Jo-Ann Boepple: First impressions and the beauty of living here

Published 5:42 pm Thursday, September 1, 2011

They say that first impressions are lasting impressions.
What would be your first impression of Edwardsburg?
If you were driving into Edwardsburg from one of the two major highways, what would you think of Edwardsburg?
Would you be impressed with the school grounds and buildings you can see from U.S. 12? The grounds are looking better every day, the lawn is trimmed and there is landscaping around the buildings. They obviously show that someone takes pride in their appearance.
Continuing through town, would you remark on how many empty lots there are? Are the weeds growing in them adding to their attractiveness?
But most of the homes from the west seem to be well cared for and are a testament to the pride taken in them.
The center of town under the blinker light showcases an empty building with peeling paint. A small business area surrounds the four corners. What could be done to make this more attractive?
Much has been done to improve the looks. The Uptown Improvement Authority banners from the light poles, as well as the American flags placed by the village, show that someone cares.
The flower tubs planted and cared for by the Lioness Club make the area more attractive.
Can more be done?
Moving on down U.S. 12, there is much work to be done on some of the homes. Yards need “TLC” as well as some homes need paint.
Going over the tracks a commercial area for the most part is well cared for, except an abundance of empty lots. The local government offices have been enhanced with plantings and clean parking lots.
Approaching from the north is another story.  First you encounter an auto repair shop with many damaged automobiles. The grounds need some attention. Even the gasoline station can plant flowers to improve their appearance and so could the auto repair.
The local eatery needs attention to the parking lot and the exterior of the building. It doesn’t tell the true story of the good food inside.
The southern approach is much the same. A strictly commercial area with buildings that for the most part show care in their upkeep but could use more TLC.
What kind of an impression would you have seeing this town for the first time? It doesn’t tell the story of the surrounding beautiful lakes, the farm land that is providing food for American tables, the lovely housing developments where children enjoy growing up and the residents who enjoy this area.
So what can we do to improve this first impression? During the U.S. 12 Garage Sale many out-of-towners as well as vacationers came through. Did they stop or did they just keep on going? Was there anything to attract their attention to make them want to stop? What can each of us do to help promote our town?
We all choose to live here for a reason; how can we better showcase this to others?
These are questions that deserve answers. Begin thinking how we, you and I can make this a more attractive place to live and enhance that first  lasting impression.
Remember that the founding fathers stopped here because this was a beautiful prairie.
They valued the beauty and so do we.