Oxford honored with national facelift award – Daily Local

OXFORD — State Sen. Carolyn Comitta recently presented Oxford Borough officials with the Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful Community Pride Award.

Comitta nominated the district for the award for its overall community beautification and greening efforts.

“As a past mayor, I know how important downtown beautification can be to revitalization,” said Comitta. “It drives business and sales, boosts tourism, improves community engagement, encourages private investment, benefits the environment and adds personality by highlighting the character of your community. I want to thank all the staff and volunteers who are proud of their hometowns and work to keep Oxford and Pennsylvania beautiful.”

The Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful Community Pride Award recognizes outstanding environmental protection by an individual, school, community organization, or civic group dedicated to waste control, recycling, or general beautification.

“I am so grateful to Senator Comitta for nominating us and for the work of the Oxford Regional Area Environmental Advisory Council (EAC),” said Kathryn Cloyd, President of Oxford Borough Council. “We were very pleased that our work, which is an affair of the heart, was recognized with this award. And none of this would have been possible without our civil engineering workers and the many volunteers who support and look after our gardens even when the weather is bad.”

Cloyd also thanked the Penn State Master Watershed Stewards and Master Gardeners, the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society and the Chesapeake Bay Trust for their support of Oxford’s greening and environmental efforts.

Brian Dix, executive director of Oxford Mainstreet Inc. (OMI), said the organization’s annual downtown beautification efforts begin in March each year with spring planting of seasonal flowers in 16 large pots and about 20 hanging baskets throughout the downtown area. He said efforts to preserve the plantings and beautify downtown are supported year-round by local business owners, volunteer organizations and Oxford Area High School student groups.

“OMI is honored to be a small piece of the puzzle that makes Oxford the special place it is. To see the district receive this prestigious award is a testament to the fruitful partnerships our community continues to forge and enjoy,” said Dix.

Mike Means, a social studies teacher and head football coach at Oxford Area High School, said the team conducted a downtown clean-up day every summer during their preseason training schedule.

“It’s part of bridging the gap between the athletics program and the community by getting our children involved with Oxford as much as possible. It’s something the team loves to do and we’re excited to be able to do it for the community,” he said.

In addition to its general beautification efforts, Oxford replaced several trees, planted bank buffers and created a native plant garden adjacent to its new parking garage to control runoff and provide a habitat for pollinators.

Chester County is the 28th affiliate of the statewide organization, according to Carrie Conwell, Keep Chester County Beautiful Coordinator and Senior Environmental Planner at the Chester County Planning Commission.

Since 1990, thousands of Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful volunteers have collected more than 152 million pounds of trash from roads, waterways, green spaces and forests.

“Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful congratulates and commends Oxford Borough on its community betterment initiatives. Clean and beautiful communities are the foundation of community and economy development, and we are grateful for the many volunteers who volunteer their time to manage their communities. We encourage all officers to recognize the noble and necessary work and the special people who coordinate local programs to keep our communities clean and beautiful,” said Shannon Reiter, President of Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful.