The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Progress 2014

April 12, 2014

Roots dig deep to keep Enid beautiful

When learning hometown service, Meibergen was taught by the best

ENID, Okla. — It seems appropriate the group Suzy Meibergen chairs cares for the planted areas on downtown corners because her family has roots in their beginnings.

Meibergen is chairwoman of Keep Enid Beautiful, an affiliate of Keep Oklahoma Beautiful. That group, too, is an affiliate of Keep American Beautiful.

“My dad was very much a champion of Enid,” she said, noting he had an office in what is now the Wymer Brownlee building downtown. “He was very concerned about downtown Enid losing its vitality in ’60s and ’70s, and he got the corners planted.”

It was her father’s efforts that inspired Meibergen upon her return.

“I moved back to Enid almost 15 years ago, but they needed some tender, loving care,” she said of the plants.

Keep Enid Beautiful was formed in 2012 and is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. It began with seed money from the city of Enid and was fashioned upon other organizations in other cities across the state.

Meibergen has championed for the group and even saw it win an award.

And don’t try to tell her what’s being done downtown doesn’t matter.

“This is not a frivolous endeavor. There is property value, pride, visitors coming, businesses coming,” Meibergen said. “The way your city looks, they’ve proven over and over again it’s in the top five things they’re going to notice.”

The goal of Keep Enid Beautiful is to improve Enid’s image and appearance through beautification, landscaping, litter abatement and other programs endorsed by Keep Oklahoma Beautiful.

Meibergen gives credit for the planting beds to landscaper Stephen Simmons of Curb Appeal.

“We’re very fortunate to have our landscaper,” she said. “It was interesting that when I first called him he said, ‘Suzy, when I first moved to Enid I wanted to work on the downtown corners.’”

Keep Enid Beautiful was named the 2013 Nonprofit Organization of the Year for communities with a population of more than 40,000 during Keep Oklahoma Beautiful’s 23rd annual Environmental Excellence Awards Celebration. Keep Enid Beautiful won the award for its Enid streetscape project.

“We work very well with Keep Oklahoma Beautiful, and they want to help us,” Meibergen said. “They want us to be active and doing things.”

She said this month A Great American Cleanup is planned for around the Square.

“We’re just emphasizing keep trash off the Square,” Meibergen said. “It just kind of concentrates on downtown.”

She said the group was looking for volunteers to come on down with some gloves and just pitch in.

Meibergen said Keep Enid Beautiful works closely with Main Street Enid and the city of Enid. She said the group had been focused on the downtown area but has added plant bedding projects at the corners of Willow and Van Buren with the help of the city.

“We feel like with a wonderful new hotel and what’s going on in Enid we just want it to sparkle,” she said. “We want to get as many people involved as possible. We want it to be communitywide.”

Meibergen said she believes if someone takes pride in downtown, others across Enid will take pride in their neighborhoods and undertake projects where they live in town.

Keep Enid Beautiful always is in need of volunteers and donations.

Anyone interested in helping can contact Visit Enid at (580) 233-3643 for information.

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Progress 2014
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