City leaders in Bonita Springs, Florida, are moving ahead with a $1.8 million project to replace 15 miles of plants along U.S. Highway 41, the city’s main thoroughfare. They say the 7-year-old plants are in need of an upgrade, especially because that portion of the highway is the gateway to the city.
“We feel it’s a quality of life issue. We also feel it’s an economic development issue,” Bonita City Manager Carl Schwing told NBC News 2.
The project, which is expected to take two months to complete, will include Royal Palm trees, oak trees, black olive trees as well as ground cover and shrubbery.
Not all residents of Bonita Springs are happy about the landscaping investment. Some argue the beautification project is simply too expensive.
“I think it looks nice the way it is. I don’t think it should be done,” said Angelo DeJovelene. “Put it somewhere else. I don’t know where, but I’m sure there is somewhere it could be used. Somewhere else besides the parkway.”
Others, like Carol Stinson, believe the aesthetic improvements are worth it. “I would rather spend less, but I think the improvement will be wonderful. I think it will look good for the area,” she said.
City leaders believe the investment will pay off. “The community will be more attractive than it is now to those who would like to come here,” Schwing said.