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1999 - Community Effort Award - Town of Choctaw

THE TOWN OF CHOCTAW - Pop. 9,900

In Choctaw, if you were driving east on NE 23rd street (or Hwy 62), there was a half-mile strip on the south shoulder just across from the town's shopping district that you would try to ignore and hope visitors wouldn't notice. It was full of tall grasses, washed down trash and other litter a true eyesore that had been there for years. Jeannie Abts took a look one day and in her mind's eye, saw gardens. She convinced a lot of people that the gardens were there just waiting to emerge.because today that ugly strip of 23rd Street is completely transformed.

A grant from the Margaret Annis Boys Fund through the OKC Community Foundation got things started. Citizens, city employees, businesses and civic groups all worked together to build that dream-garden . Jeannie Abts' vision became theirs even through the hot days and hard work.. Those gardens are a living, blossoming, beautiful tribute to what can happen when people work together. Metal shadow sculptures of the Ghost Riders of the Oklahoma Land Run add just the right touch to what has become an area that the people of Choctaw no longer ignore. In fact, visitors to the city often stop to take pictures of the once ugly, litter-strewn stretch of road. THE CITY OF CHOCTAW HAS SOME BEAUTIFUL GOOD NEWS FOR OKLAHOMA'S ENVIRONMENT.