Scenic enhancement project underway | News
Implementing a unique multi-organizational partnership, the scenic amenities in Perry County are about to be enhanced. Travelers along Interstate 64 will soon be greeted to the county with custom-designed landscape treatments at the I-64, Exit 79 interchange. On Monday, June 13, work crews from Branchville Correctional Facility began the installation of the plantings for the project which is one of the first of its kind in the Southwest Indiana Region.
The project initiated by the Perry County Development Corporation’s Northern Perry County Development Committee, is the result of a joint effort with Branchville Correctional Facility and Lincoln Hills RC&D.
In 2007 the PCDC contracted with Ball State University’s Dr. German Cruz, MLA, Assistant Professor Department of Landscape Architecture College of Architecture and Planning, to conduct a study of the northern section of the county. In the final report from that study, one thing indicated was that to further enhance the county’s appearance and identity for travelers along Interstate 64, some type of interchange treatment should be implemented. The area along the two off-ramps at exit 79 has been targeted, meaning there will be two separate but identical landscape projects to be installed along both the east-bound and west-bound off ramps. The goal of enhancing appearance and identity at this gateway is to help to promote the attractiveness of Perry County to businesses and individuals who are in the process of relocating, along with enticing the recreational traveler to make Perry County a destination.
In an effort to bring the project to fruition, the PCDC partnered with Indiana Department of Corrections’ Branchville facility’s landscaping class. A design was conceptualized, evaluated, finalized, and presented to the Indiana Department of Transportation for approval. While proceeding through the process, partners were brought in to the project to help address some of the expenses, including mulch (compliments of Bear Hollow Mulch), and labor for installation and maintenance (compliments of Branchville Correctional Facility).
Finally, the PCDC requested the assistance of Lincoln Hills RC&D with funding initiatives associated with this project. Through those joint efforts, grant funding was received from both the Perry County Community Foundation and Southern Indiana Power’s Operation Round-Up.
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