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Planters and bench. (Photo: Mark Schneider)

A drive through New Meadows will bring a smile to your face, thanks to volunteers who come together to brighten up the town.  For the past 25 years, many volunteers and numerous organizations have worked together to create a sense of community in the downtown area, including providing and maintaining planter boxes and the gateway/welcome signs, establishing and supplying the Free Little Library, putting out flags on flag holidays, and distributing real flowers and seasonal touches like pumpkins and holiday decorations to various locations throughout town.

Most recently, these civic-minded volunteers have formed a not-for-profit entity called Citizens for Community Enhancement to support their continued efforts to beautify and enhance New Meadows throughout the year.

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Teacher Brett Carpenter with students Sebastian Mendoza and Hanna Pearce next to the planter boxes they built. (Photo: Mark Schneider)

In 2017, this group worked with the New Meadows High School shop class to design and build the new wooden planter boxes you see around and in front of downtown businesses. With support from the local businesses and monetary donations, new benches were also purchased. Real flowering plants were purchased with help from the local Garden Club and planted in the new planter boxes by volunteers.

For the past six years a fall project has taken hold in the community. New Meadows Elementary School children, from pre-school to fifth grade, have the opportunity to decorate or paint pumpkins. Over one hundred pumpkins have been ordered for this year’s project and on October 13th volunteers will transport the decorated pumpkins to various areas of town and the children will pick up their pumpkin and place it at one of several business and town locations.

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Painted pumpkins and fall decorations. (Photo: Mark Schneider)

The group’s winter project—holiday greens and festively decorated snow trees and snowmen—will appear like magic in December. It is magic, watching all the volunteers, families and business owners work together to enhance their town.

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Some volunteers from 2016 (left to right): Alice Muffley, Lisa Schneider, Ann Rehm, Pat Harris, Barbara Woods. (Photo: Mark Schneider)

Next time you drive through New Meadows, be sure to admire the handiwork of the dedicated community members who along with Citizens for Community Enhancement strive to make the downtown business core festive and inviting.

(If you would you like to volunteer time or donate money to help support these activities, you can follow projects and find dates for volunteer options on the group’s Facebook page, or email them at  Citizens4CE@gmail.com. Donations can be mailed directly to P.O. Box 176 New Meadows, Idaho 83654.)

About the author

Sue Schaffer

Born and raised in Idaho, with Alaska and Arizona in between, Sue has resided in Meadows Valley since 1993 where she and her husband work their land off Smokey Boulder Road. Passionate about her community, Sue has volunteered with Brundage Ski Patrol for 20 years, and was president of S.A.V.E.S the Day for ten years.

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