Grant funds Callender sign

CALLENDER – When drivers enter Callender from any direction, new signs surrounded by new landscaping now welcome them to town.

The new signs display the town’s new logo, which was created last year by Deb Peterson, of Fort Dodge, and selected in a contest hosted by the Callender Area Revitalization Efforts Committee.

The signs, and the landscaping that surround them, were made possible by an Iowa’s Living Roadways Project Grant from Trees Forever.

The Living Roadways Project helps provide funds for enhancing landscaping along Iowa’s transportation corridors.

Denita Lee-Luke, Callender city clerk, applied for the grant through Trees Forever last year, and the community was selected as a recipient for up to $3540.60 to help cover the cost of landscaping and new signs.

The grant had specific requirements for plants that could be place around the new signs.

“We had to use plants and grasses that are native to Iowa,” said Lee-Luke.

The city of Callender worked with North Central Turf, of Webster City, to coordinate the planting and to get the types of plants required.

The planting and placement of signs took place in late May and early June.

Lee-Luke said some changes did have to be made to the project because of Iowa Department of Transportation guidelines.

“We used about $1,500,” she said. “We would have liked to have gone larger, but with DOT clearance guidelines we had to downscale a little.”

The new signs replace signs that had been in place since the 1980s which were boards displaying the logos of various service organizations in the town. Although the old signs are gone, Lee-Luke said the logos will be repurposed and placed elsewhere within the community.

“The new signs are so much different from the old,” she said. “Those had all of our community and civic organizations on them as well, and we do plan to put those in the city park. We are still discussing how we will use them there.”

“We are happy to be bringing our logo and town signs into the 21st century,” said Lee-Luke. “We are excited for the improvements and look forward to watching the plants grow.”