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Published June 08 2013

Forum editorial: Take time to smell the flowers

Let’s take a break from the politics, mayhem and tragedy that make headlines every day, and instead pause and smell the tulips and daffodils. In a Fargo spring, we can do that literally.

One of the often praised attributes of Fargo is the “look” of the urban environment. The explosion of spring green on lawns and in the

trees is a truly spectacular display that all too easily can be taken for granted.

Fargo does a lot of things well, not least of which is keeping the streets clean. That focus alone distinguishes the city from many similar-size Midwestern cities. Visitors frequently comment on how the city’s streets are free of trash and dirt, and neighborhoods are well-kept.

But it’s more than clean streets that add sparkle to the city. There is a sense of pride that is rooted in residents but extends to local government officials and workers charged with caring for streets, parks and schools. Right now in Fargo’s extensive park system, crews of young summer workers are planting flower beds, cleaning up flood-muddied walking paths and sprucing up recreation and camping sites. The parks are beautiful.

Consider the major thoroughfares in the city. With only a couple of exceptions (Main and NP avenues come to mind) the city streets, old and new, are lined with trees and green spaces. Trees are coming into full leaf or are in full blossom. Of special note: South University Drive from 52nd Avenue South into the city has become am attractive tree-lined urban corridor only a few years after it was widened and rebuilt.

Older Fargo neighborhoods, with their cathedrals of mature elm and ash trees, are the city’s gems when it comes to urban beauty.

Even in far south Fargo, in the Kennedy School district for example, the trees are still smallish along the new streets, but the visionary plantings promise generations of beauty. And the city is taking care to preserve old-growth trees as the city expands.

Take it all in this spring. Slow down on the streets and thoroughfares. Enjoy the spring spectacular underway in the city. Walk the parks and paths in old and new Fargo. Smell the new flowers. The city looks good. Residents who take pride in their homes, and local government officials and workers who keep public spaces clean and green make the difference.

Forum editorials represent the opinion of Forum management and the newspaper’s Editorial Board.