If your neighborhood can provide the volunteers to water the flowers at your local park, Oklahoma City is willing to foot the bill.
Oklahoma City included $100,000 worth of $1,000 water bill credits in its new annual budget for the program, run through the city's Parks and Recreation Department.
Eligible neighborhood associations can apply for the annual credit, and officials hope they put it to good use by watering flowers and other landscaping features in city parks and medians.
“For a long time, neighborhoods have recognized their responsibility in helping the city beautify public places,” said Georgie Rasco, executive director of the Oklahoma City Neighborhood Alliance. “They put hours and hours and many, many dollars into beautifying public medians and parks not only because it benefits them as a neighborhood, but it benefits us as a city.”
But the cost of water can be a burden on families and neighborhood associations, Rasco said.
The city's move can provide some relief and renewed incentive to chip in.
“It's absolutely going to be hailed as a great big ‘thank you' by the neighborhoods that have been footing these bills all along, and it's going to be a catalyst that's going to allow other groups that just didn't have the resources to pay those kinds of water bills,” Rasco said.
Neighborhoods interested in using the program as a springboard to put in more flower beds or other landscaping improvements at their local parks can also participate in other city programs, city parks spokeswoman Jennifer McClintock said.
The city has an Adopt-a-Park program and landscape improvement and maintenance agreements as vehicles to cooperate in other beautification efforts.
In addition to the water credits, the city has funds for meters, hydrants and backflow preventers for some participating neighborhoods. Neighborhoods will have to provide any other infrastructure that's needed.
Only voluntary and incorporated neighborhood associations that are registered with Neighborhood Alliance are eligible.
To register your association with the alliance, call 528-6332.
For more information about the program or to find application information, go to www.okc.gov/parks/adopt.