Expedia’s “Most Beautiful Towns in America Part 2,” published last month, touches on something instantly apparent to residents and visitors of Marietta alike – our community’s beauty runs deep. The Mid-Ohio Valley’s beauty comes from our natural surroundings and historic charm but it is not without hard work and maintenance.

The Marietta Community Foundation assists with efforts to enhance our area beauty whenever possible. With the first grant cycle this year, the Foundation was able to support two beautification initiatives that both have a huge impact on our area: the Marietta in Bloom project and the Marietta Main Street Downtown Beautification Project.

The volunteer effort Marietta in Bloom has been going strong for more than four years now. Their efforts have brought together countless volunteers who keep the program’s eight gardens and planting areas looking full and beautiful.

Flood waters earlier this year had a big impact on some of the downtown planting areas, including the Sacra Via walking garden. Topsoil was washed away and replaced with inches of river mud. In addition to standard ongoing maintenance, including mulching, weeding, and reseeding, the walking garden will need to be monitored throughout the remainder of the year to assess how many perennials may need to be replaced.

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Funds awarded to Marietta in Bloom from the Foundation’s this grant cycle will help rejuvenate the Sacra Via walking garden and allow the group to purchase other basic supplies for the year.

Marietta in Bloom gardens can be found in the following locations.

  • Harmar – at the intersection of Fort Harmar Drive on Route 7 and Market Street.
  • Big Lots – located around the ‘Marietta 1788’ brick entrance sign.
  • Triangle – at the intersection of Muskingum Drive and Front Street, near Marietta Memorial Hospital.
  • Colegate – located around the ‘Marietta 1788’ brick entrance sign.
  • Valley Gem – two raised planters adjacent to the parking lot.
  • Sacra Via – the walking garden near the intersection of Sacra Via Street and the River Trail.
  • Fair and Front – the raised planting bed.

Marietta Main Street oversees the beautification efforts of the entire downtown district. In addition to the annual flower baskets, the program recently completed updates to the Gateway Park/Harmar Village sign located on the corner of Front Street and Butler. Local artist Lisa Bammerlin finished painting the Gateway sign earlier this month using vibrant violets that make it pop against its surroundings. The sign itself has also been updated. One side of the signage now features a map to improve downtown walking experiences as well as a brief history of Marietta. The other side showcases a list of annual area events, a community bulletin board and a section about Harmar Village.

Gateway Park Sign

Gateway Park/Harmar Village Sign Features at a Glance

  • Walking Map
  • History of Marietta
  • Annual Events
  • Community Bulletin Board
  • About Harmar Village

“These efforts, and many more, keep our historic downtown area beautiful and welcoming,” said Heather Allender, President and CEO of the Marietta Community Foundation.

Supporting area beautification through grant cycles, unrestricted funds, volunteer efforts and other gifts made to the Foundation helps brighten the moods of residents and attracts new visitors to the Mid-Ohio Valley. Extra touches like our flowers, gateway signs, and the downtown mural series all enhance Marietta’s natural beauty and keep our downtown area thriving.

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