Wednesday, May 23, 2012
In a joint ceremony, the Holts Summit Community Betterment Association and the Kingdom of Callaway Chamber of Commerce Tuesday dedicated six U.S. 54 landscaped entrance and exit ramps in the city.
Last year Denise Oxley of Holts Summit thought it would be a good idea to landscape the highway ramps in Holts Summit.
“I wanted to make the entrance to our city more inviting not only to those who live here but also to help attract visitors to our city,” Oxley said.
Oxley offered the suggestion to the Holts Summit Community Betterment Association and to the Holts Summit Board of Aldermen.
“There’s a lot of traffic to and from the Lake of the Ozarks along U.S. 54,” Oxley said. “People traveling along the highway need to stop somewhere to get gas, eat or perhaps use an ATM. Landscaped ramps might make our city seem like a good place to stop.”
The Missouri Department of Transportation owns the ramp areas where the landscaping was proposed and it was essential that the department approve all of the work. The City of Holts Summit also was involved.
It was decided to confine the landscaping to a concentrated area in order to make it easier for MoDOT maintenance crews to mow the rest of the grass along the ramps.
“When they told me all of the things that are required to do this and all of the involvement of government agencies, they probably thought I was nuts to want to do this,” Oxley said with a smile.
But that didn’t deter her. Oxley enlisted the help of Pam Murray, president of the Holts Summit Community Betterment Association, and Heather Vodnansky, a Master Gardener.
At first many people thought it would be a great accomplishment for volunteers to achieve landscaping on just one ramp the first year and then try to maintain and add others later.