Our Opinion: Greening up our Valley

May 29, 2001

We supported the last measure to "green" our Imperial Valley, and we support the one gaining speed now.

The last idea to pretty up our main highways and byways got off to a good start but seems to have faded into the background. Now, at the impetus of Imperial County Executive Officer Ann Capela, another group has been organized with the aim of making our lives a little lovelier.

As was said at the recent meeting of the group, this is a quality-of-life issue. People will be prouder of their home if it looks better. They will be happier in prettier surroundings. They will be more likely to stay here or come home if there is more beauty. And we will be able to attract more industry and more quality growth if we look like a place where people would want to live.

According to those in the know, there is money out there from the feds, the state and the county air pollution office to make our county look more appealing. The county also is planning to announce plans to work with a local city on a plan for construction of a "greenbelt." All that encourages us, but there is much to be done.


As we said in our last editorial on this matter, certain town entrances look nice. Those heading north or south into Brawley on Highway 86 will see a clean, green, town with some nice neighborhoods filled with comfortable homes. Those debarking off Interstate 8 onto Imperial Avenue in El Centro will see a clean and modern business/medical area.

Those are the good spots. Those coming from the north into Imperial will see some vehicle yards, some restaurants, a few businesses, some residences that aren't exactly regal and a lot of dirt. That belies a town with many nice housing areas. Those heading south on Highway 86 into El Centro will see some flourishing businesses on one side of the road and dirt on the other. The medians there match the dirt motif.

Those coming off Interstate 8 onto Fourth Street in El Centro will not be overwhelmed by the commercial beauty, although we have to say local Chamber of Commerce officials have led cleanup drives in that area and some newer businesses are adding some pleasantness.

Desert areas don't have to be desolate. Much of the Coachella Valley is brimming with vibrant vegetation, particularly on the medians on the main thoroughfares. Even our neighbors to the west in Yuma generally present a more presentable area.

Cleaning up just a little would do us a lot of good in a lot of ways. Cleaning up a lot will naturally follow.

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