Messes along entryways also demand attention.
Local officials would like to see a different greeting for travelers coming into Garden City.
The city, Finney County Convention and Tourism Bureau, Garden City Area Chamber of Commerce and others are interested in showcasing the new community logo and tag line, "The World Grows Here." The signage would replace existing welcome signs of concrete and blue lettering located along major traffic thoroughfares in the city — U.S. 50/400, U.S. Highway 83 and Kansas Highway 156 — as part of a move to establish new welcome signs at various entryways.
First impressions do indeed matter. And Garden City deserves a distinctive brand.
But while city and tourism officials pursue ways to improve the signage, it's also important to address problems that mar the local landscape along the city's entryways.
Enter Garden City from the south, and motorists encounter a dilapidated fence (one that had graffiti on it for several weeks), trash and other messes just before the city limits. It's unsightly and unacceptable so close to a beautiful stretch of Garden City that features Lee Richardson Zoo.
More problems line the way into Garden City from the east on U.S. Highway 50 in junk vehicles, overgrown weeds and the lingering nuisance of plastic bags and other trash clinging to fences.
Another annoying sight that's been around too long would be the long-damaged sign pointing to ConAgra — an unwanted reminder of the fire more than a decade ago that closed the facility and erased nearly 2,300 jobs, a situation worsened by a subsequent lack of activity at the plant.
Entryways have the potential to project a positive image of the community. For that reason, they should be a community priority.
Some issues surrounding junk and trash have been discussed by local government, yet too little progress toward holding property owners more accountable for their properties has occurred.
Whether the messes are located within city limits or on county turf doesn't matter. City and county officials should work together on strategies to spruce up the community's entryways.
After all, it's difficult to appreciate even the most beautiful and eye-catching welcome signs when they're flanked by eyesores.