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John Sims Parkway median landscaping project underway

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The beautification project will consist of adding irrigation, flowering plants, decorative grasses and trees to the grassed medians within the project area.

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Thanks to a 10-year effort led by the Niceville Valparaiso Chamber of Commerce, a state-funded project is now underway to landscape the grassy medians on John Sims Parkway between Palm Boulevard and Redwood Avenue in Niceville.

The beautification project will consist of adding irrigation, flowering plants, decorative grasses and trees to the grassed medians within the project area. The entire project is expected to take about four to five months to complete, said a project worker from Piney Grove Nursery in Chipley, which is doing the landscaping job.

“The medians are a big win for everyone!” said Jenni Brunson, Chairman of the Chamber’s Board of Directors.

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Beautifying the medians in Niceville has been a priority with the Chamber since about 2007, said Brunson. She said the project, originally proposed by Board Member Carolyn Chesser of Bayou Book Company, will make John Sims Parkway friendlier and more appealing to the eye, better enabling local businesses on the roadway to be successful.

 

“We need a strong business community to continue to improve on what we have, and long stretches of asphalt are counterproductive to this,” Brunson said.

While the City of Niceville has placed great emphasis on a variety of worthwhile projects over the past decade, it has largely put its beautification efforts exclusively on the intersection of John Sims Parkway and State Road 85 North, formerly known as the City Triangle.

 

The Chamber, however, remained tireless in advocating the median landscaping project within the Niceville business district.

“Over the years, we researched ways to fund the project, and worked with city leaders to be sure they kept it an active priority,” said Brunson.

The Chamber also worked directly with the Florida Department of Transportation, assuring the DOT received plentiful public input about the proposed project.

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Brunson praised Chamber volunteers and city officials for bringing the project to fruition.

 

“I’m pleased to see the progress,” she said. “It is the result of so many volunteers before me, and they all worked diligently alongside the City of Niceville’s elected officials and city manager.”

The Niceville City Council approved the award of the contract for the landscaping work in April.

Motorists may encounter some minor construction delays due to the project, but delays should not be significant, according to an announcement by the city.

Niceville City Manager Lannie Corbin did not respond to a Niceville.com request for comment.

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