Beatrice will look a bit greener come next spring thanks to a partnership between Exmark Manufacturing, Keep Beatrice Beautiful and the city.
Around 40 trees are being planted along the Homestead Trail along Second Street with the help of Exmark volunteers and the city.
The beautification project was made possible through Exmark-Toro Foundation's Big Rock Project grant. This year's $25,000 grant recipient was Keep Beatrice Beautiful, who is working with the city and Exmark employees to liven up the Second Street stretch between Ella and Grant streets with trees and native grasses.
"We're supporting the community that supported us," said Patty Kaufman with Exmark. "We have deep roots in this community. We just feel it's right to be a good corporate citizen."
Additional landscaping is planned for the west side of Second Street, including planting grasses on a former salvage yard. Trails will also be mowed through the prairie grasses.
"It's been an eyesore for a very long time," Kaufman said. "It's going to be beautiful."
Exmark employees have kept busy volunteering for other projects as well.
On Friday, Oct. 19, employees work to rebuild a dugout at the north ball fields in DeWitt that were damaged by recent flooding. That project was part of the Toro Foundation Volunteer Project, in which employees chose a project they would like to tackle.
On Wednesday, Southeast Community College studnets also planted trees at the Gage County Fairgrounds' horse arena. Exmark donated the trees to the 3G's 4-H Club to provide sorely needed shade at the arena.