West Chester, Pa (February 1, 2023) – State Senator Carolyn Comitta recently presented Oxford Borough officials with the Community Pride Award from Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful.
Comitta nominated the borough for the honor for its overall community beautification and greening efforts.
“As a former mayor, I know just how important downtown beautification can be in supporting revitalization,” Comitta said. “It drives business and sales, encourages tourism, enhances community engagement, promotes private investment, benefits the environment, and adds personality, highlighting the character of your community. I want to thank all of the staff and volunteers who take pride in their hometowns and are working to keep Oxford and Pennsylvania beautiful.”
The Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful Community Pride Award recognizes outstanding environmental stewardship by an individual, school, community organization, or civic group that makes a commitment to litter control, recycling, or general beautification.
“I am so grateful to Senator Comitta for nominating us and for the work of the Oxford Regional Area Environmental Advisory Council (EAC),” said Oxford Borough Council President Kathryn Cloyd. “We were thrilled to have our work, which is a labor of love, recognized by the bestowal of this award. And none of this would have been possible without our public works staff and the many volunteers who came out to support and work on our gardens even in inclement weather.”
Cloyd also thanked the Penn State Master Watershed Stewards and Master Gardeners, the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, and the Chesapeake Bay Trust for their support of Oxford’s greening and environmental efforts.
Oxford Mainstreet Inc. (OMI) Executive Director Brian Dix said the organization’s annual downtown beautification efforts begin each March with spring plantings of seasonal flowers in 16 large pots and about 20 hanging baskets throughout the downtown. He said efforts to maintain the plantings and beautify the downtown are supported throughout the year by local business owners, volunteer organizations, and student groups from Oxford Area High School.
“OMI is honored to be a small piece of the puzzle that makes Oxford the special place it is. Seeing the Borough receive this prestigious award is a testament to the fruitful partnerships our community continues to forge and enjoy,” Dix said.
Mike Means, a social studies teacher and Head Football Coach at Oxford Area High School, said the team implemented a downtown community cleanup day during its pre-season workout schedule each summer.
“It’s part of bridging the gap between the athletics program and the community by getting our kids involved in as much as we can in Oxford. It’s something that the team likes to do and we enjoy being able to do it for the community,” he said.
In addition to its overall beautification efforts, Oxford replaced several trees, planted riparian buffers, and created a native plant garden adjacent to its new parking garage to help manage runoff and provide a habitat for pollinators.
According to Carrie Conwell, Keep Chester County Beautiful Coordinator and Senior Environmental Planner with the Chester County Planning Commission, Chester County is the statewide organization’s 28th affiliate.
Since 1990, thousands of Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful volunteers have collected more than 152 million pounds of trash from roadways, waterways, greenways, and forests.
“Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful congratulates and commends Oxford Borough for its community improvement initiatives. Clean and beautiful communities are the foundation for community and economic development and we are grateful for the many volunteers who give freely of their time to steward their communities. We encourage all public officials to recognize the noble and necessary work and the special people who coordinate local programs to keep our communities clean and beautiful,” said Shannon Reiter, President of Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful.