Sometimes just installing something new or adding a touch of color makes all the difference.

Such is the case in a person’s home or even at a business.

The same also holds true for communities like the City of Lockport, which can always benefit from even small investments in efforts to make the place look and feel a little better.

Lockport residents received some welcome news last week when it was announced that the common council a series of public art and beautification projects proposed by Lockport Main Street, Inc., the non-profit agency that partners with the city on efforts to spur development and a greater sense of pride. 

The list of planned beautification efforts includes smaller items like painting four Main Street traffic control boxes and adding the city’s seal and way-finding maps to the sides. It also covers projects that will be more noticeable to the average resident and visitor, with arguably the most prominent being plans for a mural of regional wildflowers to be painted on the retaining wall along Market Street, below Cornerstone Arena. The mural artist, Matthew Duquette, of 12 Grain Studio in Lockport, will also adorn the back of the portable city stage with a mural depicting the city’s canal locks, with a forced perspective of the city’s skyline in the background. In addition, the beautification plan includes the installation of 20 bike hoop racks along Main Street between Transit and Washburn streets.

The various projects will be covered with a $23,000 grant from the Verizon Media Community Benefit Fund for Lockport. 

While beautification efforts like mural painting and bike rack installation are often overlooked, especially at budget time, there is something to be said for investing in efforts to bolster the community’s look, image and feel. 

Pieces of public art like murals - which have been gaining more support in other parts of Western New York of late - offer the opportunity to take an otherwise drab-looking wall or building side and turn it into a point of interest for people who live in a community and people who are seeing the sites or just passing through. 

In a city with as much rich history as the Lockport, it’s important to accentuate the positive wherever possible, a position officials from Lockport Main Street, Inc. obviously appreciate given their support for various community enhancement projects in recent months and years. 

Lockport, particularly in the Market Street area, has a lot to offer those who live here and to those who choose to add the historic Erie Canal to their list of summer recreational stops. 

Using grant funds to support efforts to make the community more attractive represents a wise investment indeed. 

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