ALTON - When someone enters a community the initial appearance is something that can help determine whether they stop in the city or not. Executive Director Pat Stewart and Pride, Inc., have been working diligently with the Alton Foundation and Frankie's Landscaping to restore and landscape the Welcome To City of Alton Sign area at Landmark and Ridge.

As shown from the before and after photos above, Stewart said: "an amazing job" has been done in taking this landmark from an eye sore into an attractive entrance to our beautiful town.

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Stewart, who has an adoration of the Alton and Godfrey areas and their beauty, said this project, in particular, has meant a lot to her. Stewart is pivotal now in many of the Pride, Inc., projects that help beautify this area. She said Frankie's Landscaping did some remarkable work with the Welcome To Alton Sign area project and went above and beyond through the entire process. The owner was just "a fantastic person," Stewart said. She also commended Carolyn MacAfee, also was one of the drivers of the project. She also commended Natalie Merrill and Missy Kasten for their beautification efforts. They were the driving forces behind getting this done, she said.

These projects require considerable time, effort, and some love, Stewart said.

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"It really looks nice now," she said. "The shrubs were just so overgrown and had not been maintained or manicured for a while. You can't really appreciate it until you put the before and after pictures side by side to see the magnitude of what we did."

Stewart stressed that Pride, Inc., is behind what the new Flock, a bar/restaurant with food trucks near the Welcome To Alton area, can add to Alton and hopes it really takes off.

"These projects help give Alton a needed facelift and more appeal," she said.

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