For decades, crossing into Clinton County from Greene County on US 68 meant being greeted by a junkyard and dilapidated structures that created a huge eyesore leaving much to be desired for many first-time impressions of Clinton County.
Today, due to the work of the Clinton County Land Reutilization Corporations (Land Bank), the Farm Bureau and the many partners of the Clean Up Clinton County initiative, visitors are now greeted by the pleasant site of beautiful sunflowers when they enter the county.
Now owned by the Clinton County Land Bank, the property at 8539 US 68 has new a circular gravel drive where the public can pull off and take pictures of the flowers in the field.
This refreshed gateway is supported by other Lank Bank-initiated project including the demolition of two other structures near the corner of New Burlington Road and US 68, and the acquisition of the former Lumberton Restaurant, which is under new ownership, and soon will be opening again to the public.
The pollinator project was developed through the partnership between the Land Bank and the Ohio Farm Bureau. This partnership will enable the Land Bank to expand the variety and maintenance of more flower species in the years to come.
Ashley Rose, Organization Director from the Ohio Farm Bureau for Clinton, Fayette, Green, and Warren Counties which provides support, said, “Pollinators are an important asset to the agricultural community as many fruits and vegetables require their assistance for pollination.
“A few years ago, Myron Hale discussed the need for a local pollinator habit in a county Farm Bureau policy meeting. He opened the door for us to be able to partner with the city of Wilmington for the pollinator plot on Lowe’s Drive.
“After taking last year’s Leadership Clinton class out to the pollinator plot, I got introduced to Ellen from Regional Planning. That developed into the partnership for this new sunflower plot.”
Since its inception, and with resources from state grants, local funding, and support from local government partners, particularly the Clinton County Commissioners, the County Prosecutor’s Office and the City of Wilmington, dozens of vacant, abandoned, and tax-delinquent properties throughout the county have been demolished and cleaned up.
Most of the vacant lots have been sold for new construction, returning the properties to productive use.
The Land Bank is administered by the Clinton County Regional Planning Commission.
For more information, visit clintoncountylandbank.com.