KKB, Tree Fund and City announce major gateway beautification effort at Tree Fund Remembrance Ceremony on Friday

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KINGSPORT – Keep Kingsport Beautiful, along with the Hamlett-Dobson Funeral Homes Tree Fund and the City are celebrating the award of a Tennessee Roadscapes grant of $79,500 that will be used to enhance six major gateways to Kingsport with more than 4,000 trees, shrubs and flowers.

To be held at noon on Friday, December 5 at the Kingsport Chamber of Commerce, the event also serves as the Keep Kingsport Beautiful Hamlett-Dobson Tree Fund Fall Remembrance Ceremony.

Every day, the City and its partners focus on how we can make Kingsport more attractive to business, industry and residents, City Manager Jeff Fleming said. Grants such as these are critical to meeting that mission and I applaud our staff, KKB and the Tree Fund for diligently working together for years to make it happen.

All three entities, the City, KKB and the Hamlett-Dobson Tree Fund collaborated on the effort, providing expertise as well as $15,900 in matching funds. The grant will bring the planting of 180 new trees, 327 shrubs and 3,636 daylilies by spring.

The new landscaping will be installed at the intersection of John B Dennis Highway at East Stone Drive; the John B. Dennis intersection at Fort Henry Drive; the John B. Dennis intersection at Wilcox Drive; the intersection of West Stone Drive and Netherland Inn Road; and the intersection of Lynn Garden Drive at I26 and Carters Valley Road.

We have been working on this for several years and this is actually one of the last Roadscapes grants from the state as they are discontinuing the program, Transportation Manager Bill Albright said. In the future as we can secure additional funds for the Kingsport Gateway Enhancement Program, we would like to add landscaping at the new Welcome Center interchange, the I81 exit at Colonial Heights and possibly even the I81-I26 interchange.

Grant specifications for the beautification program require predominantly native species, both flowering and evergreen.

We couldnt be more honored by the long and successful partnership between the City, Keep Kingsport Beautiful and the Tree Fund, KKB Director Robin Cleary said. The Tree Fund is an enduring way to remember the legacy of a loved one or significant other, and through the years dating back to 1986, the Tree Fund has planted more than 800 new trees in our City.

While Hamlett-Dobson is the title sponsor, additional support is provided for the Tree Fund by Kingsports Streets & Sanitation Division, which provides manpower to install the trees as well as upkeep and mulch.

Tree planting and urban forestry have long been supported in Kingsport as active economic development and quality of life enhancements for more than 30 years, Streets & Sanitation Division Supervisor Lewis Bausell said. KKB and the Hamlett-Dobson Tree Fund are central players in partnering to provide planting materials for all of these efforts

Hamlett-Dobson has sponsored the Tree Fund for 28 years, collectively improving more than 50 locations with its tree planting activities held in the spring and fall each year.

Keep Kingsport Beautiful is an award-winning affiliate of Keep America Beautiful and Keep Tennessee Beautiful with a mission to involve the community in developing responsible solutions for a clean and beautiful environment.

For more information on how you can honor someone special through a contribution to the Tree Fund, contact Robin Cleary at 392-8814, rcleary@kingsportchamber.org, or visit www.keepkingsportbeautiful.com.