First impressions matter. That's true in everyday human interactions. It's just as true when people visit a community for the first time.
For many visitors, one of their initial encounters with our town is likely to be traversing North 15th Street. That's the case for anyone headed to the dragon boat races at Badger Lake or the State High School Cross Country meet at John F. Kennedy Memorial Park, the Iowa High School Girls State Softball Tournament at Harlan and Hazel Rogers Sports Complex, the Couch Freak Boogie skydiving event at the Fort Dodge Regional Airport or Applefest at the Community Orchard. And this list could be much longer.
A number of public-spirited business owners have banded together to help make sure that when people use this important roadway their visual impression of our town will be a positive one.
The group includes Dr. Nick Drzycimski, who owns the Rolling Hills Dental Clinic; Mike Buhr, of American Family Insurance; Bruce Hall, of Crystalwood Creations; Phil and Rob Gunderson, Gunderson Funeral Home & Cremation Services; Steve Lawler, of Tom Thumb Deli and Dairy Queen; Larry Linn, Domino's Pizza; Bruce Murman, manager of Hy-Vee Wine & Spirits; and Fort Dodge Regional Airport Director of Aviation Rhonda Chambers.
Members are launching a campaign to beautify and maintain the area. They are encouraging others who have businesses or residential properties on North 15th Street to lend a hand.
The effort is still in the planning stages, but one early goal is to have volunteers help with a cleanup initiative before the start of the State Softball Tournament July 16.
The civic spirit the members of this new group are showing deserves applause. The Messenger urges strong support for this effort. We also hope it inspires other Fort Dodgers not only to help beautify North 15th Street, but also to initiate similar projects elsewhere in our town.