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Get on the bus



Saturday’s Beautification Station 2013 is a chance to sit back and take a leisurely cruise through nine of Oklahoma City’s oldest and best-loved neighborhoods.

“We have some beautiful neighborhoods we will be visiting,” said Jennifer Meckling, Neighborhood Alliance programs coordinator. “The tour will give attendees a chance to hear from residents in these areas about their neighborhood projects and efforts to maintain the integrity of their neighborhood.”

To be toured are Putnam Heights, Shepherd, Crown Heights, Edgemere Heights, Edgemere Park, Heritage Hills, Jefferson Park, Mesta Park and the Paseo. A $5 donation reserves a seat on the bus and includes lunch from Panera Bread as well as snacks and water.

Although the tour is sold-out, Neighborhood Alliance has a waiting list as seats become available. The event is sponsored by Neighborhood Alliance, OKC Beautiful and The Alliance for Economic Development.

“What we hope attendees will take away from this year’s tour is an insight into the architectural heritage of our city,” Meckling said. “We hope they will appreciate the individuals who go to great lengths to maintain these beautiful areas and perhaps even spark an idea for their own neighborhood.

“We would like all residents to recognize that maintaining the condition of their own home increases the value of their neighborhood, whether or not they live in a historic-preservation area.”

Her sentiments are echoed by Heather Davis, vice president of the Wileman’s Belle Isle Neighborhood Association near Penn Square. She said keeping up curbside appearances is critical to maintaining a community’s integrity.

“I have been on this bus tour, and what impressed me most are the major projects these neighborhoods have done,” Davis said. “I was also surprised to learn how many projects were funded by local grants. We can look at historic areas and return with ideas that we can incorporate into our own neighborhood.

“It is so important to take extra steps to enhance our homes and, in turn, maintain — or even increase — our property values.”

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