In the not-too-distant future, colorful, artistically designed banners will line Main Street in North Branch from Grand Avenue to County Market.
The “Welcome to North Branch” banners are just one of the many projects the North Branch Beautification Association hopes to complete in an effort to give the community a bit of a face-lift.
Christine Larson and her mother Laura Scaramell formed the association last year.
Now the members number more than 50.
“It started off with a really small group of people and then those initial group of people became our board of directors, and then it’s just expanded from there with membership,” Scaramell said.
The banners were one of the first ideas discussed to beautify the city, so the group did some fundraising, contacted the city to make sure they could place the banners on poles that line Main Street and then North Branch Water and Light sent workers out last week to install the brackets to which the banners will be affixed.
“We want to say a huge thank you goes out to North Branch Water and Light,” Scaramell said. “They’ve been incredible answering all of our questions.”
The association hopes to have the locally designed and produced banners — Rapid Press and Indigo Signworks Inc. were involved in their creation — attached to the poles by the end of this week.
Possible future projects
Next on the docket for the association could be making banners to hang along Grand Avenue.
Larson said ideally they’d have North Branch Area Public Schools students involved in their design, since the idea for those banners is to have them reflect the spirit of the schools that line the thoroughfare.
“That would really tie the school spirit into it,” she said.
After that project is complete, Larson and Scaramell said the association could be looking at memorial benches for prominent areas in town, memorial trees, “Welcome to North Branch Signs” and various other undertakings.
Larson explained the type of projects and what order they’re completed in is decided by all of the members of the association, not just its directors.
“Everybody gets a vote,” she said, adding that the association is always looking for new members and donations.
As the association’s projects are completed, Scaramell said she hopes the results will attract people and businesses to the town and make for a more enjoyable place to live for the residents who currently reside in the city.
“We’re hoping that when people do take a drive to come up here, no matter which entrance they use to come into our city, they’re going to see that it’s well loved and cared for and they’ll consider moving here,” Scaramell said.
Those who would like to become a member of the nonprofit North Branch Beautification Association or make a donation can contact Christine Larson at [email protected]