Two Ohio University students spoke to City Council on Monday about the landscaping efforts that will happen during the new Athens Beautification Month in April.

Martina Costanza and Madeline Ponder, university students involved with the Athens Beautification Day, spoke about how student volunteers will help with landscaping around the city throughout April, which was chosen to be the Athens Beautification month.

Costanza said Athens Beautification is a way for the city and Ohio University to collaborate in an effort to combat the climate crisis.

Efforts that will be made during the beautification include tree planting, removal of invasive plant species and planting pollinator gardens. 

Athens Mayor Steve Patterson expressed his excitement about removing invasive species from the Athens area, as the city is currently restoring a forest south of the Athens Community Center.

“When you mentioned eradicating invasives, it was music to my ears,” Patterson said.

Councilwoman Chris Fahl, D-4th Ward, said Athens has purchased about 260 trees to be given to community members or planted by volunteers during the month of April. There will be tree giveaways as well as demonstrations on how to plant and care for trees.

Athens residents and OU students are encouraged to participate in Athens Beautification Month. Councilwoman Beth Clodfelter, D-At Large, said she has already invited some of her friends to participate in the event.

“I’m optimistic that a lot of people are going to be not only willing but happy to get involved,” Clodfelter said.

Council also discussed how the current city service safety director, Andrew Stone, is going on leave to serve in the Ohio Army National Guard. Athens Police Department Chief Tom Pyle will be serving as both the Service Safety Director and the Chief of Police while Stone is on leave.

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