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Welcoming visitors: Duo signs up to pitch in

VOLUNTEER EFFORT — Heidi Villeneuve-Schlomann and Kay Wrucke spruce up the welcome to Fairmont sign Thursday along Highway 15 on the north end of town. With the help of the Fairmont Garden Club, Project 1590 and Nick Lardy of the city parks department, the women plan to beautify all the signs leading into Fairmont.

FAIRMONT — A project is underway to beautify the signs that welcome visitors to Fairmont.

Heidi Villeneuve-Schlomann and Kay Wrucke have undertaken the effort, with the aid of local clubs and city personnel. Villeneuve-Schlomann discussed how the project began.

“Kay Wrucke and I have had this desire for a long time, so this year we decided to do something about it,” she said. “So we worked with the Fairmont Garden Club and the 1590 club, and they were both extremely supportive and they had some ideas.”

Villeneuve-Schlomann and Wrucke started with the sign at the north end of town along Highway 15.

“The Fairmont Garden Club gave us $300 to get going on it, and then we contacted Nick Lardy from the city parks department and he has been tremendous and very supportive,” Villeneuve-Schlomann said. “He had some hardscapes we were able to use, so we’ll start putting in the bricks and the paving stones. They cut out the sumac tree that was there and cut out the sod for us.

“He [Lardy] said they’ve had that idea in their back pocket too, and so did 1590 and the Garden Club. So they’ve all said something needs to be done about these signs. So I guess this is the year at least one of them is going to get done.

“Then we talked to Dave Stube, a landscaper from Jackson. Kay and I don’t want to be out there every day trimming and pruning, so he came out and met us and came up with a plan for plants that would be low-maintenance, attractive and able to tolerate the sun. So he was very helpful and knowledgeable.”

“We have some blue junipers going in, so there will be that blue evergreen look so it’ll have some interest in the winter too.”

Once Villeneuve-Schlomann and Wrucke finish the framework, the Fairmont Garden Club will step in.

“If we want to add day lilies or other flowers, they are willing to donate from their gardens, but we’re not at that point yet,” Villeneuve-Schlomann said. “We’ll see how this goes, but at least we’ll have the framework done with the stuff from Dave Stube.”

“The support we’ve gotten has been amazing,” she said. “There’s five signs, and we’ll just keep going from sign to sign and try to make them more appealing and welcoming. We’ve just been amazed at the support.”

Those who wish to donate to the cause can write checks to: Project 1590 Welcome to Fairmont Signs Project and mail them to P.O. Box 705, Fairmont, MN 56031.

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