NEWKIRK — Motorists traveling through the Newkirk community are now greeted with a new “Welcome to Newkirk” sign, which is hoped to bring a new pride to the community.
The sign was paid for through a Keep Oklahoma Beautiful (KOB) grant, and a matching grant through the city of Newkirk. The sign was installed along the U.S Highway 77 curve into Newkirk, in front of Golden Acres Motel.
Newkirk Main Street and the City of Newkirk made the project a reality. Newkirk Main Street was willing to work with to project to obtain a grant from KOB, a program they already worked with. The grant was obtained through the KOB Affiliate Only Roadside Grant.
“Our membership lets us receive grants like this, and fresh paint and participation in the Great American Cleanup,” Director Alyssa McCleery said.
Community supporters also approached the city of Newkirk about the idea.
“We were approached with the KOB grant, and if we’d be interested in the sign on the south side of town, and adding one on the north end,” said City Manager Ryan Smykil.
The only problems that stood in the way were where the sign should be placed, especially on a right-of-way, as well as replacing an existing sign, which they were able to do through ODOT.
Newkirk Main Street was able to obtain a grant through KOB worth $3,000, with a matching grant from the city for $500, covering a total cost of $3,500.
A sign on the north entrance of town is also planned.
In addition to the “Welcome to Newkirk” sign, a grid will be installed for banners advertising community events,and the roadside beautification entrances will include 4 ft. by 8 ft. Dibond panel signs, with full-color print, secured in the ground with steel posts and set in concrete, and a 4 ft. by 8 ft. steel framed grid with ornamental finials set in concrete.
Low-maintenance landscaping will be included with the new signage.
Many Newkirk residents helped in the project.Custom welding fabrication and installation was completed by C. Johnstone, LLC and A.G. Services. Graphic design and signage was completed by Kim Shanks and Legacy Signs.
Many in the community are excited about the sign, and hope it will spread community spirit across Newkirk.
“The roadside impact to the community is that the new entrance signage will reflect the pride that radiates from young citizens. While the design and image of a sign is of key importance, functionality should also be a focus,” said Kelle Cross, one of the volunteers. “Included in the entrance signage will be grids to display banners for local events such as the Great American Cleanup, Newkirk Rodeo, Newkirk Main Street Christmas Shop, Charlie Adams Day and other events.”
KOB is a statewide nonprofit organization founded in 1965, and is a state affiliate of Keep America Beautiful, a nonprofit organization with a national network of nearly 1,000 participating organizations working together to improve communities through litter prevention, waste reduction and beautification. KOB has undergone a number of incarnations throughout the years, changing with the times, while always working to achieve bits mission.