center of the roundabout at Turner Lake Road and Clark Street. The company is donating their services to install new trees and plants and to maintain them. - Staff photo by Sue Ann Kuhn-Smith

COVINGTON -- It's prime tree-planting time in Georgia and Great Estates Landscaping is putting down roots this week in the middle of the Turner Lake Road/Clark Street roundabout.

The Covington-based company, a division of Kelly Products Inc., is providing a beautification project for the roundabout island at no cost to the city of Covington. The plan calls for upgrading the landscaping "to increase its year-round visual appeal," according to a press release from the company. Included will be blue-green evergreen trees and flowering shrubs, accented by annual color beds and natural accents such as boulders, grasses and colored mulch. The company will also provide ongoing maintenance services for the space.

"As long-term local citizens, we at Kelly Products are happy to participate in a project that will reflect the pride our residents and businesses have in this great community," said Keith Kelly, president of Kelly Products, who added that when the roundabout was mentioned he thought it would be a great start to the city's landscape sponsorship program. "We felt we could have the greatest impact by beautifying a public area seen every day by thousands of our citizens. ... I hope we will find more ways to add to this and that other companies will step up so we can really get the thing spruced up, so to speak."

This roundabout project is part of a larger, ongoing effort by the city of Covington to encourage individuals or businesses to donate landscaping efforts throughout the city, according to city Planning Director Randy Vinson.

"We've developed a landscape sponsorship program where individuals or entities can choose to install and maintain landscaping in specific areas in the community," he said, adding that the donor can identify and suggest a certain area to beautify or select from projects that are part of a master plan created by the city.

For instance, one of the areas that the city has identified is the Entrance Improvement Plan, which will take in Turner Lake Road from U.S. Highway 278 into the city via Clark Street.

"We're looking at planting a Burford holly hedge along both sides of the street all the way in to give it a distinctive look for the approach into Covington," he said. "We've broken that out into sections, multiple blocks at a time."

He suggested a business or individual might be interested in sponsoring a section of the hedge and either hiring a landscaping company to do the planting and maintaining, or a landscaping company might take on a portion of the project themselves.

Donors' names will be placed on an appropriate sign near the site they sponsor and Kelly said that was an added incentive to keep the area maintained.

"I'm happy to maintain it so we can keep it up to a level that looks nice. It's a win-win for us from the business perspective as it will bring some advertising by having our name on it," he said. "But more importantly for me it's about paying back a little bit to the community that's helped us be successful."

Covington Mayor Ronnie Johnston expressed his enthusiasm for the project.

"The Great Estates Turner Lake Roundabout beautification project is a perfect example of how we can move things forward with public-private sector collaboration," said Johnston. "We hope this will spark interest within our business community and will be the first of many such projects throughout the city of Covington and Newton County."

For information about how you can sponsor a landscaping project in the city, call 770-385-2179.

Since 2005, Great Estates Landscaping has worked with businesses and residents in the Covington area, providing a full-service landscaping company and offering a wide variety of solutions for businesses and residents. For more information about its services, call 770-787-2929 or go to www.greatestateslandscaping.com.