Antioch Celebrates 125th Anniversary
For all of human history, people have gathered in their community centers to socialize, barter, and share in the human experience. Even ancient cultures took pride in their communities, and local governments would undertake grand building projects in order to beautify the landscape for their own people as well as visitors. Even today, one small town in Illinois is continuing the tradition of celebrating their town history and pride with a beautification project.
According to this article in the Daily Herald, the small village of Antioch in northern Illinois is about to celebrate its 125th anniversary. Comprising just about 15,000 people, Antioch is the definition of a small town, but it is incredibly proud of its history. In order to cap off an entire summer of celebrations, the town is installing a new 18-foot clock tower downtown across from the village hall. The clock tower had been acquired a number of years ago but has been kept in storage all this time. The city council originally planned to install it elsewhere, but a road-building project got in the way. In addition to the new clock, the area around the village hall will undergo a major landscaping update. Originally, the old village hall was to be torn down and replaced, but there was never enough money in the budget for that. Not even landscaping had been improved in over 15 years because there was never room in the budget for it. The total cost of this 125th-anniversary project is about $44,000 and will add “color for every season” to the aging town hall. The project will also include new benches and lighting, as well as a plaque celebrating the village history. The scenery will also highlight a veterans memorial in the village hall courtyard.
Especially for small towns, community history is incredibly important. I think that it is unfortunate that it took so much time for the mayor and the city council to decide to beautify the downtown area. More local governments should take as much pride in their communities as the people who live there. Certainly, since the mental health benefits of attractive landscaping have been proven time and again, it would add plenty of value to the community for years to come and even attract more tourists and potential new residents.
Of course, it costs a significant amount of money to undertake a landscaping project of this magnitude, so landscaping is an easy thing to cut out of most city budgets. However, you can landscape your own home for much less, and it will still beautify and add value to your community. In the greater Chicago area, Ware Landscaping is one such company that will take all of the guesswork and help you in your landscaping endeavors. All of us are part of a community in one way or another, and if the local government is too slow in making the community beautiful, the onus falls on us.