Black Mountain Beautification Committee presents community improvement awards

Karrigan Monk
Black Mountain News
Elizabeth and Richard Garzarelli were given a community improvement award by the Black Mountain Beautification Committee for their work in their front garden.

The Black Mountain Beautification Committee gave out another round of community improvement awards Feb. 2.

Th awards are presented to businesses and private residences who show improvement in their landscaping. Nominations are accepted through a form on the Beautification Committee’s website and can be submitted by any community member for a property within Black Mountain town limits.  

Community improvement chairperson Rhonda Reedy said the idea for the awards came about last year.

“Each year we do goal setting and so we come up with different goals for the year that we want to implement,” Reedy said. “One of the things was to do a community improvement award to recognize people that improve the property.”

The Beautification Committee presents the awards three quarters of the year for spring, summer and fall.

Those who are honored are given a sign to put in front of their property as well as a gift card to a local business.

For this round, two properties were honored. The first, a private residence, belongs to Richard and Elizabeth Garzarelli who were nominated for their front yard garden.

The Garzarelli’s did not know the person who nominated their yard, but said it was “special.”

“We’ve gotten amazing amounts of compliments,” Richard Garzarelli said. “I would like to take credit for doing that, but I didn’t. I oversaw it.”

The Garzarelli’s oversaw landscaper Brent Shasserre, who implemented the plants the couple chose in the yard.

Though the garden has died back because of the winter months, Richard Garzarelli said they tried to “keep it somewhat interesting year-round” with rocks and perennials. Most of the plants in the garden are native to North Carolina, something the Garzarelli’s said Shasserre was conscious of.

The business honored during this round of awards was Foothills Grange for the work it did with the front of its business.

Seamus Shevlino accepted the Black Mountain Beautification Committee community improvement award on behalf of the Foothills Grange.

Bartender Seamus Shevlino said the business completely revamped the front in order to be more inviting and to attract new customers.

“What I think it brings to Black Mountain in a big way is family and dogs,” Shevlino said. “It’s so great because everyone can bring their family, their kids.”

One of the improvements includes a new sand pit for kids to play, which Shevlino called “such a hit” and said some families come just for that.

Shevlino said the Grange is looking to bring in live music and other improvements to the area. He said that all of the businesses around are “like a family” and they all support one another.

The next round of community improvement awards will be given out in June and nominations can be made through the Black Mountain Beautification Committee.