Six years ago, Kay Chatterton drove down Main Street in her new hometown.
She was not impressed."This place looks like it's dead," Chatterton said to herself, a sentiment she later expressed to the City Council.
Her comments were nothing new. Scores of people have criticized Clearfield's Main Street for being dull, disorderly and drab. But few ever volunteer to do anything about it.
So the mayor and City Council asked Chatterton to head the city's Beautification Committee, an assignment she accepted with enthusiasm.
"Wherever I go, I like to improve things," she said. "I think, `Gosh, if we could only have flowers there or some trees over there.' "
Last summer, she organized volunteers and city parks crews to install planting areas and flower boxes on a group of traffic islands at the intersection of Main, Center and State streets.
Not only has the project netted her a Citizen of the Year award from the city, but numerous compliments from residents and business owners.
Chatterton said her biggest thrill, though, is the pride she is starting to have in the way her town looks.
welcomed citizen," said Chatterton, a Weber County native who lived in Las Vegas for 15 years before moving with her husband, Richard Chatterton, to Clearfield in 1985.There's still much to be done to make Clearfield more attractive, said Chatterton, who heads a committee that also includes Connie Whiting, Bonnie Kagan and Diane Layton.
Next on the committee's agenda is an ambitious project that may require three to four times as much work and money: landscaping the 650 North entrance to the city.
"We're going to break ground in April. We'll clear out the weeds on both sides as you come down 650 North from the freeway. We'll line both sides with trees and install flags and a sign that says, `Welcome to Clearfield.' It's going to be beautiful.
"I'm sure it's going to blow my budget."
But she said she believes city officials - who have promised to contribute some of their own "sweat equity" this summer - are committed to beautification and will continue to fund her projects, which include planting sunburst locusts and flowering plums up and down Main, cleaning up vacant lots and neglected street corners, and encouraging property owners to landscape their lots with shrubbery, flowers and trees.
Basically, she and the city want Clearfield's downtown to be green, colorful and inviting. They hope the improved aesthetics will go far in attracting new businesses to Clearfield, which lacks a full-service grocery store and a department store.
"When you drive into Brigham City, what's the first thing you see? Big, beautiful trees. Things look bare here. But that's going to change."