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Thursday, May 12, 2005 01:21 am

Green connections

Soon after Tim Davlin took office as mayor, his administration created a new organization, Springfield Green, to promote city beautification.

The private-public partnership started as a coalition with Downtown Springfield Inc. but has since expanded its reach beyond to the corporate limits of Springfield and into neighboring Chatham and Leland Grove, says Davlin’s spokesman, Ernie Slottag.

“The initial goal was to clean up and green up the city,” he says. “As that got closer to being completed, we looked at entrance routes to Springfield, starting at Sixth Street, then Clear Lake, and this year they’re looking at Sangamon Avenue.“

Funding for the Springfield Green effort, which is co-chaired by Susan Mogerman and Todd Renfrow, has been donated by business, Slottag says, including $5,000 a year for the past three years from Ameren Corp.

 “The Springfield Area Association of Realtors has come up with a funding package, which totals $10,000, which will be used for neighborhood grants.”

Springfield Green’s projects have included the distribution of more than 10,000 flower bulbs earlier this year.

Springfield Green also has launched the “Yard to Yard Challenge,” co-sponsored by Illinois National Bank, Ace Hardware, and Illinois Times. The contest, open to businesses and homeowners within a 25-mile radius of Springfield, awards prizes to people who do the best job of “greening up” their front yards this summer. The entry deadline is June 1. For more information, visit www.illinoistimes.com/yardtoyard.html.

Springfield Green is offering memberships to individuals and businesses ($50 and up), but membership is not a requirement for grant assistance.

For more information about Springfield Green, visit www.springfield.il.us/Green/whoweare.htm.

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